This volume is a collection of essays by leading United Methodist scholars about the implications of the revised orders of ministry in The United Methodist Church.
Eagerness to effectively communicate the gospel has driven an approach to ministry that is fundamentally pragmatic and functional. In approaching the question of the role of ordained ministry within the overall calling of the people of God, Methodists have traditionally asked "What works?" and then gone on to reflect theologically on the approach they are considering. In 1996, UM General Conference enacted sweeping changes regarding the offices of deacon and elder. The decisions of General Conference have raised a number of questions that we are just now beginning to explore.
This book addresses major recent changes within the denomination and explores these changes from a historical, theological, and practical point of view. It helps readers understand the dynamics of and the reasons for the new order of ministry and helps them understand the implications of the changes for the denomination and for individuals.