The Gift of Church Ministry

This coming Sunday’s Congregational Meeting is called after the 10:00 a.m. worship service for the purpose of acting on changes in the Pastor’s Terms of Call and to elect persons to serve in important leadership roles. The Nominating Committee will put before the congregation names of persons who have agreed to serve as Ruling Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and At-Large Members of the Nominating Committee for the coming year.

On the one hand, this kind of meeting of the congregation can seem wholly routine. On the other hand, when viewed through the lens of Reformed theology and Presbyterian governance, the work of this meeting represents the movement of the Holy Spirit among our congregation, calling individuals to deepened levels of service through the commitment of their time and talent. It is evidence that we are the Body of Christ working together to usher in the realm of God.

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) introduces the election of officers saying:

The Church’s ministry is a gift from Jesus Christ to the whole Church. Christ alone rules, calls, teaches, and uses the Church as he wills, exercising authority by the ministry of women and men for the establishment of God’s new creation. Christ’s ministry is the foundation and standard for all ministry, the pattern of the one who came “not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). The basic form of ministry is the ministry of the whole people of God, from whose midst some are called to ordered ministries, to fulfill particular functions… Ordered ministries are gifts to the church to order its life so that the ministry of the whole people of God may flourish… The government of this church is representative, and the right of God’s people to elect inalienable.

   (Book of Order -2.01)

Every day there are lay leaders of this congregation, as well as many other wonderfully engaged volunteers, who further the work of the church. The particular calling to serve on governing bodies in key leadership roles is evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work among us all. In many ways, Sunday’s meeting after worship may seem like ordinary business. But when viewed through the eyes of faith it testifies to the extraordinary presence of God in our midst, lifting up servant leaders for the new work and ministry the future brings.

So on Sunday, when the closing hymn is sung and the benediction is pronounced, I humbly invite you to stay and participate in a moment in the life of the church that is Spirit-filled, holy, promising and exciting as we begin a new chapter in ministry and mission at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

Biographical sketches of the nominees can be found here.