“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me’.”—Matthew 16:24 (CEV)

Leadership in the Uniting Church

The Uniting Church affirms that God calls women and men to exercise the gifts of leadership through ministry and service to the church and the community.

Leadership roles in the Uniting Church and its agencies encompass both ordained and lay ministries.

The church provides a wide range of training, discernment and development opportunities for people exploring a sense of vocation and a call to leadership.

We believe that every member is called to participate in the mission of the church, supporting and encouraging each other as we seek to live as authentic faith communities.

The Period of Discernment (POD) is a year-long adventure in faith during which a person deliberately and prayerfully explores their vocation to ministry and leadership.

Leadership Development Framework

Within the Queensland Synod, leadership development aims to advance the church’s mission through identifying, inviting, training, equipping and sustaining leaders. A Leadership Development Framework and associated resources have been designed to guide and support the development of leadership capabilities needed to rise to the current and future challenges for the church.

Download the  Leadership development framework

To accompany the leadership development framework, this series of 6 short workshops explores the concept of leadership and the five key domains from the framework. Designed to be used in settings such as church council, presbytery, leadership groups or staff meetings, the session guide and handouts include all the information you’ll need to lead your group through a leadership development experience. For more information or assistance, contact Scott Guyatt at the Synod Strategic Mission Unit.

Leadership development session guides

Leadership development participant handouts

Download the complete set of session guides and handouts here.

Other resources

Types of Leadership

Ordination is the “setting apart” of baptised women and men whom the church has discerned to be called by God to serve as Deacons and Ministers of the Word.

As a designated leader, authorised by the Uniting Church, ordination places the minister in a new relationship to others in the community.

The Uniting Church maintains that this new relationship is with the whole church catholic, not just within the Uniting Church. In the service of ordination the presbytery ordains a person as a Deacon/Minister of the Word “in the Church of Jesus Christ”.

With this new relationship come responsibilities: “These will preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, and exercise pastoral care so that all may be equipped for their particular ministries, thus maintaining the apostolic witness to Christ in the Church.” (Basis of Union, para.14(a)).

Ministers of the Word have a particular responsibility for safeguarding the unity of the body of Christ, for example in a specific congregation. Ministers exercise their responsibility to Christ and the church by supervising and empowering the general ministry of the church at the congregational and community level.

Deacons exercise their ministry in the world. A Deacon has no congregation; they begin with scattered people and shape them into a community.

There is a process to be followed towards ordination.

For ministers of other denominations seeking to serve within the Uniting Church in Queensland, please read the instructions and use Application to Synod's Pastor Application Committee form 9-003 and Minister and pastor referee form 9-061.

The ministry of lay preacher allows any Uniting Church member to participate in proclaiming the Gospel through the public witness of preaching and teaching. A lay preacher is a church member who is authorised to conduct worship services in their own congregation and at the invitation of any other congregation.

For this ministry, people must be endorsed by their church council and presbytery as having the gifts and character to preach. They undertake a course of study combining academic and practical content, and are assessed in their competency to conduct worship services. They are accredited by the presbytery and commissioned by the congregation in which they will serve.

To learn more about becoming a lay preacher, speak with your ministerial representative or Trinity College Queensland.

Chaplains have a unique role in the general community as representatives of the care and compassion of the Christian community.

There are over 100 Uniting Church chaplains in Queensland. They serve in hospitals, universities, prisons, colleges, aged-care facilities, secondary and primary schools, factories and work places, and with the police, armed forces, emergency services and sporting teams.

To be a chaplain means to be a “presence with others”; to listen carefully and to respond with love and acceptance.

For many of those whom they encounter, often during periods of crisis and tragedy, the chaplain will be the sole representative of the Christian faith.

Some chaplains will be pastors, others are ministers or deacons. They include paid professionals and volunteers.

The 11th Assembly (2006) simplified the lay specified ministries of the Uniting Church. The new specified ministry of pastor replaces the ministries of community minister, lay pastor and youth worker.

A pastor may undertake general pastoral and worship responsibilities in a congregation, such as youth worker, evangelist or family and children’s worker.

For the purposes of the regulations, a person is a pastor when they exercise a significant ministry that is recognised by the church (the presbytery or the wider church) as being a suitable location for this ministry. For more information visit the Uniting Church Assembly website.

For applications direct to the Queensland Synod, please read the instructions and use Application to Synod's Pastor Application Committee form 9-003 and Minister and pastor referee form 9-061.