The Task of Ministers of Word and Sacrament

The sixth and last statement is this:

(6) a statement of his or her understanding of the task ministers of Word and Sacrament perform, including an awareness of his or her specific gifts for ministry of the Word and Sacrament and of areas in which growth is needed.

(For a source, I am using the list of responsibilities from the Book of Order, G-6.0202b)

However the task of pastoral ministry is broken up, it is a huge and exhaustive list. Certainly mastery of all is impossible, and it is likely that a given Minister will only have more than adequate capacity with a few. In reflecting on my own abilities, I will mention those I have highlighted where I feel I need a great deal more work as well as those in which I feel I am presently adequately prepared.

In administering the Sacraments, I of course have no direct experience, not yet being ordained, but I have participated in Sacraments through my internship. My hope is that by the grace of God I will be adequate when called on as a pastor, and that from that point practice will enable me to improve. I also feel that in equipping and enabling the people of God, I have little experience. Even in my internship, where some of my job entails equipping and enabling, I feel that I am also there to be equipped and enabled in turn by the congregation. I hope that while I build skills, I will retain this mind-set in professional ministry. Finally, I lack experience working with the governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church. I have been a YAD to Synod and have attended Synod and Presbytery meetings, but I see this as a function that is best learned through practice, and I intend to faithfully do so.

I continue to gain experience teaching and preaching the Word, and continue what will be a lifelong study of scripture and theology. I have demonstrated that I am an adequate teacher and preacher, and in both case have had moments of true grace mixed in. I believe that I have a gift for pastoral care, first identified in Stephen Ministry training and later reinforced in a seminary Pastoral Counseling class. In the past year or so I have found a new capacity for leading communal prayer, both in worship and in private situations, which I continue to work to develop further. Finally, I have always had a strong sense of passion and calling in service to the poor, the troubled, the sick and the dying, as well as to the ‘human community as a whole’. In the ministries of sympathy, witness and service I believe that this ongoing passion will serve me well

3 thoughts on “The Task of Ministers of Word and Sacrament

  1. You were too humble in this statement. You have more gifts than this. You didn’t mention humor, insight into human nature, eloquence, earthy authenticity, or enjoyment of the good things in God’s creation (like gaming and Thai food).


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