Becoming a Healthier Church: Ministry-June 5, 2013
Ministry is not just the work of a “Minister” or one who makes it their vocation to do the work of Christ but rather ministry is the work of Christ done through His body the church which includes every member. Imagine if we could if each member sought to do ministry either in groups with others or looked to use their gifts in a ministry that didn’t presently exist in the life of the church.
The real center of the early church was the Lord’s Supper not a temple practice or synagogue service. Elton Trueblood once said the name for the church is “The Company of the Committed.” So then ministry has as its context primarily the body of Christ and the local community and is much more practical in function and service. In other words it can be a number of different things but general is accomplished through the local church as a more practical help to its own and the community it is a part of.
One of the words in Greek used for service is Diakonia “service” (especially of a place at a table), it was understood that whenever somebody was serving Christ it was exactly what a slave would do for his lord, i.e., a simple, worldly service, not a domination of others. It is also where we get our word deacon or one who is in the service of the Lord.
Every Christian is created for ministry (see Eph. 2:10), saved for ministry (see 2 Tim. 1:9), called into ministry (see 1 Peter 2:9-10), gifted for ministry (1 Peter 4:10), authorized for ministry (see Matt. 28:18-20), commanded to minister (see Matt. 20:26-28), to be prepared for ministry (see Eph. 4:12-12), needed for ministry (see 1 Cor. 12:27), accountable for ministry, and we be rewarded according to his or her ministry (see Col. 3:23-24).~Purpose Driven Church pg. 368
Spiritual Gifts-the Bible clearly teaches that God gives each believer certain spiritual gifts to be used in ministry (see 1 Cor. 12, Rom. 8, Eph. 4). However, I think it is important to note that often times we think that we may only have one gift and perhaps we should begin at the point of serving in a ministry to discover our giftedness rather than just taking a spiritual gift inventory. Although these can be helpful they may not be the best way to discover our giftedness.
“Different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5
It is in this type of service locally and within the body that helps better prepare us for the larger work of mission. Mission often involves moving beyond your normal level of comfort to reach those with the gospel that may not be reached otherwise.