Minister (Christianity)

A Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over services of worship.
A Methodist minister wearing a cassock, vested with a surplice and stole, with preaching bands attached to his clerical collar

In Christianity, a minister is a person authorised by a church or other religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister ("servant", "attendant").[1] In some church traditions the term is usually used for people who have ordained, but in other traditions it can also be used for non-ordained people who have a pastoral or liturgical ministry.

In Catholic, Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental), Anglican and Lutheran churches, the concept of a priesthood is emphasized. In other denominations such as Baptist, Methodist and Calvinist churches (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the term "minister" usually refers to a member of the ordained clergy who leads a congregation or participates in a role in a parachurch ministry; such a person may serve as an elder (presbyter), pastor, preacher, bishop, or chaplain.

With respect to ecclesiastical address, many ministers are styled as "The Reverend"; however, some use "Pastor" or "Father" as a title.

  1. ^ The word goes back via Old French ministre to Latin minister 'servant, attendant'. Cf. ministerialis, administration etc.

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