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Freed to Serve: Training and Equipping for Ministry – Michael Green

May 20, 2015

FTSAn exciting book on shared ministry within the local church – Starting with the principle that priesthood is Christ’s gift to the whole church and that each member needs to discover his or her gifts and to use them, eschewing clericalism. My slight reservations are over his questioning professionalism – because many Christians in an average church are weak, there needs to be a full-time ‘model’ Christian in the persona of the priest; he argues against the eucharist as sacrifice and whilst I do not go along with the old-fashioned anglo-catholic view I think he goes too far the other way; he argues against apostolic succession as mere transmission of grace – with which I agree but am left with the question that so many people ask ‘Do you mean that the majority of Christians (i.e. RC and Orthodox) have been wrong for most of history?’ My main reservation is that all the ministerial and priestly gifts to be shared in this ‘every member ministry’ relate to the church fellowship and really extend outside it to evangelise, to draw more people into it – what about prophecy? what about the NSM in his place of work?

uotations:

All Christians constitute God’s kleros (Acts 26:16-18; Col. 1:12; and 1 Peter 5:3). Equally, all Christians make up God’s laos (2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Peter 2:9-10)

We tried to do this in a variety of ways. One was by having carefully planned courses of sermons: sometimes topical, sometimes following the church’s year, sometimes expository. We tried to be sensitive to what the needs were at the time. Gradually we learned how foolish we were to dart from subject to subject each week. We needed to go on teaching on a particular topic until it is learned and acted upon. With this in mind, we organized a nine-month course, examining what it meant to be an alternative society in a world that is falling apart. We spent a whole month on each of nine aspects of this theme, and teaching took place at all levels in the church. The team preached on each topic for a whole month. The fellowship groups and prayer meetings discussed its application. Slide-tape sequences were produced for each topic. And we even made a loose-leaf guide book to the whole nine-month series, with opportunities for members to add materials of their own.

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