Whole Ministry

I believe that all people have a spiritual core that yearns
to be nurtured, challenged and grown. There are many places where this may take place, and the Sunday morning
worship service is neither the best nor the sole setting. Should I choose to serve as a congregational
pastor, I envision my ministry as a ministry to and with communities within the
congregational community equal to my ministry with the church as a whole. I place equal value on the worship and
spiritual activities of small groups, based on identity or on affinity, or
both, and am called to support and encourage such religious activities
fully. Entering into a new setting, be
it a congregation or a community ministry position, I expect to put my skills
to work by identifying and cultivating small group ministry, particularly in
areas where the constituency struggles.

Rev. Youngblood’s ministry to and with men as described by
Samuel Freedman provides an excellent example of what I find vital in my
ministry. Youngblood recognized the
scarcity of men in his new Brooklyn congregation, and made intentional efforts to foster a stronger presence
through institutionalized programs. He
understood that there is a need to provide spiritual direction and leadership
for men, not only because their attendance at church would potentially bring
other family and friends but also because he was called to minister to the
wholeness of the community and men has been persistently absent. His intentional efforts at growing the
presence of males, of all ages, started with a combination of activities but
perhaps the most effective was the formation of Eldad-Medad, an all-male
ministry.

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