We just launched The Ministry of Acolytes 5: An Acolyte’s Way of Life For Individuals and For Groups.
The acolyte ministry can be very rewarding when we bring our whole and committed selves to its mission; when we see it as an opportunity to help shape the spiritual growth of young people in Christ. When we approach the ministry as formational — as a serious influence on the lives of youth in the church rather than simply as a way for them be involved with liturgy — the nature of the leadership changes. The adult in charge of the ministry does facilitate and organize, but they plan further ahead and with both nuts-and-bolts details and spiritual/formational goals in mind. Such leaders come up with a vision for the ministry’s future, motivate and inspire people to engage that vision, and build and coach a team to achieve it. Then they set new goals, so that the ministry is always growing.
In this course, Sharon Ely-Pearson and Roger Speer, co-authors of the book I Serve at God’s Altar: The Ministry of Acolytes, offer suggestions for building the acolyte ministry as a formational ministry. Sharon talks about orienting the ministry around The Way of Love — a 7-step set of practices out of the Episcopal Church centered on sharing Jesus’ “living, liberating, and life-giving way in the world.” She also discusses nuts-and-bolts suggestions about inviting acolytes to serve and scheduling and about ways to build relationships between the leader and acolytes. Roger talks about how acolyte leaders build and work toward goals for the ministry. He also discusses setting clear expectations for acolytes and giving them ways to participate in shaping the ministry.
When approached with this kind of vision and leadership, the acolyte ministry becomes more than a way for kids to participate in worship — it becomes a way of life.
This course is ideal for people who are interested in leading acolytes or other children’s ministries. For a preview of the course, please click here.