"As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
Those of us called to Christian ministry are commissioned and sent by Jesus, just as he himself was called and sent by the Father. Thus we naturally pattern our ministries after Christ's example. But distinctively Christian service involves the Spirit as well, just as Jesus himself accomplished his ministry in the power of the Spirit. Thus the whole Trinity---Father, Son and Holy Spirit---gives shape to truly authentic Christian ministry.
Though as Christians we all affirm the doctrine of the Trinity, many of us might struggle to explain how understanding the Trinity could actually shape our ministry. Stephen Seamands demonstrates how a fully orbed theology of the Trinity transforms our perception and practice of vocational ministry. Theological concepts like relationality and perichoresis have direct relevance to pastoral life and work, especially in unfolding a trinitarian approach to relationships, service and mission. A thoroughly trinitarian outlook provides the fuel for our ministry "of Jesus Christ, to the Father, through the Holy Spirit, on behalf of the church and the world."
Essential reading for pastors, parachurch workers, counselors, missionaries, youth ministers and all who are called to any vocation of Christian ministry.
Stephen Seamands (Ph.D., Drew University) is professor of Christian doctrine at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He also frequently speaks and leads retreats and seminars on such issues as emotional healing and spiritual renewal. His books include Christology and Transition in the Theology of Edwin Lewis (University Press of America, 1987), Holiness of Heart and Life (Abingdon, 1990), A Conversation with Jesus (Victor, 1994) and Wounds That Heal (IVP, 2003).