I’ve been fascinated by what the Cappadocians (Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa) understood
about the role of ministers and, for me, three things stand out:
1. Contemplating the fullness of God. Pointing people
towards God so they apprehend Father, Son and Spirit; or, as Ephesians 4 puts
it, so we might grow in knowledge and depth of insight.
2. Bringing souls safe into the haven of God. Moving people
towards greater Godliness and participation in the life of God.
3. Raising a house to the glory of God. Helping the church
flourish in the faith and the members live in harmony through prayer and
Interestingly all three points have a mission element to
them. I can seek to help people grow in knowledge, insight, godliness
regardless of the place that they start from and the building metaphor implies
a theology of growth.
Yet two questions remain. Firstly, is this what I
understand ministry to be about and secondly, what would my ministry look like
if I prioritised these things?