Talk:Christian ministry

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Age-specific and intergenerational sections[edit]

I feel that the two new sections seem to be more negative than positive, and seem more like a criticism on church function than actual, resourceful information. The term "segregation" for example creates a terministic screen (see Kenneth Burke) that immediately directs the mind in a negative direction. Since this page serves mostly as an overview of Christian religious ministries, I have revised the sections to take a more NPOV as well as to unify formatting.

I have removed the following section:

  • 4) Studies show that children attending Sunday Schools and youth programs are less likely to continue church involvement, compared to those who attended worship with parents, and are integrated into a community (Mark de Vries “Family-Based Youth Ministry”, 2004). Those children who continue church involvement as adults often have a ‘nominal faith’ (George Barna “Transforming children into Spiritual Champions”, 2003).

If it is to be readded, it needs to have its sources properly linked. Mark de Vries does not seem to be a highly notable person and therefore may not be an effective source.

Also, I am removing the inter-generational material as a whole. The section needs a major copy edit and revision, and doesn't actually say "what" inter-generational ministry is, how it functions, or what specifically a church does in an intergenerational ministry. Does it have a variety of songs? A specific sermon style? A specific format of the service? What is it? I am suggesting moving this to a page all its own and will create a link specifically for that purpose. --Avery W. Krouse 07:00, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Reply to Talk : Re ge-specific and intergenerational sections[edit]

While 'segregation' may have negative connotations for you, segregation accurately describes what happensin age-specific ministry. It is the reader's interpretation of whether this is negative or positive? (eg segregation may be very negative to a mother forced to leave her baby in a nursery -but it may be very positive to the worship leader who appreciates a quiet 'audience')

I disagree with the suggestion that "Mark de Vries does not seem to be a highly notable person and therefore may not be an effective source". He is the leading source in the family-based model;with his initial 1994 work, republished in 2004. Along with Sells and others he pioneered the suggestion. see or, having a successful impact today. With all likelihood an increasing impact as elements of the post-modern mindset come to have an impact upon churches.

In terms of saying what 'inter-generational' ministry is, there is important overlap with ecclesiology; In many ways inter-generational ministry IS the church (as alluded to in the family-like description of community); while age-specific IS the (current version of) the world. The songs and sermon style are virtually irrelevant, compared to the essential 'nature' of the church as a Body, a community, a people, an inter-generational 'family'. I agree this 'theology' needs to be explored in more depth - but the only 'quick answer' to what is inter-generational ministry, is that it is 'family-like' - the 'one anothers' of relational life are paramount over programs and more 'traditional' worship/organisational elements.


Per Segregation -

1. The act or process of segregating or the condition of being segregated. 2. The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination.

It carries a negative connotation, invoking immediate images of racial segregation. Therefore, it would not carry a neutral stance appropriate for WP. I would compromise to use the term "Age-separated" if you insist on using something other than or additional to "Age-specific" to describe these ministries, but I think that strays quickly away from the purpose of this page. The page is merely meant to be an overview of the subject, not a critical analysis.

If Mark DeVries is such an influential man, then he should receive his own WP page, allowing the reader of this page to at least know in what ways this person can be considered an authority on the subject.

Finally, your description of "inter-generational ministry" is still extremely vague. This page is designed to discuss the practice and function of religious ministries, mostly as a method of linking one to another. What does it mean to be "family-like"? How does that change the elements of the service? The activities of the church? You can discuss esoterics all you like, but the reader still isn't going to have any clue as to what the difference between an age-separated ministry and an inter-generational ministry is.


In terms of a 'definition' of ministry the main page is actually 'extremely vague'... see for example the "The Illustrated Bible Dictionary", IVP, with 3 pages on ministry including topics suhc as 1) Christ the Pattern, 2) Pastoral Ministry, 3) Sacramental duties, 4) Spiritual gifts, 5) The Origin of Ministry...The main page does not evenhave an informal definition eg ( religious service of an individual or congregation).

Then there is the relation between theology and minisitry; (a) how practical theology intersects with particular practices; (b) the New Testament pattern of ministry. And I'm sure there is more

Then there are the various 'streams' of ministry - urban ministry, pastoral ministry, youth ministry, puppet ministry, etc.

These topics COULD be put in a page on inter-generational ministry (with an injection of 'what makesthem inter-generational', but they are FAR more general ideas, and actually belong on the kind of page you describe as being an 'overview'.

And in terms of the reader not having a clue about the difference between inter-generational and age-specific/separated, I think the article does make clear (a) inter-generational involves people from more than 1 generation physoically present in the activity (unlike those focused upon individual age groups) but (b) unlike older "all-age worship" efforts, being inter-generational also includes more than just the physical presence... there is an 'interaction'; people are 'present' to each other in a varietyof ways including social, emotional, perhaps cultural and 'generational' ways as (real or imagined) generation gaps are transcended. This may be fostered by all manner of means -including technology - but people are 'present' to each other, and present across the generations, and present to God more effectively as a people, than is ever possible in age-specific, separated appraoches where there just is 'not a people'.

Continued Re[edit]

The very first line of the page is a definition of what a Religious ministry is. Read it.

This is not a page concerning theology of ministry. For that, see "theology" pages.

The streams of ministry are listed and represented. Read them.

Frankly, these topics can be put on a hundred different pages, ranging from "Baptist church services" to "Post-modern churches," but the point of this page is to provide a concise article concerning types of ministries. For that matter, it may as well simply be an overachieving disambiguation page.

And in terms of the reader not having a clue, you are still providing vague information. What actual, functional things makes these two types different? What is the "interaction" and how is it different? What makes them "present" to each other? What is the practice? How is anything "transcended"? I'm looking for specific, defined examples. When you talk about puppet ministry, you say "A ministry that combines puppetry with Christian messages and songs, often featuring a range of puppets in both human and other forms like animals or anthropomorphized objects. The puppets are usually presented from behind a stage or above a curtain, hiding the performers themselves from the audience." What it is, what it does, how it does it.

All you're providing is, "A puppet ministry connects the heart of childlike faith with a common idealism, incorporating symbology and providing a 'feeling' instead of a 'placement'." It makes no practical sense.

Continued Re[edit]

I actually found this definition "A religious ministry is a specialized activity or set of activities performed by a religious organization in addition to standard church services." quite vague, and actually wrong.. ministry is performed by individuals not the organisation! (priesthood of believers etc.) Also 'standard church service' is 'ministry'.

Definitions aside, if it is such a 'guiding page' why aren't there links to the theology stuff you talk about to help direct people to the right 'sub-area'?

What is your interest / connection with the page? Where have your guidelines come from about what is included on it? Is this the right forum to be discussing this!

Continuing Continued Re[edit]

At this point, I think this is just becoming semantical and a waste of time.

First of all, how can I be more specific than what I've placed? Ministry as a verb, yes, is performed by individuals, the "to minister" part of it. The term "ministry" can, as a whole, also refer to the concept of all collected ministerial functions of a religious body, and in fact, I will add that to the main page. This page, however, is a list and explanation of "ministries," which culturally speaking, the Christian church uses in reference to specific sets of activities arranged and collected according to a theme or common element (such as youth-activities, or musical worship).

A standard church service is usually comprised of elements of ministries, sacraments, and presentation. The worship ministry sings, the sacrament of communion is observed, the presentation of a sermon takes place.

The reason this does not guide to theology ages is because of the fact that this page, as of now, is a reference for types of ministries, not the theology of ministry itself. I would be more than happy to add that "Christianity" box that is found on many other pages, I just don't know how, and have yet to find anyone that can tell me. If you can do it, and add "religious ministry" to it, that would be lovely.

My interest and connection to this page is that I have been working in various Christian ministries for over fifteen years and found that there was not as of yet a page in existence to organize and reference the various types of ministry.

Would it solve the problem to rename this page "Types of Christian ministry" or "List of Christian ministries" or something along those lines?

At the end of the day, this is an absolutely silly thing to get worked up over. If you've got a stance to prove concerning the theology of ministry, the benefit or detriment of age-"segregated" or inter-generational ministry, or whatever else, create a page and link. Don't clutter any individual page with something that could very well deserve its own. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Averykrouse (talkcontribs)

Continuing Continued Re[edit]

The 'Christianity' boxes can be added by putting <lcurley bracket><lcurley bracket>Christianity<rcurley bracket><rcurley bracket> at the top of the page..where <lcurly bracket>is '{' and<rcurly bracket> is '}'.

However there is discussion about such boxes, and whether they are a good thing or not / what policies should surround their use / whether they detract from the main article and elevate others to greater importancethan they should have etc... as far as editing them goes... isn't obvious! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Georgeous (talkcontribs)

Title specification...curious[edit]

I ended up here while looking up "ministry" as it related to religion, and I noticed on the disambiguation page for "ministry" that "Religious ministry" is the only listing related to religion, and clicking on it brings one, my curious nature brings me to ask if it is necessary to add the parentheseed "Christian" to it, as I understand this to only be necessary if there is a more general usage that differs from this specific usage, or if there are other equally specific usages that differ...perhaps there are these different uses but they just don't have articles yet? Thanks. bcatt 21:18, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Problems with the first sentence[edit]

Ministry is not something that only happens "in addition to standard church services". The people who lead those services are, after all, called "ministers." This article is largely worthless if not altogether wrong.Mangoe 02:16, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I mean not to seem mean, but if you believe the article needs improvement, improve it. Telling a man that he is on fire doesn't cause the fire to go away. I built this article from the ground up, had people come in and turn it all upside down, then tried to fix it again. The point of the article is to define what "religious ministry" is in terms of its parts. If you have a better definition, place it there. But frankly, "youth ministry," "missions," "worship," those are "religious ministries," both in what they are and what they do. It's just a semantics issue trying to limit it one way or the other. And for that matter, the secondary point of this article is to create a resource page for "types" of ministries. Thus, if someone clicks here from one type of ministry, they can find out about others. Again, don't tell a man who is starving that he should eat. Get him food. --Avery W. Krouse 05:01, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I am planning to work on this article, and on minister, which has related problems. But if someone else gets to it first, they need to be aware that what goes on in "standard church services" is also ministry, so that they approach modification with that in mind. Perhaps "largely worthless" was too strong, but there are basic issues that need addressing, even if I do not have time right this very minute to deal with them properly.Mangoe 10:46, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, see, the reason I worded it as "in addition to standard church services" was to distinguish the "individuality" of the various types of ministries. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to recognize the various roles played in standard church services as ministries, but then you get into "well, is tithes and offering a ministry? is communion a ministry?" The point was to set aside those specific groupings of activities which could truly be called a ministry. --Avery W. Krouse 18:38, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
It's important to include that as a point within the article. But ushering is a ministry, and leading services (incl. doing communion) is a ministry, and so forth. One might split hairs and say that the service itself is not ministry, but the conducting of that worship is almost everywhere held to be a ministry. Mangoe 19:18, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Peniel Ministry[edit]

This ministry has been attached and removed a few times. I have removed it, as it is badly written (which could have been fixed) but more because upon investigation, there is scant/no information available for this ministry on the internet. I believe it is well intentioned, but an extremely poor example for wikipedia users wanting to see these types of ministry in action, and comes across more of an advert. 18:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Religious ministry (Christian)Christian ministry — Relisting discussion due to lack of activity. —harej (talk) (cool!) 23:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Most Christians prefer not to have Christianity and religion confused and therefore it is more appropriate that this article be moved to the name "Christian ministry." Djc wi (talk) 06:51, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

While "Christian ministry" sounds like a more concise title, and I am inclined to support that name for that reason, I am not sure what you mean by your statement. Do you mean to suggest that Christians don't view their religion as a religion, but as a fact of life or something like that? —harej (talk) 17:46, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Very funny. I guess that's why the IRS has the same question. (talk) 15:19, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Is 'ministry' a term used in any other religion? If so I would oppose. But if not, I see no reason to make it seem like Christian ministry is a form of the overall usage of the term. Jujutacular (talk) 01:54, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Support for reasons of conciseness. Whether or not other religions use "ministry" is not really relevant so long as the article is called "Christian ministry" which is certainly a less clumsy title that the present one. If other religions also have "ministry", they can also be suitably qualified e.g. "Xxxxx ministry". Bermicourt (talk) 16:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Support; current title is clunky and "Christian ministry" is by far the more common term. — \`CRAZY`(lN)`SANE`/ (talkcontribs) 06:44, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Advantages / Disadvantages is POV[edit]

The segment on advantages and disadvantages should be reworded and retitled. As it stands, the very wording makes it POV no matter how widely accepted the content is, and as such unencyclopedic. Rewording along the lines of who thinks what, describing the voice of the minority in less words than the voice of the majority, may be a solution. I have no knowledge on these matters, so I can't do the job. Wurdnurd (talk) 16:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)