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THE MINISTRY by William V. Rauscher

We are Ambassadors for Christ.
Corinthians 5:20

Anyone in the ministry is called to teach, preach, heal and minister to others. Although we think of the ministry in terms of those ordained we must also consider that not only the clergy are called to minister to others, but all lay persons. We are called to serve and in that context we do so as 'ambassadors for Christ.' In the parochial ministry many gifts are utilized. The pastoral work of the ministry can range from baptisms, conducting services, preparation of sermons and talks, religious education, youth work, counseling, visitations to the sick and shut-in, weddings, burials and constant problems of administration. Ministries can also be specialized such as, hospital chaplains, military chaplains, prison ministries, grief counseling, seminary and private school professorships. The most varied is the parochial ministry where every facet of human experience and emotion is encountered. The true roll of the 'minister/clergy is to represent Christ in all ministrations, which in turn must have as a basis the devotional life. A true approach to the ministry must of necessity include all efforts to help others in the visible world and a prayer life that helps those living but also the beloved dead in the invisible world. A minister must believe not only in the visible but the invisible. Clergy are custodians of Holy Mystery. They must allow in this life a margin of mystery in their thinking. They are representatives of the natural and the supernatural. They are to be students of the study of spirituality, personal development, the ongoing life, the mystical life and consciousness in all its various aspects. They are expected to know something about both worlds and act as guides for those who may be unknowingly drawn to paths that divert the soul from a more sensible road towards light.

Extended ministries, apart from what is normally thought of as the role of a cleric, may include a number of special interests. These are approached many times as research efforts, scholastic projects, soul searches and always with Christ as the center and a consideration of general or specific implications for religion.