Distributive Ministry by Kwasi Kena

This is the second in a series of video posts from the authors of Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry. This book is an edited volume for church leaders and those that teach and support them. Contributors include bivocational pastors and other reflective practitioners as well as theological educators and researchers. The book is scheduled for publication in April 2022.

Kwasi Kena, an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, is Associate Professor of Ethnic and Multicultural Ministries at Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University.

In Chapter 8, “Exploring Distributive Ministry,” Kena argues that bivocational congregations are well positioned to offer the gospel to people in an ever-changing environment. Congregations in the midst of change have an opportunity to re-imagine their ministry configurations as bivocational, allowing non-ordained followers of Christ to participate fully in leadership. For these churches, the shift to bivocational ministry includes a shared-ministry framework the author calls “distributive ministry.” Distributive ministry employs a team approach to leadership in which all persons in the congregation function as ministers, sharing pastoral responsibilities. This understanding of distributive ministry is derived from four schools of thought: the priesthood of all believers depicted in Scripture and Martin Luther’s writings; missional ecclesiology, as articulated by Lesslie Newbigin and others; distributive leadership theory; and the distributed pastorate model described by Geoffrey MacDonald.

For resources on bivocational and multivocational ministry, see the book’s webpage.