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:
ñ Adoption of the definition of Local Collaborative Ministry, and the structuring of parish life in concert with this.
ñ Leadership that is not singularized, but is shared (moving from a hierarchical to a collegial model).
ñ 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:
ñ Diaconal Ministry
ñ Priestly Ministry
ñ Christian Education, Study and Learning
ñ Worship Mission & Outreach
ñ Pastoral Care
ñ Parish Administration
ñ Building & Property Administrator
ñ Before being commissioned by the Bishop, a Ministry Support Team will have completed a training program that has been authorized by the Diocese. Following its commissioning the Ministry Support Team will continue to engage in an ongoing program of education and learning.
A ministry developer is a person – either lay or ordained – who is seminary trained 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 ministry developer is not a ministry deliverer, and therefore does not function as an incumbent or chief executive officer. A ministry developer works primarily in the training, enabling, and support of a parish’s leadership, without depriving leaders of their ministerial responsibilities.