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Total Ministry


Total Ministry is called by many names. It is a way of being Church which animates the ministry of all the baptized: “Total Ministry”, “total common ministry”, “mutual ministry”, “local ministry”, “collaborative ministry” -- and there are many more! Briefly, Total Ministry is: “the cooperative effort of all the baptized to accomplish God’s purpose in their lives as best they understand it.”

“Total Ministry” is not primarily a program for ministry renewal or congregational rescue. It is a central principle of Christian living: that persons converted, in the context of Christian community, are drawn naturally ever deeper into participation in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ in every component of their lives. It happens not by choice, but, as Roland Allen puts it, by a “compulsion of the Spirit”. Total Ministry is the creative response of the Church organizing to respond to that reality.

A definition of “ministry development” developed by Sindicators in 1985 is a good one for “Total Ministry” as well:

The building up in mutual love of the local community such that all its members’ gifts are recognized and offered in ministry both corporately and individually, both within the Church and in the wider community. It includes: the raising up, ongoing formation and support of local, indigenous leaders, some of whom will be ordained deacons, priests, and bishops. It requires:

  1. offering quality educational offerings and experiences for every member
  2. the ongoing renewal of the liturgies by which we are sustained and empowered in Our Lord so that they are an effective expression of our common life in faithful service
  3. using or changing structures so that they serve the Church’s mission rather than become the Church’s Mission
Contact: The Rev. Stephen Kelsey, Diocese of Connecticut
E-mail: steve.kelsey@juno.com

Other contacts and resources:



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