Most ministers today will have heard of "the means of grace". But a view that is practically dead today is that ministry is a means of grace (a God-appointed channel through which His gracious influence works). In fact, such a view was widespread in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Typical tasks of the minister, which include preaching, public prayer, pastoral conversation, and religious education, were all viewed as means of grace. OBSERVATION: It could be important to the way one does ministry. Either the responsibility is on me to influence my congregation (as many leadership models have it), or God has chosen to use certain of my activities as means of His grace.