Jimmy Hamilton-Brown's booklet "Communal Ministry" (Autumn 2011)seemed to many of those attending the 2012 Local Ministry Network Conference to sum up the challenges they were facing.

For decades we have heard plenty of talk of

Baptismal Ministry, Collaborative Ministry, Local Ministry,
Shared Ministry, Lay Ministry, Communal Ministry, even ‘Total Ministry’

But we have also heard plenty of frustration from both lay and ordained.

Parish and People wants to hear stories of where groups of lay people on their own initiative (led by the Holy Spirit?) are engaged in activities in the service of God’s Kingdom - often away from the worshipping life of the congregation.

For want of a better title, these groups can be called
Ministering Communities’. *

All of these communities are part of the ministry of the whole people of God. Yet they are often ignored by church leaders who only recognise ministry when it is regulated within their own denomination.

Please tell us your experience of these 'ministering communities' - and tell us how they are regarded by local churches and their leaders

Email us on secretary@parishandpeople.org.uk

* Stewart C. Zabriskie, in ‘Total Ministry’ (The Alban Institute 1995), envisages the local church as a ‘ministering community’, rather than ‘a community gathered round a minister’.