Developing lay ministries

We want to encourage the church to release the gifts of ministry among all its members, especially those who serve and lead in different contexts.

Lay and ordained ministers have an equally valued role in the Body of Christ, serving together to build up the church and participate in mission.
Street pastors and police talking to each other outside Jane Willis

Ministry is a response to the needs of the Church and the world and is part of every Christian’s calling to love and to serve. Lay ministries are diverse, with a wide variety of contexts and roles, ranging from short-term tasks to life-long vocations.

The Church at all levels has a role to play in encouraging and training people in the skills needed for service.

There are a range of lay ministry roles available in different dioceses, with most selection, training and authorisation taking place in dioceses or parishes. When that service takes on the character of public ministry then particular forms of training and authorisation may be required.

Lay ministry falls broadly into three categories: Recognised, Authorised and Licensed.

Locally Recognised
In the Community - Authorised
In Leadership - Licensed

Note: These categories naturally overlap, and not every form of ministry will fit naturally into just one. These descriptions are intended as a guide to help dioceses release the gifts of all God’s people in the way they plan their lay ministry work. They are intentionally broad and may not always reflect they way you choose to do things.

If you're looking to become a lay minister, speak with your vicar, chaplain or equivalent, or with the vocations team in your diocese.

Discernment is a journey of discovery to help you grow your God-given gifts. When discerning a call to licensed lay ministry or to be a reader, an individual will be asked to explore, with the guidance of a vocations advisor, six characteristics, which they should inhabit: Love for God, Call to Ministry, Love for People, Wisdom, Fruitfulness and Potential. 

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"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

1 Corinthians 12: 4-7