All Christians have gifts for ministry. The gifts that shape the ministry that we exercise should be discerned in the 'safe' environment of the local church. Those who contribute in any way to the church's ministry should operate in a framework of support, feedback and accountability so that they can flourish and keep fresh in their ministry and know the church's affirmation of them.
The ministry of the church does not only happen in the church. Christians should expect to be affirmed and equipped to exercise a ministry in the workplace and through the whole of life.Although we describe here some of the opportunities for ministry in the church, this does not mean that ministry in the church should be privileged over the day to day witness and ministry of Christians dispersed in the educational, health, industrial, service, finance and other sectors of society.
The ministry of leading worship, preaching or administering Holy Communion is so central to the public ministry of the church that each of them is subject to canon and to episcopal authorization. Guidelines are issued to clergy setting out the requirements for the bishop's authorization. In the case of preaching and leading worship there is scope for the exercise and testing of these gifts, subject to preparation and feedback overseen by the incumbent.
For those with particular gifts in teaching, mentoring, human relations, work consultancy etc there are often opportunities more widely in the diocese. Some of those who fit naturally into public ministry whether in liturgy, pastoral care or evangelism, may be nudged by others or feel a conviction themselves to explore one of the lay offices in the church. Details of Reader ministry, Church Army or Lay Pioneer Evengalist can be found in separate web pages.