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Markers of a Ministry-Centered Congregation
Markers of a Shared Ministry Congregation

The task before congregational leaders is to foster and develop a shared ministry congregation.

A shared ministry congregation:

  • Has a communal sense of call,
  • Knows the community that it is aiming to serve,
  • Mobilizes its resources and programs to respond to the diverse ministry needs of its gathered congregation and surrounding community,
  • And provides a formation process to engage its membership in this shared ministry.

A shared ministry congregation has specific characteristics:

  • Is mission focused,
  • Is committed to spiritual growth and development of its members and the congregation,
  • Knows its surrounding community and is responsive to the community's needs for ministry,
  • Has outreach that is intentionally coordinated with all the congregation's programs,
  • Has small groups that are a source of pastoral care, religious education, new member inclusion and leadership development,
  • Conceives it programs as "ministries" to the congregation and the surrounding community,
  • Has an intentional and ongoing "shared ministry program," a process for helping lay people discover their gifts and live out their ministries in the church and in their daily lives,
  • Understands religious education as a faith development and formation process for the ministry of the laity,
  • Is able to reach out to and serve more diverse populations within the community,
  • Is committed in word and action to anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism,
  • Has responsible stewardship and engages in a mission budget process that is informed by its sense of mission as a congregation within a particular community,
  • Is "Association-al" and has covenantal relationships with other Unitarian Universalist congregations in the area, district and continent,
  • Engages with other faith communities in common social ministries, advocacy or service.

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Comments (2) (Open)

msjackik 3 months 2 weeks ago

I'm interested in this article, but when I google "ministering congregation" I am only seeing references to Mormons. I have no problem with LDS, but am trying to wrap my head around how congregations are transitioning from non-ministering congregations (?!) to ministering congregations

rruchotzke 3 months 2 weeks ago

Thanks, msjackik, for questioning the language! Today we use the term "shared ministry," so I'll update the language in the article. (We are reorganizing our webpages. This article was originally from 2005.) 

You should find a lot of resources for "Shared ministry!"

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