Total Ministry is a term used to describe an overall approach to being "church." Since we believe that all the baptized are gifted by the Holy Spirit with spiritual gifts for the work of ministry, each church needs to strive to equip, encourage, and support its members in using those gifts in every area of their lives, both within and outside the "organized church." This radical, all-inclusive nature of the concept is the hardest aspect of understanding Total Ministry.
Total Ministry is in nature. Instead of seeing the church's pastor as the congregation's sole "minister," all the members of a congregation are "partners in God's mission." Where in the past one person attempted to do the church's ministry on behalf of the entire community of believers, now a team of gifted people, ordained and lay, leads the community in developing, equipping, and sending ministry teams to carry out God's work.
Total Ministry approaches can be developed by a single congregation regardless of its size. They can also be formed by a cluster of neighboring churches or even an entire conference working together to support and encourage each other.
Total Ministry relationships may include the sharing of programs, personnel, or other resources between congregations.
The overall goal of developing Total Ministry to extend the love of God to people outside the Church by involving a greater number of people in expanding ministry among members and in the greater community outside the congregation. Also, by linking stronger churches with weaker ones, we can help declining churches to renew their sense of mission and grow while encouraging stronger churches to take on more exciting ventures in ministry.