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In
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
, ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their
faith Faith, derived from ''fides'' and ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a , thing, or In the context of , one can define faith as " in or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often think of faith as confidence based on ...

faith
, the prototype being the
Great Commission In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciple (Christianity), disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The most famous versio ...
. The '' Encyclopedia of Christianity'' defines it as "carrying forth
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
's mission in the world", indicating that it is "conferred on each Christian in
baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

baptism
." It is performed by most Christians. This is distinguished from the " office of minister", to which specific individuals who feel a certain
vocation A vocation () is an job, occupation to which a person is especially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, or qualified. People can be given information about a new occupation through student orientation. Though now often used in non-religi ...

vocation
. It can signify this activity as a whole, or specific activities, or organizations within a
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...
dedicated to specific activities. Some ministries are identified formally as such, and some are not; some ministry is directed towards members of the church, and some towards non-members. See also
ApostolatesAn apostolate is a Christian organization "directed to serving and evangelizing the world", most often associated with the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic ...
.


Age-specific ministry

As churches attempt to meet the needs of their congregations, they often separate their members into groups according to age categories. Age-specific groups meet for religious study including
Sunday school #REDIRECT Sunday school#REDIRECT Sunday school A Sunday school is an educational institution, usually (but not always) Christianity, Christian in character. Sunday school classes usually precede a Sunday church service and are used to provide cat ...

Sunday school
programs,
fellowship A fellow is a broad concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned or professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes th ...
, and other activities. These age divisions may include: *Nursery *
Pre-school A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, kindergarten, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary ...
*Children, generally
elementary age
elementary age
students *
Youth Youth is the time of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have cease ...
, generally
middle
middle
and
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...

high school
students A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most c ...

students
* Young Adults, designed for
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
-age students *Adults, which is often broken up into
single Single may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Single (music), a song release Songs * Single (Natasha Bedingfield song), "Single" (Natasha Bedingfield song), 2004 * Single (New Kids on the Block and Ne-Yo song), "Single" (New Kids on the B ...
adults, couples ministry, men's and women's ministries, and
senior adults Senior (shortened as Sr.) means "the elder" in Latin and is often used as a suffix As, AS, A/S or similar may refer to: Art, entertainment, and media * As (song), "As" (song), a song by Stevie Wonder * , a Spanish sports newspaper * , academic ma ...
.


Advantages and disadvantages

There are several advantages to the concept of age-specific ministries. *Many
parents A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily age). A ''biological parent'' is a person whose gamete resulted in a child, a male ...

parents
/
caregivers A caregiver is a paid or unpaid member of a person's social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Since they have no specific professional training, they are often described as informal caregivers. Caregivers most commonly assist ...
are glad to allow the church to be in charge of the spiritual enrichment of their children. Similarly, they are used to using programs for the development of their children such as weekday
childcare Child care, otherwise known as day care, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from two weeks to twenty years. Child care is a broad topic that covers a wide spectrum of professionals, institutions ...
,
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
, and
grade school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is a ...
and enjoy the ability to continue a similar format in church. *These ministries allow churches to provide 'age-appropriate' activities and content to maximize spiritual education and growth as well as peer group
fellowship A fellow is a broad concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned or professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes th ...
. *Ministries often provide fellowship activities outside of the church service that encourage the involvement of non-church going friends and relatives. Age-specific ministry does have certain disadvantages, mostly stemming from the separation of children from the primary church functions. *In terms of religious education, the 'socialization' of children into the faith community is one important approach that requires connecting the children and family with the wider congregation. *These ministries may increase the possibility of child abuse within the church as it does increase the amount of time children spend without the supervision of their particular parent or caretaker or the presence of the congregation at large. It is worth noting, however, that many churches hire certified teachers to fill these positions and most perform background checks on anyone that may come into supervisory contact with children. *Certain forms of these ministries reduce the role that "family life" plays in the development of children, because of the separation of differing age groups into differently facilitated programs. In some ministries, the children are also placed separate from the rest of the congregation, such as during
Sunday school #REDIRECT Sunday school#REDIRECT Sunday school A Sunday school is an educational institution, usually (but not always) Christianity, Christian in character. Sunday school classes usually precede a Sunday church service and are used to provide cat ...

Sunday school
and youth programs. Many of these programs, however, take place at different times from the primary church service, and in many churches, only children of elementary school age and younger are separated from the main service to provide more relevant material to their age group.


Creative and performing arts

Nearly all churches feature some form of
worship Worship is an act of usually directed towards a . For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a God. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated . Such a ...
music, whether from a
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans ...

choir
,
orchestra An orchestra (; ) is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various ...

orchestra
, or worship band, whether accompanied or
a cappella A cappella (, also , ; ) music is group or solo performance without instrumental An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocal The human voice consists of sound Voice produc ...
. Religious organizations also incorporate other forms of creative and performance arts into their services or programs.


Community service and outreach

Many churches sponsor ministries designed to reach out others on a local and global scale, usually grouped under the heading of
missions Mission may refer to: Religion *Mission (station) A religious mission or mission station is a location for missionary work, in particular Christian missions. History Historically, missions have been religious communities used to spread ...
. There are many organizations which perform missions on a fully funded and organized level, such as the North American Mission Board, operated by the
Southern Baptist Convention The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the same kind, identifia ...
and the
Unitarian Universalist Unitarian or Unitarianism may refer to: Christian and Christian-derived theologies A Unitarian is a follower of, or a member of an organisation that follows, any of several theologies referred to as Unitarianism: * Unitarianism (1565–present) ...
Service Committee (UUSC). However, some Christian churches and ministries have evolved to take on a larger role in the community service and global outreach programs. Community service ministries may include a "soup kitchen",
homeless ministryHomeless ministry is the intentional interaction between Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus ...
, crisis center, food pantry, unplanned pregnancy center, senior visitation program, new parent support, Animal Chaplains, or a number of other specialized ministries. These specialized ministries can include formal or informal approaches to intentionally interacting with others, encouraging, counseling, and providing relational care to them. If activities such as these are held at a church but are not organized primarily by its members and do not contain religious overtones, the activity would better be classified as church reordering, rather than ministry.


Sacramental ministry, Catholic Church

Theologians differentiate between Religious ministry and
ApostolatesAn apostolate is a Christian organization "directed to serving and evangelizing the world", most often associated with the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic ...
. Ministry, for Catholics, pertains to the administration of the
Sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marria ...
, and their appropriate ministers are as follows: A final, and most proper, use of the term "ministries" pertains to those instituted by the bishop: *Acolyte (May administer the Eucharist) *Lector (May read the readings at Mass, except for the Gospel which is reserve for a priest or deacon) Ordained ministers are those who have received Holy Orders: deacons, priests, and bishops. Note that a bishop can do anything a priest can do, and a priest can do anything a deacon can do. *
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
*
Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christia ...
*
Theology of relational care The theology of relational care pertains to ministering to the personal needs of others, primarily individuals going through crises of a temporal nature. This may include individuals and families experiencing poverty Poverty is the state of n ...
*
Minister of religion In Christianity, a minister is a person authorised by a church body, church or other religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiri ...
*
Sermon A sermon is an or by a (who is usually a member of ). Sermons address a , , or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, , and ...

Sermon
*
Ministry of Jesus In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan by John the Baptist, and ends in Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem, following the Last Supper ...
*
Great Commission In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciple (Christianity), disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The most famous versio ...
*
Homeless ministryHomeless ministry is the intentional interaction between Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus ...
*
Parachurch organizationParachurch organizations are Christian faith-based organizations that work outside and across denominations to engage in social welfare and evangelism Image:Jakob Jordaens 002.jpg, The Four Evangelists In Christianity, evangelism (or witnessing ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Christian Ministry *
Christian terminology Words or phrases used to refer to concepts associated with Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings o ...