Ministry vs. Church

Recommended Posts

I agree with mark 45. IMHO a church would be a group (whatever size) coming together to study and learn religious principles, ancient stories and the lessons to be learned .....

A ministry to me would be more of following your intended purpose. Whether that be to evangelize, or to feed the poor, or give battered woman safe a place to go, help the disabled........

To me, even running a business or digging a ditch can be seen as a ministry if that is your call to make the world a better place.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,


First of all, let me preface my thoughts by pointing out I can only speak about this in a Christian context, as other faith systems may have very different understandings of the terms "church" and "ministry."  And as our Brother Kaman points out, for many these are totally unnecessary constructs.


That all being said, in Christianity a church (small c) is a body of people who share the essentially the same theological views, and who get together on a regular basis for worship, for instruction in the teachings of their particular church, to hold each other accountable for their faith life, and to equip and empower people to live out their faith.


Our ministries are some of the concrete actions we take to live out our faith. Those ministries can take many different forms, and may not at first glance really seem like a ministry until you consider it under the lens of faith.  In my experience, one of the more visible ways Christians in the ULC go into ministry is to engage in Marriage ministry, helping couples to formally commit themselves to each other and asking for Gods blessing on their union.  Others may preach and teach about their religious views, hoping to help others come to a loving relationship with God.  


In the church I am a part of, aside from preaching and teaching, I am part of the group that established and supports a food ministry, serving free meals to the poor each Saturday night.  We also have a clothing pantry, a mending ministry (one of our members is an excellent seamstress who repairs the clothes and backpacks of many of our guests).  We have a free bread ministry (one of our members has a contact with two of the commercial bakeries in the Milwaukee area, and each week brings literally hundreds of loafs of bread, which we distribute free of charges to anyone who wants some (ofter leaving a large basket filled with bread outside the church doors under a large sign that says FREE BREAD.  Last year we even built a couple of shower stalls in our church, so that the homeless could come and get free showers when they needed them.  


But our ministries do not have to be connected to a church per say, and some of us have careers that can rightly be called ministries, jobs we perform that we do as ways to live out our faith.  For many years, I owned a coffee shop in Milwaukee, where I hosted multiple AA and SA groups, giving them free meeting space, and would frequently give free meals to people who came in off the street broke and hungry.  I know people in the health care field who donate their time and knowledge to free clinics.  I know lawyers who donate their time to the Legal Aid society here.  I know people who give their time to cleaning up the parks or protesting injustice that they see in our society.  Even the homebound, the elderly and shut ins who pray for others have ministries just as real and necessary as those who spend fortunes and donate so much of their time talent and treasure to the causes they want to support. These things and much more are valid ministries.  


In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
3 hours ago, mererdog said:

A Methodisr bishop once summed it up for me as "The church is who we are. The ministry is what we do."

Greetings to you my brother,


Short, sweet, to the point, and even from a Methodist!  Gotta love it.


In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.