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The General (Church) Commission on Ministry’s (G-CoM’s) Theological Foundations, Policies, and Criteria for the Ordering of Ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (Theological Foundations for Ministry is the broad framework in which Local and Regional Churches are to discern a person’s call to ministry in The Church.
- We affirm that each of us have a calling to ministry, often a living out of our baptismal vows, and reflected upon regularly, even weekly as we celebrate Communion together (see pages 4 and following in Theological Foundations). When that calling is heard to be in service to The Church, there are a variety of shapes and forms that ministry may take — including teaching, leading worship, serving in the community (e.g., Deacon), presiding at The Table (e.g., Elder). In addition to those forms of lay leadership, there are the Orders of Ministry that take the shape and form of Commissioned Ministry, and Ordained Ministry.
- The Regional Churches are responsible for the Commissioning and Ordaining of people to Ministry in partnership with Local Churches who sponsor candidates. In Nebraska, the Regional Commission on Ministry is known as the Pastoral Leadership Commission, or PLC. The PLC utilizes the Theological Foundations document as its broad framework. In hopes of providing more clarity and transparency about the way that the Christian Church in Nebraska hopes to support people in their discernment process, the PLC has been drafting a Nebraska Guidebook to Ministry more clearly outlining the process for Commissioned and/or Ordained Ministry.
- Embedded in the Theological Foundations for Ministry document are the 16 Areas of Ministerial Practice that have been identified — for assisting in discerning a person’s call to ministry, a minister’s ability to articulate their gifts and talents when they are searching for a Local Church to serve (i.e., Ministerial Profile), as well as to aid Local Churches in articulating what gifts and talents that they hope a new minister might bring to that Local Church (i.e., Congregational Profile — please see our Web Pages on Search and Call).