I view ministry as a vocation of meaning. Ministers are meaning-givers not merely for a parish, but in everything ministers do. All of which means that ministers must study every day of their lives. They can. They can because lay people can manage churches very well, design programs, write church newspapers, and all the rest. Lay people are also excellent at giving comfort, visiting the sick, helping in other meaningful ways. Ministers can assist in giving meaning to programs and deep meaning to desperate people in crisis moments. These days ministers are beset; too many demands assail them. But they may be dodging their primary concern - meaning.
David Buttrick, in "The Sermon Maker," page 109