Priests, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in the Archdiocese should consider how to foster the use of charisms and to make all their evangelistic and pastoral endeavors “charism-based.” When discerning to whom the leadership of a ministry should be entrusted, or who should be called upon to volunteer, we must seek as much as possible to match people’s responsibilities to their charisms. Let us also give people room to grow and flourish in the use of their gifts, as St. John Chrysostom counsels: “The most basic task of a church leader is to discern the spiritual gifts of all those under his authority, and to encourage those gifts to be used to the full benefit of all. Only a person who can discern the gifts of others and can humbly rejoice at the flourishing of those gifts is fit to lead the Church.” (Unleash the Gospel. Marker 4.3)
- One of the primary charisms to be called forth in this ministry is the charism of Intercessory Prayer. This trust in God’s providence in answering prayer is often the engine of the Prayer and Intercession Team.
- Other charisms that can serve the group well may include charisms of teaching, music, prophecy, encouragement and discernment of spirits.
- People who have a good heart and desire to serve the church are always welcome! Everyone who is committed to praying with the group, learning and growing in charity and keeping confidentiality, will provide spiritual support to the Leadership Team of the parish.
GROWTH OF THE GROUP
To follow Jesus is to be in a constant process of growth, like the seed that fell on rich soil. We seek to be more like Jesus, to treat others as he did, to pray as he prayed, to love as he loved, and to honor God in every area of our lives, including marriage, family life, finances, work, and leisure activities. Growing as his disciple demands a daily surrender to the one who loved us and gave his life for us: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). (Unleash the Gospel Marker 9.2)
- The leader of the Prayer and Intercession team takes on this responsibility with humility and obedience, guiding the group and helping them to grow individually and as a group. There is no one perfect way to pray for the Leadership Team, but as we rely on the Holy Spirit, and trust that God is leading the group to deeper knowledge of him and his will, fruits of the prayer sessions will manifest.
- There will be times of difficulty and distrust in the group, but a sense of charity and deeper surrender to the Holy Spirit allows the group to mature. At times, words of correction may need to be spoken to certain members and these words should be shared in love.
- It is optimal to have a core group of people, even 2-3 who will consistently pray for the Leadership Team each week.