Developing our God-given gifts and ministries
God has given each of us gifts, abilities and skills. Our sense of purpose in God’s world is enhanced as we learn to develop these gifts and use them in the service of others. The Manual of the United Reformed Church says:
The Lord Jesus Christ continues his ministry in and through the Church, the whole people of God called and committed to his service and equipped by him for it. This service is given by worship, prayer, proclamation of the Gospel, and Christian witness; by mutual and outgoing care and responsibility; and by obedient discipleship in the whole of daily life, according to the gifts and opportunities given to each one. The preparation and strengthening of its members for such ministry and discipleship shall always be a major concern of the United Reformed Church.
Developing the ministry of local churches
The ministry of the whole people of God may be enhanced in various ways:
- the development of the gifts of individual church members(see Elders and Lay ministry);
- the continuing education and development of Ministers of Word and Sacrament (see Ordained Ministry
Local leadership is offered in many different forms beyond the traditional role of Ministers of Word & Sacrament.
The Synod Pastoral & Ministries Committees have produced a framework and guidelines to explain how Local Church Leaders may be authorised to provide ministry to congregations in the South Western Synod.
The Synod offers a number of ways of developing the work of the local church.
- Review the purpose and priorities of the local church by holding a Vision Workshop.
- Consider the outreach strategy of the local church.
- Reconsider the place of children and young people (or their absence, perhaps).
- Explore and revitalise prayer and spirituality in the local church, perhaps with a workshop or away-day.
For help with vision and strategy explore the Local Mission and Ministry Review page
For help with children and young people see the Children and Young People’s page.
For ideas about prayer and spirituality see Spirituality and Retreats