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Supporting laos ministry ...

the Christian ministry of the whole people of God.

Sunday 11th May was Vocations Sunday in many churches - an appropriate opportunity to launch this regular email reflection, an idea that has been incubating for at least a year. In the Vocations Sunday publicity leaflet, the Church of England’s Archbishop Rowan Williams explains the breadth of the word vocation: “In the most general sense, vocation is God's summons into existence itself. God calls creation into being; every thing that is made is called and named; its identity lies in the purposive call of God. But for the Christian, this is more specific again: human beings are called to grow in community into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Their vocation is not just to exist, but to come into a life that shares Christ's life.”

And the title, Supporting laos ministry? First, laos is the Greek word for people. In the Bible it is used to refer to the people of God, all Christian believers, not just the non-clergy! It is the word from which we derive laity - a term of great honour denoting the enormous privilege and mission of the whole people of God. As Christians we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people [laos] belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9).

Secondly the Greek word translated ministry (diakonia) is simply the word for ‘service’. Ministry is service to God and on behalf of God in the church and in the world. Ministers are people who put themselves at the disposal of God for the benefit of others and God’s world. It is not limited by the place where the service is rendered, the function, the need met, by the title of the person or even by overt reference to Christ. Thus writes Professor of Applied Theology Paul Stevens in his book The Abolition of the Laity.

So laos ministry is the ministry of the whole people of God, and this is the vocation, the calling, of all Christian believers. That ministry which seeks to act as an agent of God’s grace, mercy, love and truth in whatever situation believers find themselves. This fortnightly email reflection will seek to affirm and support those who are called to live their life of faith actively, dynamically and with integrity in the home, the workplace, the college and the community. Pass it on if you think it's any good!

Yours in Christ,


Peter Nicholls

This fortnightly reflection will seek to affirm and support those who are called to live their life of faith actively, dynamically and with integrity in the home, the workplace, the college and the community.

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