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Total Ministry, also sometimes called Local Shared Ministry, Ministering Communities in Mission, Mutual Ministry, or Circular Ministry, is a style of Christian ministry which empowers laity to take on roles traditionally given to parish priests, pastors, etc. The total ministry movement began in and has largely remained distinctively Anglican.
At the heart of the understanding of Total Ministry is the belief that through baptism all Christian people are gifted for mission and ministry within and for the Church.
The concept is widely credited with having originated with the apostle Paul, who is said to have commented that the church is a "body with many limbs and organs". This concept of the "priesthood of all believers" has led to the development of new patterns of ministry including Total Ministry. More recently the re-discovery of the writings of Father Roland Allen, an Anglican missionary in China, has acted as a catalyst for the development of the ecclesiology.
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