All who are baptised are called to ministry in Christ’s Church. This means everyone has a part to play by using their God-given gifts to serve others, both within and beyond the church community.
Every Christian is called by God to be a part of the ministry of the Church as it serves God’s mission in the world. Hundreds of Anglicans use their gifts in a wide variety of roles, within the Church and in the world, in their workplaces, homes and communities.
Some people however are called to particular ministries where they act as representatives of the Church and as such are publicly recognised as ‘lay ministers’. Local churches would normally apply for a ‘lay licence’ from the Bishop in order to endorse this person and provide for accountability.
Examples of recognised ministry include leading a home group, pastoral care, assisting with children and youth ministry, offering prayer and listening, acting as a chaplaincy assistant or exploring growing church locally.
If you would like to explore lay ministry training options or being licensed as a lay minister please contact:
Some members of the baptised community are called and empowered to fulfil a particular ministry. There are three orders: deacons, priests and bishops. Each order is equally important, but they differ in the tasks they do on behalf of the whole Church. See pp 887–924 of A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.
Deacons – have a community-facing ministry or service. They encourage Christians to fulfil Christ’s mission and care for others.
Priests – build up the congregation as pastors and proclaimers of God’s word.
Bishops – are called to lead by example, maintain wise discipline, keep the Church true to its faith, ordain pastors and preside over the worshipping life of the Church.
Ordination is not a job but a vocation, a pathway discerned by the individual together with their community of faith and the wider church. It is as much about who we are as what we do, so training includes formation for the ordained life as well as theological education and instruction in the tasks of ministry.
If you sense a call to become a deacon or priest, the first thing to do is talk to your vicar or priest in charge, then with the Diocesan Ministry Educator. There are two paths to ordination; which one you take will depend on what prior theological education and ministry experience you have, and on the type of ministry you are most likely to exercise once ordained.
This is a three-year part-time training and formation programme for ordination, completed by those who maintain their normal working life.
This is the residential theological college for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia for those who are training for ordination. Students live in and study full-time, generally for three to four years.
Ordained clergy continue to be supported for three years in their first ministry placement. They meet five times a year with their peers and the Diocesan Ministry Educator to reflect together on living out the ordained life.