"Hello, this is your life of meaning and purpose calling…"
We are in the age of collaboration. What this world and our hearts and spirits need requires all of us working together. Every one needs positive and meaningful work, art, and relationships. What we do to survive financially might not be what gives us greatest meaning.
Meeting trouble in our world, our sacred promises tug at our hearts and ask us to answer. That tug on our hearts is vocation. Answering that vocation is ministry. We do not need to be part of a congregation, on staff with a religious organization, or be sanctified, ordained, or approved. Because digital media increases our connections with another, we also have more opportunities to meet our calling without actually entering a congregation or picking up a page of announcements. This is why faith leaders are the people who connect us, helping us answer our calling.
Life takes teamwork, and thanks to digital media we can belong easily to lots of teams, and even form our own.
Pop Quiz: Who’s a minister?
A. Clara Barton
B. Alice Harrison
C. Olympia Brown
Professional religious leadership and ordained religious leadership are only two kinds of calling. Our roles and duties are changing. Increasingly, we need not to be experts or operations officers, but connectors, visionaries, noticers, and facilitators. This shift started decades ago, and digital media has only sped it up. What professional and ordained religious leadership do is a ministry, but we are not THE ministry.
Pop Quiz Answer: Who’s a minister? All of them.
Clara Barton - Laity
Alice Harrison - Professional Staff, Religious Educator
Olympia Brown - Ordained clergy
Faith leadership is not about official position or governing body authority anymore – and our history proves it never was. Ministry belongs to everyone. How we answer that call will differ for each of us, as varied as our gifts and our limitations. Thankfully, we can trust, nurture, and encourage one another in faithful ministry together, so that our limitations do not prevent us from fulfilling our sacred promises.
There is more than enough ministry to go around. We need all of us, with our differing strengths, talents, and time. We are called, all of us. Let’s make sure we are undertaking answering that call together.
What’s your ministry? How are you serving for goodness’ sake?