Community Ministry - How to be a Minister
AJ Hostak, Director of Community Ministry

The first lesson I ever taught was on the concept of ministry. I had students define ministry in their own words, we shared examples of ministry and eventually offered the Catholic perspective. We concluded from that first lesson that ministry is simply meeting the needs of others. For some, this may be meeting spiritual needs such as prayer or faith guidance. For others, it may be physical needs like shelter and hunger. Meeting the needs of others is core to all ministers.  

Forest Ridge is special in recognizing our ministry department as “Community Ministry” rather than the more common “Campus Ministry”. Our entire campus strives to meet the needs of others, thus ministering to the community. A community can be as simple as one’s family, friend group or classroom. A community can also be one's school community, parent community or local community. Within each of our communities, we can seek ways to be ministers. 

In the Catholic perspective, Jesus constantly focused on ministering to people, feeding 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish in the Gospel of Matthew to healing a man with leprosy in the Gospel of Luke. Other ministers include St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, our foundress, who ministered to children by offering excellent education. Her legacy continues today at all Sacred Heart schools, including Forest Ridge. 

At Forest Ridge, we minister to one another by listening, noticing and meeting the needs of one another. This could be providing food to someone who is hungry or clothing to someone who is cold. It could be providing extra teaching to a student or listening to someone who wants to share. Anyone can be a minister and be ministered to.

In the spirit of Jesus, St. Madeline Sophie and Forest Ridge, I encourage you to seek ways to minister to others in your community. 

This could be picking up some trash at school or stowing away devices to have a great conversation with your family. You could volunteer or donate to a local houseless shelter. An extra challenge would be allowing yourself to be ministered to as well. Ministry is not something reserved just for our campus, it is meant for an entire community.