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Serving the People of God's Presence

A Theology of Ministry

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Terry Cross articulates the doctrine of the church's ministry from a Pentecostal perspective, demonstrating how Pentecostals can contribute to and learn from the church catholic.

Cross's previous book, The People of God's Presence, offers an introduction to ecclesiology from a Pentecostal perspective. This companion volume offers a top-down restructuring of our understanding of leadership and service. Cross explores principles for leadership and ministry from the New Testament and the early church, helping all believers to do the work of ministry. He proposes a radical revision of the structural framework of the local church within the often-overlooked corporate priesthood of all believers.

This book will be suitable for courses on the church, ministry, and church polity. It will also be of interest to Pentecostal, charismatic, and Spirit-filled pastors, as well as scholars of all traditions who are interested in Pentecostal contributions to the doctrine of ministry.

Introduction: Serving the People of God's Presence
1. A Biblical Background to Ministry
2. A Historical Background to Ministry
3. Toward a Theology of Ministry among God's People
4. The Praxis of Leading the People of God in (Their) Ministry
5. The Role of Women in Leading God's People
6. The People of God's Presence Participate in Practices Ordained by Christ
Conclusion: The Jazz of Leading the Church


"Building on his bold and compelling pneumatological ecclesiology, Terry L. Cross proposes a viable pneumatic theology of ministry for the twenty-first century. Serving the People of God's Presence challenges the pervasive clericalism of church institutions with a renewed vision of the universal priesthood of believers and the 'radical egalitarianism' of the Spirit. Weaving together rich pastoral insights with rigorous scholarship, this volume offers an excellent resource for both students and ministers."

Daniela C. Augustine, reader in world Christianity, University of Birmingham

"Terry Cross has given a great gift to the church in this informative, integrated, and inspiring vision of Christian ministry. This is a must-read for scholars interested in ecclesiology, sacramentology, charismatic and Pentecostal studies, or the theology of Karl Barth. I also wholeheartedly recommend this as a textbook for ministerial students, through whom this vision may come to concrete expression."

John Drury, professor of systematic theology and spiritual formation, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University

"In this work, Terry Cross presents an impassioned plea for the church in its entirety to reclaim its vocation as the people of God, a vocation that belongs not to a small circle of clergy but to all the members of Christ's body. In this view, leaders within the church are understood not so much as set-apart professionals but as persons who serve to enable the service and ministry of every Christian within the community of the Spirit, whose gifts are given to all. Cross presents a powerful and provocative proposal that embraces and seeks to further Luther's proclamation that 'Christ is a priest with all his Christians.' Well-researched and incisive, this work will no doubt contribute to and further current conversations regarding questions of ministry, ordination, and the church's witness in the world."

Kimlyn J. Bender, professor of Christian theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

"What is fresh about Terry Cross's theology of ministry--the spiritual character of the church and its ministerial practices, including its rites, sacraments, and liturgies--is also potentially controversial. In this book Cross argues that ministry is accomplished through God's direct and transformative activity in the lives and deeds of any and all who encounter the risen Christ and are filled with his Spirit. Herein the historic doctrine of the priesthood of believers takes a pneumatic leap into a twenty-first-century global church with a flattening out of its ministries."

Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission, Fuller Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Terry L. Cross

    Terry L. Cross

    Terry L. Cross (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Religion and distinguished professor of theology at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he has taught for over twenty years. He previously served as a pastor for...

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