The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana, Reverend Metlhayotlhe Beleme, has stressed the importance of teamwork, during the church’s ordination of 14 Deacons at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Saturday.
He urged ordained leaders to work with their congregations as a team, explaining that while an ordained leader has his/her special roles, everyone in the church has an important part to play. “The ordained leader is only one member in a team ministry, a fellowship of people who work together to carry out God’s plan,” he said.
He explained that ordination was a right by which a church sets apart, as ordained ministers, people who it believes to be specially gifted for a ministry of the Word and Sacraments, and for pastoral care of a congregation. He stressed that it is, however, important to be mindful that unordained leaders and lay-people also are involved in the service, which the church offers to God. “This important point is sometimes forgotten, and the ordained leader becomes the centre of all activities and takes the role of a ‘director’ who controls the church, and is regarded as the ‘boss’ because he is paid to do this work for the congregation,” the Bishop said. Touching on some of the roles of an ordained leaders Bishop Beleme, said ordained leaders have sacramental functions.
“He/she administers the saving right of the of the sacraments. In baptism he signs and seals the adoption of new Christians into God’s family of the church. In the Lord’s supper
He also said the ordained deacons must maintain the purity, thus administering discipline to unworthy members, and judge disputes among Christians. “The ordained leader has disciplinary and administrative functions,” the Bishop said. He reminded members who attended the ceremony that the leaders who were ordained on Saturday are going to take on a teaching and evangelistic function.
“He/she is the instructor of the people. He must oppose false teaching, and build up the faithful in their knowledge and understanding of the gospel, so that they in turn can proclaim the good news to others.”He added that while ordained leaders also have pastoral function, they must not confine themselves to the work of sacraments and preaching.
“He must move among his people, and preside at all the great movements of human life, that is, he must be present and involved so as to bring the resources of the Christian faith to people at every stage and every crisis of their lives,” he said.The 14 ordained Deacons are Bonny Bashe, Octavius Bolelang, Solomon Diphoko, Ford Gaogane, Kealeboga Lekoba, Bakang Lesetedi, Western Medupe Jacob Modisenyane, Samuel Moraloki, George Moshapa, Martin Mosima, Scott Owings and Bashi Tsheole. The Deacons will serve different Parishes across the country.