Saturday, February 26, 2022

RIP: "The" Ministry

It's time to stop referring to pastoral work as "the" ministry:

We do a great disservice to the church whenever we refer to the pastorate as "the" ministry. For if we use the definite article, we give the impression that we think the pastorate is the only ministry there is. I repented of this decades ago, and invite my readers to join me in penitence today. If someone says in my presence nowadays that so and so is "going into the ministry," I try to look innocent and respond, "Oh really? Which ministry do you mean?" To this my interlocutor replies "the pastoral ministry" -- to which I reply "Why did you not say so?" 

John Stott, The Living Church, p. 74.