Blog by Lee Barnes, Warden of Readers
One of the most incredible and wonderful truths about the people of God who gather in local churches or other expressions of Christian community is that every person is important. There are no ladders to climb, ropes to swing, or bridges to cross to then be considered a follower of God. We simply come as we are and, in that community, we can begin to explore who we are and our calling or vocation, our unique way of serving God. This sense of calling is wonderful because it can happen in myriad ways and places. One such calling may be to become a Reader!
A Reader, sometimes referred to as a Licensed Lay Minister, is a person trained (normally over 2-3 years) within their Diocese and licensed by the Church of England.
Readers are involved in a range of roles, including:
- leading worship and teaching/preaching
- schools work
- ministry in the workplace and in community spaces
- pioneering new ways of engaging the church with its community
- pastoral care and more.
Perhaps you are wondering whether this is something that God might be calling you to do.
If you are a person who has a passion for sharing and teaching the Christian faith with others, gets excited when making the good news of Jesus more a part of people’s everyday lives, and is energised by the opportunity to lead and serve their local church and its connection with its community, these could be signs that Reader ministry is for you.
If you resonate with some of this, not necessarily all of it, then it could be that God is nudging you (encouragingly) to explore further. Readers, alongside other roles, can significantly help in building the life, hope, and love of the people of God where they serve.
If you sense a ‘God-nudge’ then there are a few options for next steps. You could have a conversation with your vicar or church leader, you can contact Pauline Godfrey, () who helps people in this diocese to explore their calling, or you can contact me, Lee Barnes () to talk further about becoming a Reader.
Perhaps this ministry doesn’t sound like a perfect fit for you, but you can see someone that you know in the description? Pray about that sense and have a conversation with the person – it might be the start of something exciting.