The Ministry of the Body of Christ

Q. What is the mission of the Church?
A. The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.
Q. How does the Church pursue its mission?
A. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love. 
--Q&A from The Book of Common Prayer (in "An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism") 
The Church shares Christ’s ministry of bringing the created order into relationship with its Creator. The Church, in its corporate reality as the Body of Christ, animated by the Spirit, extends the Incarnation of Christ throughout history. As the continuation of the Incarnation, the Church incorporates both the divine and human natures of Christ.

“As the father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21) 
The whole Church shares in the mission of the apostles as it witnesses to the resurrection of Christ.
In the baptismal vows, each Christian promises to “proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ.”

The Church proclaims the Good News as it reads and interprets the Scriptures, as it administers the Sacraments, and as it models in its common life the reconciliation and restored relationships between creation and its Creator.

The Church both invites others to enter into the community of the Body of Christ and seeks to establish relationships of justice and dignity among all people through proclamation of the Gospel.

A shared priesthood
The whole Church shares in the priesthood of Christ. It carries out its mission of restoring the created order to its proper relationship with itself and the Creator as it gathers for its worship of God, as it prays for the world and as it proclaims the good news of God in Christ.

As it gathers for worship, members of the Church bring the fruits of their labor in the world as an offering to God.

The bread and wine of the Eucharist represent both God’s free grace in the fruits of nature – grain and grapes – and the labor and economy of the human community in the effort that transforms those gifts to bread and wine.

The Church offers to God its own common life and the whole economy of the household of God under the signs of bread and wine to be consecrated to God’s purposes.

In the Church’s worship, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, God transforms the Church’s offering into the Body of Christ for the world.

Gathered as that Body, the Church intercedes on behalf of the world, endeavoring to discern God’s purposes and intentions in the specific context of each gathered local community.

A shared servant -ministry
The whole Church also shares in the servant-ministry of Christ. As members of the Church return to the world, transformed and empowered by the Spirit, they endeavor to realize in the Church’s common life, and in the economies from which they presented their gifts, the relationships that characterize the Incarnate Body of Christ.

As the Body of Christ for the world, the Church serves to make relationships within the various communities in which they live and work more worthy of being offered to God.

The Church does this through the ministry of its members as they seek to heal broken relationships and economies in the world, as they uphold the dignity of all the creatures of God and seek to discern the divine energies working through the whole created world. Its members bring these relationships back to the assembly gathered to worship.

Through the ministry of all its members
The whole Church shares the apostolate, the priesthood and the servant ministry of Christ as it offers itself to embody Christ in the world, bringing the divine and created natures into relationship in the Body of Christ.

Through the ministry of all its members, lay and ordained, the whole Church participates in the divine life of the Trinity, and seeks to draw all creation into that life of love.

More Info

Contact: The Rev. Mike Angell, chair, Commission on Ministry