“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” -2 Timothy 2:2
The Order of the Shepherd’s Heart believes in the “priesthood of all believers” but ministry is not limited to an ordained ministry, to the priesthood, or the diaconate. It finds its expression and fulfillment in a variety of different ways from study to teaching, prayer to healing, community outreach to care giving, and those are just a few of the myriad of opportunities to minister in this broken world.
While we have clergy members and ministries throughout the United States, we are headquartered in and around the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. We provide ecclesiastical endorsement, education, and support to our ministers but all of our clergy within the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart must look to provide their own incomes by other means. We do not offer stipends, salaries, or other fiduciary benefits. All of us are “worker clergy” supporting ourselves with secular jobs, retirement plans, or whatever is necessary to and for our state of living.
The very basis of ministry of the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart is to live the Gospel with a humble and joyful heart in a ministry of presence. The purpose for our presence is to proclaim the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The most apparent manifestation of this ministry of presence is in making ourselves available and responsive.
Our ministry of presence is worked out in secular work, also, as a manifestation of our apostolic service and also in a more formal apostolic ministry as an ordained cleric. We do not detach our “spiritual lives” from our “secular lives”: all is one to us, and all an arena for bringing God’s love to a troubled and lonely world. We recognize and embrace the four orders of the Priesthood: laity, deacons, presbyters and bishops all working together to manifest the Commonwealth of God.
We thank God for giving all people the right to the priesthood, and empowering each person with the ability to become God’s child, to directly experience God’s reconciliation, love and justice without any human intermediary or impediment. All Christians are called into ministry of healing, reconciliation, justice, worship and witnessing to the Good News of Christ and we affirm the equality of every person in life, faith, sacrament and service, regardless of ability, sexuality or gender, relationship status, appearance, culture, vocation or theological opinion.
The Order of the Shepherd’s Heart seeks a peaceful and evangelical balance between prayer and activity, yet the primacy of prayer is always recognized and protected. The rhythm of the Spirit leads us from prayer into action, and from action back into prayer.
All of our actions, vows, and promises are part of our apostolic service, since everything we do is done not for ourselves alone, but in love and compassion for the whole world, and it all has implications for those with whom we share this planet.
Please contact us by emailing the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart to find a chapter near you, or if you feel called, please read our Vocations section about how you too may become involved with us and answer you own call to ministry within our community of believers.
If you wish to make application to join the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart you may do so by downloading our application and following the enclosed instructions. Thank you again for your interest in the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart!