Local Collaborative Ministry begins with an understanding of Christian ministry as “any act of service to God or neighbour undertaken on behalf of God in Jesus Christ.” Sometimes known as “Total Ministry,” it enables the day-to-day living out of our baptismal covenant, therefore reflecting a theological understanding of Christian vocation as being entrusted to all the baptized. Parish life should therefore be structured so as to enable each and every member of the community to discern the gifts that God has given him/her, and to discover the ministries to which God is calling him/her.
Core Characteristics of a Local Collaborative Ministry Parish
The following constitute the core characteristics of a Local Collaborative Ministry parish, but individual parishes may branch out from the core:
- Adoption of the definition of Local Collaborative Ministry, and the structuring of parish life in concert with this.
- Leadership that is not singularized, but is shared (moving from a hierarchical to a collegial model).
- Establishment of an episcopally commissioned Ministry Support Team made up of both lay and ordained parish leaders who, in partnership with the ministry developer, will seek to identify, enable and coordinate the ministries of the parishioners. These normally include:
- Diaconal Ministry
- Priestly Ministry
- Christian Education, Study and Learning
- Mission & Outreach
- Pastoral Care
- Parish Administration
- Building & Property Administrator
Before being commissioned by the Bishop, a Ministry Support Team will have completed a training program that has been authorized by the Diocese, based on that team’s existing competencies. Following its commissioning the Ministry Support Team will continue to engage in an ongoing program of education and learning.
A mentor is a person – either lay or ordained – who is theologically educated and is licensed to work either in a single parish or in a cluster of congregations to assist the members to engage in Local Collaborative Ministry. A mentor is not a ministry deliverer, and therefore does not function as an incumbent or chief executive officer. A mentor works primarily in the training, enabling, and support of a parish’s leadership, without depriving leaders of their ministerial responsibilities.
The Diocesan Local Collaborative Ministry Team
The members of the LCMT are lay and ordained, and serve as an advisory body to the Bishop. They are responsible for discerning the calling of parish teams, and particularly those team members discerning a call to priestly and diaconal ministry, making recommendations to the Bishop at various points regarding a team’s suitability and readiness for local collaborative ministry. Working with the Diocesan Ministry Developer, they also monitor and make suggestions about a team’s formation (theological education, spiritual formation, field work, etc.).
For more information on the process of becoming a Local Collaborative Ministry Parish, speak to our diocesan Ministry Developer, the Rev. Dr. Heather McCance.
The Diocesan Local Collaborative Ministry Group
DLCMG meets bi-monthly to support the local collaborative ministry model in Rupert’s Land. The Group is made up of representatives of parishes using the LCM model, mentors past and current, and others with experience in this way of doing ministry. DLCMG sets policy around formation expectations for LCM parishes, plans continuing education and spiritual development opportunities, and advocates for the needs of LCM parishes within the Diocese. DLCMG also networks with the Living Stones Partnership, a North American Anglican partnership of dioceses and other partners where LCM is being used.