And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. — Ephesians 4:11-13
We could quote the entire fourth chapter of Ephesians as the basis of servant-leadership in our parish. Here’s a summary of the principles outline by the Apostle Paul: lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavor for unity of the faith in the bond of peace. This is the manner in which we’re to conduct ourselves, no other.
This is the phronema that characterizes the “new man” created in Christ. It’s easy to see that in a person’s face, especially their eyes. It is only after having acquired the mind of Christ (or at least, humbly striving to acquire it) that one is qualified to undertake any type of ministry in the Body of Christ, in whatever capacity that may be. Otherwise, one isn’t yet prepared.
The phronema we’ve set in place at St. John the Theologian is: humility, self-denial, repentance, prayer, and obedience. Nothing happens in our parish without the blessing of the priest. The dynamic spiritual life unfolding in our parish isn’t an accident. It’s the spiritual fruit of putting on these virtues, which enable you to be renewed in your mind, and thus qualifying you to undertake the work of ministry.
God will raise up the right people at the right time. In the meantime, let us do all that we can to acquire humility and purity of heart.
The links above highlight some of the more visible ministries taking place in our parish, while others take place anonymously, behind the scenes.