A New Era: Total Ministry

With the retirement of Father Jerry Beaumont in 2000, the people of St. Barnabas stood at the crossroads. Should we reinvent ourselves again, or close the doors forever?

Two of the remaining parishioners, Myra Colvin and Doris Case, approached the new bishop, Wendell Gibbs, Jr., who recommended that St. Barnabas enter the diocesan “Total Ministry” program, a ministry model embracing the foundational concept of the ministry of all the baptized. In other words, each member of Christ’s Body doing what they are called and gifted to do. Sound radical? It is. But it’s not new! The concept has been around for 2,000-odd years. So St. Barnabas, along with several other churches in the Diocese of Michigan, set off down a new, exciting path. As of 2015, there are five parishes using this model and already engaged with leaders that are either commissioned or ordained as members of a team serving in their respective liturgical, sacramental, pastoral, educational or administrative roles.

The national canons require each diocese to make provision for the affirmation and development of the ministry of all baptized persons, including assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to minister in Christ's name, to identify their gifts with the help of the Church and to serve Christ's mission at all times and in all places. The Commission on Ministry has developed a sub-committee focused on Total Ministry discernment and development and is actively engaged in securing the resources, training and support for these and other congregations interested in exploring this model.

For more on Total Ministry, see All Christians Are Called to Ministry.