Ordination and Worship Leadership in the Early Church

Ordination is rooted in the need for order within the Christian community. It tends both to reflect and to shape the church’s life and witness amid changing historical circumstances. An important development in the post–New Testament period was the emergence of a three-office structure for ordained ministry (bishop, presbyter, deacon) and the subsequent transformation of that structure into a more authoritarian one as the church came to assume a public role in a wider cultural context.

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