A PLAIN GUIDE TO SPOKEN MINISTRY
1. Try not to minister in the first or last ten minutes of a one-hour meeting for worship. For shorter meetings you can reduce these times e.g. five minutes for a thirty minute meeting. This allows the meeting to settle into, and conclude in, silence.
2. Be brief.
3. Leave silence after previous ministry so that it can be taken in and settle.
4. ‘Beware of speaking predictably or too often’; (Quaker Advices and Queries 13)
5. Try to speak clearly so all can hear. If you can, you should stand up to minister.
6. Before ministering ask yourself from a deep place if your ministry is in a true spirit of worship and whether the message is for the whole meeting rather than just for yourself.
7. Only minister once.
8. By all means build on previous ministry, but don’t debate it.
9. If you want to give a notice or make a protest, meeting for worship is not the place for it. Notices can be given after the meeting.
10. Ministry should arise from the meeting itself, and not consist of pre-prepared speeches or pre-selected readings.
11. Arriving in time for the start of the meeting, and not leaving before the end, will help maintain the worshipful atmosphere in which ministry is given and received.
After considering our guidance, if you do feel moved to minister then please do so – it will enrich our worship. And please don’t worry if you feel shy or frightened. You are, quite literally, among Friends!