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Celebrate Ministry Sunday!
photo by Jeff Raught
What is Ministry Sunday?
Ministry Sunday is an initiative by the Mennonite Church to encourage congregations to focus on calling church members to use their gifts in some form of ministry.
Why should we celebrate Ministry Sunday?
Leadership development is a key aspect of ministry. Mennonite churches have been hearing about the importance of calling new people into pastoral ministry, and congregations are being encouraged to create a culture of call – a place in which nurturing and encouragement can happen, where people can be formed and affirmed in their ministry gifts.
How can I encourage the exploration of gifts for ministry?
One way is to focus on ministry and vocational call during times of corporate worship.
- Encourage your congregation to create a worship service or series based on faith and vocation, discerning call and gifts, or something else that is relevant to your congregation.
- Create a climate and atmosphere that affirms those who are called to ministry
- Highlight the joys and challenges of the pastoral office
- Celebrate and honor pastoral ministry
- Encourage members to consider their call to ministry, including the specific call to pastoral ministry
If you have resources, questions or feedback that you'd like to share please contact Laura Amstutz, Culture of Call Director at (540)432-4268 or laura.amstutz@
Ministry Sunday is officially being celebrated on October 15, 2006. If your congregation is not able to celebrate that day, choose another time and focus your attention on vocation, call and pastoral ministry.
Are there resources available?
Yes! The following resources have been compiled in part by contributions from participating congregations in Lancaster Mennonite Conference, Franconia Mennonite Conference, Virginia Mennonite Conference and the Mennonite Conference of Ohio. You may use these resources as you wish, or they may spark ideas for your own sermons, worship outlines or other resources.
Can I contribute resources?
Yes! We welcome your original sermons, dramas, litanies, orders of service, and anything else that might help encourage others to consider ministry. We pay a small stipend of $25 a page for usable original material.
Sermons, Notes and Outlines | Worship Outlines, Orders of Service and More | Journal Articles
- Many Members, One Body, an order of worship based on Romans 12:1-8 by Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach. This worship outline includes an opening litany and a responding litany, as well as suggstions for hymns and the sermon. (download pdf)
- Embracing God's Call, litany or dramatic reading in webformat by Heidi Miller Yoder. This dramatic litany uses nine voices to depict God's call in the lives of Moses, Jeremiah, Esther, Mary and Ananias. (download pdf)
- A Love that Hopes and Heals, full sermon in webformat, by Luann Yutzy. This sermons describes Luann's own sense of call using the narrative in Mark 5:21-45. Focuses on healing and hope. (download pdf)
- Answering God's Call, sermon outline in webformat, by Ervin Stutzman. This sermon outline provides suggestions for a sermon on answering God's call. (download pdf)
- What is Your Calling?, sermon in webformat, by Loren Swartzentruber, president of EMU. This sermon, based on 1 Timothy 4: 11-16, was first preached in EMU's chapel on Oct, 12, 2005. It is geared toward helping young adults think about calling. (download pdf)
Sermons, Notes and Outlines
- Godly Vocation, Vocal God, full sermon (in PDF format) by Phil Kniss. Based on Matthew 3:13-17. Details finding our vocation and hearing God’s voice starts with the understanding that we are God’s children and God is pleased with us.
- The Gideon in You, full sermon with bulletin, 15-minute message, and PowerPoint presentation (in PDF format) by Harry Jarrett. Based on Judges 6:11-34. Reconciles our negative assumptions about ourselves with God’s belief in our gifts.
- The Many Faces of Following Jesus, full sermon (in PDF format) and stories from church members by Phil Kniss. Based on John 1:35-42; Matthew 4:17-23. Focuses on the many ways to follow Jesus.
- To be God's Minister, a full sermon and response activity (in PDF format) by Phil Kniss.
Based on the scriptural texts John 14:8-12; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10. Highlights the call for all Christians to be ministers, and the pastor’s role of keeping the gospel alive and relevant for the church.
- When God Says Now, a sermon outline by Loren Horst. Based on the scripture text Exodus 3:1-10. Looks at Moses’ call and how God used his experiences to fulfill a purpose. God calls people who are open, ready, when the need is great.
Worship Outlines, Orders of Service, and Other Resources
- Faith, Vocation and the Voice of God, order of service from Park View Mennonite Church. Psalm 55, Isaiah 42:5-9, Matthew 3:13-17. Discerning vocation means understanding that we are God’s children and God is pleased with us.
Now Concerning Call, orders of worship for worship leader and bulletin by Aaron Boggs. Based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:18. Explores the community's role in discernment.
- The Gideon in You, a bulletin insert by Harry Jarrett. Judges 6:11-34. Reconciles our negative assumptions about ourselves with God’s belief in our gifts.
- To Be God’s Ministers, order of service from Park View Mennonite Church. Psalm 67:1-5, 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10, John 14:8-12 . God is actively calling ministers. Allows the congregation to respond to the message by considering who might be called to ministry.
- Whose Call is it? order of service from Park View Mennonite Church. Sermon based on II Timothy 3:14-4:5; Worship service explores the ways in which God calls us and uses us for ministry
- 2004 Ministry Sunday Resource Packet,
a group of litanies, prayers, sermon suggestions, and scripture references
by Del Glick while with the
EMS office of church partnerships.
- Hard Questions, by Stephen Lewis.
Identifies four key components to identifying and nurturing healthy calling congregations. First appeared in Calling journal, Winter 2005.
- Lambs, Leopards and Little Children: Developing Young Leaders to Serve the Church, by
Dr. Terry L. Brensinger.
Enabling young people to serve and lead the church benefits both the young person and the congregation. First appeared in Calling journal, Fall 2004.
- Rediscovering the Calling and Sending Church, by John Neufeld. A look at the factors related to congregations as communities to sense and discern God's call to ministry. First appeared in Direction Journal, 2003.
- Show Them How to Live, an article by Ryan Ahlgrim. Describes the joys and challenges of pastoral ministry, and can be used to inspire and encourage peopel to consider pastoral ministry as a vocation.
- Ten Things We Have Learned About Encouraging Young People Toward Ministry, by Melissa Wiginton. Identifies ten components necessary in effectively encouraging and supporting young people considering or pursuing ministry. First appeared in Calling journal, Winter 2005
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