Life in the Society: Bringing the Gospel beyond church walls into the community.
Living the vocation of ministry in daily life as a consecrated vessel of Grace.
Do you feel a Call to servitude in Christ that is beyond the social norm? Do you feel Called
to champion the Gospel? Pastor the wounded? Help others grow spiritually? Want to develop
strong friendships with others who feel the same? Do you feel Called to work a normal profession
while answering God's Call on your heart?
We Do! And it has lead to developing the Society of the Eucharist Fellowship as a Religious Order.
Why the Society? Why form the Society? Why should I be a Lay Minister or Community Minister?
Why chose the Society over ordination into a major denomination?
The Society of the Eucharist Fellowship is an innovative solution to
evangelize in our modern secular world. We are forming a religious order,
providing a new path to ordination and ministry, accommodating the realities of ordained life,
and forming men and women into successful ministers with significant support.
Today, the realities of ordained life start with demand and supply. Our current American population shows a declining participation in faith based activities. Participation in most congregations is dropping in numbers. Therefore, a quick research of the topic will show that as ministers are still needed, most denominations are shifting to a bi-vocational minister program to provide ministers to congregations that cannot afford a reasonable pastor's salary. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of all active ministers are not paid and have a secular job. They have to work a secular job for an income to provide for their family. The strain this causes on the family is forcing many to leave ministry all together. As many read about this reality in articles, it causes many "Called" people to turn away from the traditional "Called Process" which you may already be aware.
"The Community Minister answers God's Call in a new way by making ordinary life Holy. Just by simply Living what we have preached and asked our congregations to do. If it is good enough for us to preach to others, then is it not then good enough for us as a life well lived for Christ". Rev. Andrews
Many people have felt called to ordained life from a young age but do not take it seriously until into adulthood. Normally by then, the individual has become married with children, making it very difficult to answer the Call and attend the seminary & formation process of their denomination. In short, this normally requires uprooting their family and spouse from their jobs, family, and friends; then moving across the state or nation to the most respected seminary that the denomination desires. This discussion with the spouse is normally met with great objection as they are now being asked to leave a good job, and go live on church assistance and student loans for 3 to 4 years. The final end to the conversation comes when they realize there is no guarantee of employment after ordination. That one has to apply for positions just like any other job. Most people do not have the wealth accumulated to make this career change.
So they do not do it but the Call never stops. The Call from God and Christ to champion the Gospel, and Shepherd His people never stops. It is rationalized away but is always an agony in the heart.
The Call is rationalized away because it is impossible to discern God's Will with the obligations of the family demanding so much and making it impossible to sacrifice for Christ at high consequences for the family. And so our family and friends help us rationalize it away by saying it was not meant to be or God would have made it easier. From our experience, it never gets easier, ministry in all its forms is always difficult half of the time. "Perhaps our problem, as people discerning ordained life, is that we see ordained life within church walls as the most Holy way of Living the Lord's instruction on our hearts. This, in my experience has been wrong, as a Community Minister overextending myself on a daily basis to live within the Gospel that I preach has provided a new profound experience of Holiness that I had never knew before as I truly live out what Christ commanded of me". Rev. Andrews
So our circumstances, the realities of ordained life, the low demand for faith in society make the main requirements for evangelizing; a pioneering spirit, and real servitude to Christ. The Society of the Eucharist Fellowship as a religious order accommodates this reality by supporting future ministers with the Formation and pastoral friendship needed to persist. Together, as bi-vocational ministers, we can plant fellowships, future churches, and ministries knowing we are still in God's will for our lives. Together, we can be as strong as the denomination that we love and do it as the professions we love: construction workers, attorneys, retail workers, engineers, auto mechanics, politicians, and anything you already do here, etc. In fact, all of the professions we embrace help us impact the community in a special way. The obligations to our family, employment, friends, and associations become the ministry base for our ordained role and it is God's will to start from that point by impacting the lives of those that God has formed around you.
Here at the Society of the Eucharist Fellowship one keeps their own Christian identity that they have always known and has the freedom to become the minister God calls them to be. We encourage you to keep your denominational faith identity that you have always known and choose an online seminary that best fits your credentialing. Our Fellowship Seminary is only an alternative when your first choice does not make sense anymore. We really want you to do what is best for you and provides you credibility with those around you that will help build a future ministry.
The low demand for faith in our secular society makes failure in ministry a common experience. Reading articles about the numbers of church plants failing in a the first few years should tell you how difficult it is. A bi-vocational minister in the Society of the Eucharist Fellowship requires a pioneering spirit and the fortitude to get past potential frequent failure in ministry. Starting from scratch is hard, people tell you what you want to hear, persistence and discipline are good habits in discipleship.
The Society of the Eucharist Fellowship's primary purpose is the Formation of the Community Minister. Our own broken human condition makes us inadequate to the needs of ministry. Beaten up enough and discouraged when alone can make anyone quit. Pastoral friendship from others on the same journey helps us to stay strong in Christ. The wisdom of scriptures tells us many stories of those that came before us and their inspiring stories of adversity. The Holy Spirit strengthens us as it did them but together we can better run this Marathon of Salvation. Together, we champion the Gospel, bring peace to the broken, heal the wounded, and love the lonely. The Society of the Eucharist Fellowship is your place of support by people who understand the difficulty of the Call. Our friends and family that say they support us never really understand the mindset we must acquire to carry out this Great Commission of Jesus Christ. You will really begin to see this later on when you express difficulty in a ministry task and they (friends & family) advise you that it was not meant to be and try to rationalize it away. The Society of the Eucharist Fellowship of ministers will first share wisdom on how to approach a certain ministry goal, and if it fails, how to approach it in a different way with a second chance. We will join you in the project.
Life in the Society of the Eucharist Fellowship will be the development of an extended family where friends are met with on a regular basis. We will meet weekly as a Society and work on our spiritual and pastoral formation. It is time to embrace the Call.
Vow taken for life in the Society of the Eucharist Fellowship
Obedience to ordained life in Christ and living the Gospel.
Vows & Spiritual Life
The Vow represent the Spiritual Life embraced in the Order. It begins with nothing less than a perpetual servitude to God's Will for our lives and the obligations we have embraced in ordained life. It is a certain mentality that governs all that we do when we Truly embrace Jesus Christ as our Messiah and utilize all that He Taught us to surrender in the Christian Journey. The Vow also teach us to embrace a Christian Body of ministers as our guidance in ordained life.
The Vow in religious life create a new family of ministers on the same journey.