Lay ministries include the diverse breadth of ways in which women and men express their faith through personal discipleship and faithful community at mission in the world.
Recommended study units for 2018 for Lay Preacher candidates, those in Ministry of Pastor roles with a focus on leading worship and preaching good news, and local worship team leaders.
Ministry and mission by lay people is both within and beyond the Church: the everyday work and activities of every Christian disciple express their participation in the ministry of Christ in the world (Basis of Union, par. 13).
Specified lay ministries include the Ministry of Lay Preacher (also supported by the Lay Preachers’ Association) and the Ministry of Pastor. Recognised lay leadership roles include Elder / Leader (commonly members of the Church Council) and other ministries to which people may be commissioned by the local or wider Church: chaplaincy, teaching, pastoral care, leading worship in lay ministry teams, service beyond the congregation including evangelism, outreachand new missional initiatives. The Period of Discernment assists individuals and the Church to discern together the call or vocation to life and ministry.
A variety of other theological learning opportunities, resources and support services are available through the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM) to equip disciples for lay ministry, including ‘Do It Yourself’ resources as well as structured courses and topical workshops. Programs are open to those in local church leadership roles as well as ministry candidates, agency staff and anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith and the Church.
The Uniting Church is committed to leadership on the basis of the diversity of gifts for service in the ministry of Christ (Basis of Union par. 13), and has always affirmed the leadership of both women and men (pars 14-15). The theological and biblical basis for this continuing commitment is articulated in the Uniting Church Assembly resolution 90.32, ‘Why Does the Uniting Church in Australia Ordain Women to the Ministry of the Word?‘
Recent resources include the four Bible studies by Rev Dr Sally Douglas on Early Church Understandings of Jesus as the Female Divine at the Synod 2016 meeting: