Know, Be, and Do – Ministry and Priesthood

9 07 2014
Becky Savage

Becky Savage, First Presidency

by Becky Savage

Ministry and priesthood describe an expanding approach to discipleship. Doctrine and Covenants 119:8b affirms: “All are called according to the gifts of God unto them…”

We respond by intentionally linking ministry in a continuum of disciples and priesthood members who serve together to fulfill Christ’s mission. What does this mean for you? For members it emphasizes your covenant and role as a disciple.

As living expressions of Christ’s life, ministry, and continuing presence in the world, disciples covenant with God to bring peace and reconciliation to the world, break down the walls that divide people, and share Christ’s peace with everyone they meet.

…As ministry takes place, sacred communities of unconditional love, tolerance, reconciliation, and Unity in Diversity are born. These Christ-centered communities invite and welcome those who are searching for a spiritual home and yearning to know of God’s redeeming love….
—Ministry and Priesthood flyer, September 2013

For priesthood, recent inspired counsel calls for faithful, holistic ministry. Priesthood ministry, as a sacred covenant, includes the highest form of stewardship of body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Priesthood members express their ministry with humility and integrity and extend themselves in servant ministry for others and for the well-being of the faith community (163:6a).

Being comes before doing. President Steve Veazey says effective servant ministry comes from the overflow of daily spiritual disciplines that allow one to immerse oneself in God’s love and generosity. Priesthood members are most effective when they focus on bringing blessing to others (163:6b). To increase one’s capacity for ministry, it is essential for priesthood members to spend time in personal renewal and spiritual rest. Priesthood members magnify their callings through continual “spiritual growth, study, exemplary generosity, ethical choices, and fully accountable ministry” (163:6c).

To help disciples and priesthood members learn about or reconnect to covenant commitments, new Temple School courses are under development. They are designed to help students learn what they need to know, be, and do for effective servant ministry. The courses will focus on basic principles one needs to understand, or know, at the beginning of a new ministry responsibility. Learning and knowing are best achieved by being receptive to the intervening presence of God’s Holy Spirit.

Each lesson will open and close with spiritual practices that attune participants to the Holy Spirit’s movements leading into, through, and following each session. Ministry effectiveness is achieved best when one practices how to bring blessing to others. The courses will include the opportunity to do by practicing ministry skills with other participants. Together students also will learn to evaluate how ministry effectiveness can improve by continuing to know, be, and do as ministry and priesthood teams.

For the first time there will be a disciple course. The course will be designed to prepare members to serve in mission. There also will be new preparation courses for priesthood members. These will include a new Introduction to Priesthood Ministry course, a revised Introduction to Scripture course, and new or revised office-specific courses for deacon, teacher, priest, elder, seventy, high priest, and evangelist.

The Ministry and Priesthood Team and course writers will conduct pilot classes over the next several months. If you have the opportunity to take part, we’ll look forward to your feedback. We expect to release final course materials at the 2016 World Conference.

A monthly Herald series will begin in September, focusing on ministry and priesthood. The articles will preview the new course content and will serve as excellent study materials for groups or Sunday school classes.

We affirm All Are Called. We respond by learning what to know, be, and do to best serve together to fulfill Christ’s mission.




2 responses

9 07 2014
Charmaine Chvala-Smith

This is exciting to see and be involved in. The Intro to Scripture class will be all-new, with steps to help disciples get more out of scripture to enhance our use of it in preaching and other aspects of congregational life. The new visual format should make this class more accessible, too.

9 07 2014

Love the idea of a “disciple course”! Finally! Can’t wait to attend and/or teach it!

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