Saturday, July 27
For years I have been teaching seminary students about the nature of the church. It stirs confidence in me when I see that our study comes alive in the sanctuary. I teach my students that church ministry has had the same structure from the very beginning of Christianity. In fact, when we are weak in one element of ministry, we are weak in our entire ministry. My father, who was a minister for more than 40 years, taught me this, and I pass this wisdom on to my students. I teach that this structure can be seen in the administration of the following: didache (teaching), koinonia (fellowship), kerygma (message), diakonia (service), marturia (prophetic sharing), and leitourgia (worship and prayer). Every church structures its ministry to make sure that we teach, have fellowship, share the message of Christ, serve others, be prophetic, worship, and pray in Christ’s name.
I do not know if my particular teaching has made a difference in this regard, but I often see this lesson bearing fruit in the churches I visit and attend. In one church, symbols representing each of these moments in the church’s ministry line the walls of the sanctuary, communicating to all, both new and long-standing members, that this is who they are and what they do. In other churches, I see this message posted in education wings or at the entrance. I like being a part of such a tradition. I believe in such a tradition, for it makes our identity clear.
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
United Church of Christ in the Philippines:
Rebecca Lawson, ecumenical relations and advocacy
Rev. Dr. Paul Matheny, theological professor
Rev. Dr. Mary Nebelsick, theological professor
Carlton (Cobbie) Palm, missions facilitator, Silliman University Divinity School
Rosanna Modesta(Dessa) Palm, team ministry
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Sue Lutz, BOP
Catherine Lynch, PILP
Let us pray
We all, Christians around the world, believe in the same message and are committed to living the Christian life, no matter where we are, no matter who we are. Amen.