Shared Ministry is a philosophy of congregational life that places the responsibility for ministry squarely in the hands of everyone in the congregation. Each person is responsible for serving others and engaging in ministry..
In volunteering the focus is on getting the job done -- people are recruited to a particular committee or task force. In shared ministry the focus is on people first; finding ways to help people identify their gifts, discovering what they are good at, what they really like to do, or would like to learn---then matching their special ability or interest to a job that needs to be done.
In honouring the work we do, whatever it be, we enrich our lives and feed our souls. When we recognize and acknowledge what we do as shared ministry, we give to each task the weight and value it deserves.
Then what is the role of a professional minister in a congregation if we’re all ministering to one another? Ordained ministry and shared ministry are complementary, not mutually exclusive. Each of us has particular qualities and skills to bring to our congregation, and none of us has them all. A minister may have learned the valuable arts associated with preaching and teaching and counseling, and perhaps a host of other helpful ways of interacting, but cannot cover all the needs of a church. What’s more, shared ministry helps members grow as capable, commited individuals and as a community.
Committee on Ministry
The Committee on Ministry is the natural locus of leadership for growing the practise of shared ministry. This committee tracks the heartbeat of ministry in the church, how well members care for one another, how the lay leadership serves the congregation, and how the professional minister serves the congregation. It seeks to understand, assess, support and advocate for robust ministry throughout the context of congregational life.