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I am a minister, a teacher, and a liturgist. Here’s why I choose those words.
Minister is the most abundant term throughout Scripture used to describe someone about God’s work. Other biblical terms like “elder” and “overseer” (“priest” and “bishop” in some traditions) and the generic term “pastor” all imply an ordained office, thus cannot be claimed but must be bestowed. Minister, rooted in Scripture and steeped in church tradition, implies not an office given but rather an action taken. It is a word that literally means servant or service. I chose this word to describe my commitment to Scripture, to the historic traditions of the Church, and to the faithful service of God and God’s people.
I recognize the risk of claiming the word teacher. Scripture itself warns that those who teach are held to great accountability (James 3:1). Yet, teaching is one way that I seek to serve the church. I desire to help people know and understand the scriptures. More than that, I desire to help people experience and know Christ to whom they point (John 5:39-40).
Many are accustomed to the term “worship” rather than “liturgy.” Yet “worship” is an amorphous term. On the one hand, “worship” is all of life lived before God. On the other hand, we often use it to describe the part of a church gathering when we sing. “Liturgy,” however, is not so broad as to describe all of life, neither is it so narrow as to only describe singing. Liturgy describes all of what the church does when it gathers. A liturgist is someone who helps to shape those moments. I desire to contribute to the meaningful gathering of God’s people and to help foster experiences that shape our whole lives toward worshipping God.