I did not preach at my churches last Sunday. I was on vacation. At each of my churches a lay person (non-ordained member of the church) preached a sermon and led prayers.
This gift of the ministry of the laity reminds me of God’s calling to ministry of all Christian people. When we choose to follow Jesus, we choose service. All members of the church are servants in God’s mission. The United Methodist Church (UMC) believes in the ministry of all Christians. Some denominations call this the “priesthood of all believers.”
In the UMC, we don’t just believe in the ministry of all Christians. We practice it. The ministry of all Christians is essential to our being God’s people, the church. Being a Christian is being a minister, a servant.
Lay people lead ministries of care in the church and outreach to our neighbors. Lay people come up with ideas and implement ministries: mission trips to Chile, resources where a disaster took place, school supplies for families in our community, free coats and health check-ups before winter, after school snacks for the local United Methodist Boys’ home, a yard sale of home goods that helps our neighbors and the church building, teaching the scriptures in Sunday school, hosting Bible study in homes, bringing communion to the home-bound. All of these have are examples that I’ve seen in my churches.
God chose all of us to be bearers of God’s grace in the world. That is good news for me as a Pastor – I have a lot of teammates in ministry! That is good news for the world – there are so many ways to receive God’s grace. That is good news for Christians – Christ sets us free in love.
How have you shared God’s grace this week? How might you tomorrow?