The Catechism of the New Apostolic Church

7 Ministry

Generally a "ministry" is understood to be a function or official position which is assigned to a specific area of responsibility. In the broader sense, "ministry" is an authority that has been bestowed in order to represent, lead, and provide order to a community. The exercise of a ministry [1] incorporates both administrative and authoritative tasks.

[1] The New Apostolic Church understands "ministry" as a spiritual, ordained ministry. It therefore understands a minister as one who is authorised, blessed, and sanctified through ordination by an Apostle (cf. Fifth Article of Faith: "I believe that those designated by God for a ministry are ordained only by Apostles, and that authority, blessing, and sanctification for their ministration come forth out of the Apostle ministry.") The New Apostolic Church does indeed encourage all of its members to utilise their gifts and talents, and to be involved in various activities, as "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all" (1 Corinthians 12: 1-11), and "as each one has received a gift", we are to "minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4: 10), "... for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4: 12). The problem arises in that the English translation of the Bible (and the English language in general) uses "ministering" and "serving" (or "ministry" and "service") interchangeably. While other parts of the Christian church may refer to such services, duties, functions, or exercises of gifts and talents as "ministry", from the perspective of the New Apostolic Church these must be distinguished from the spiritual, ordained ministry (see paragraph 3 of 7.1; cf. also Divine Service Guide, Special Edition 03/12). Someone who serves the youth, for example, is indeed ministering to the youth, but does not have a "ministry" in the sense of the Fifth Article of Faith. The ministering unto various groups in our Church is a service.