All bishops are asked to affirm the “job description” statement from the Book of Common Prayer:
“A bishop in God’s holy Church is called to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ’s resurrection and interpreting the Gospel, and to testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings.
You are called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church; to celebrate and to provide for the administration of the sacraments of the New Covenant; to ordain priests and deacons and to join in ordaining bishops; and to be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ.
With your fellow bishops you will share in the leadership of the Church throughout the world. Your heritage is the faith of patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and those of every generation who have looked to God in hope. Your joy will be to follow him who came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (p. 517)
What will our next bishop do with his or her time? As our chief diocesan shepherd, he or she will spend time:
- Visiting parishes
- Administering Sacraments (Baptisms, Holy Communion, Confirmations, Ordinations of priests, deacons, and other bishops, even Marriages and Funeral Rites)
- Providing pastoral care, especially of clergy
- Providing Church leadership—unity, faith, discipline—both locally and worldwide
- Participating in the House of Bishops
- Receiving “Baby Bishop” training through the House of Bishops
- Offering administrative oversight of Diocesan staff
- Delivering deployment and spiritual guidance of deacons & seminarians
- Following Christ, who also came “not to be served, but to serve”
This list captures many, but surely not all, of the responsibilities and privileges of being a bishop.
As you can see, bishops work very hard for their dioceses, their people, and, of course, for and with our ultimate Great Shepherd. We must remember that a bishop needs to have personal time as well!
Please pray for our next bishop and all for bishops everywhere.