On Speaking of the Ministry of the Baptized

John R. Graff

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 10/1/1987

Issue: The Ministry of the Baptized (Vol. 7, No 4, Fall, 1987)

For those who have been urging the church to take a fresh look at the ministry of all God’s people, these are exciting and encouraging times. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has written into its governing documents many instructions relating to the recognition and nurturing of the ministry of both the ordained and the unordained. There can be no doubt that if practice follows form, the new church will be giving more attention to equipping the people in the pews for their ministry and supporting them in that ministry than did the predecessor bodies. What this amounts to so far, however, is a statement of good intentions. It is too soon to tell how it will play out in real life. The inability of the ELCA to write a statement on ministry at the outset of its life together is a troubling indication that giving life to what is in the documents with respect to ministry will be a slow and difficult task.

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