First published on this website in February 2011 and last updated in January 2013
This article concerns the office known as 'Reader' (or 'Licensed Lay Minister') in Anglican churches, 'Local Preacher' in Methodist Churches and 'Lay Pastor' in Baptist and some other churches.
It first studies how this office is similar and yet different from other voluntary church roles with a case study from Readers in the Church of England. Two proposals for change follow.
It then considers how such lay ministers are managed and makes a third proposal. The implications for lay ministers who are gifted preachers, pastors and pioneers are considered.
The three proposals are as follows:
- There should be a shift from ministry itself to enabling others in ministry
- There should be a shift from 'doing ministry' to 'being mission'
- There should be a shift to tighter management discipline as a role model.
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