I just worked my way to the end of Steven Croft’s ‘Ministry in Three Dimensions’. Basically he suggests that ordained ministry should function in three dimensions, the diaconal, the presbyteral and the episcopal. And as I read, I wondered if there might be some of the answer to the question of how ordained ministry fits into the collaborative ministry setting.

I’ve always seen the diaconal in terms partly of what some have called ‘non-directive leadership’. This doesn’t mean finding a mob and placing oneself at the head. More that one places at the service of the group/church one’s theological knowledge, experience, vision, energy. The aim is to help the group to find the ‘best’ way forward or to discern God’s will.

And when you think about it, it seems obvious that all clergy will have an episcopal dimension to their ministry – a watching over, caring for, protecting the church and the ministry of others – particularly the ministry of the laity.

Or have I got it wrong?