An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Mutual Ministry

A term given to the concept of shared ministry and leadership in a congregation. Mutual ministry is an approach to Christian ministry that is lived out of the promises made in baptism. It sees the ministry of the whole congregation as the primary ministry. All members of the congregation are doers of ministry. Deacons and priests serve as resource and support persons to the congregation, and perform the other duties appropriate to their orders. The work of Roland Allen (1868-1947), an English missionary and parish priest, is the background of mutual ministry. Allen emphasized the training and empowerment of local leadership in the church, the importance of the laity, and the use of voluntary clergy. Leaders in mutual ministry in the Episcopal Church were Wesley Frensdorff, William Gordon, Charles Long, and H. Boone Porter. The dioceses of Nevada and Northern Michigan were forerunners in mutual ministry. The dioceses of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota used it in certain areas. See Allen, Roland.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.