Wednesday, October 17, 2012


God has a team assigned to bring us to maturity (Ephesians 4:11-16).  The apostles and prophets through their ministries and writings help bring us to spiritual maturity.  Evangelists teach us the value of winning others to Jesus.  Pastors and teachers keep believers strong in faith.  The purpose of this team is to bring the believers to maturity.  God's purpose is to build up the Body of Christ (Vs. 12).  It's also important the aforementioned ministry gifts are not positions, but rather giftings God gives to different ones.

Who is to do the work of the ministry?  The saints are to do the work of the ministry.  “Saints” are those who have been born again.  All believers are to do the work of the ministry.  Most churches reverse God's plan.  In most churches men or women who hold the position of pastor do the work of the ministry.  In most churches the saints come to listen and critique sermons.  Most congregations seek to perfect these pastors to minister.  Too many Christians are but praying spectators.  

What is the result of this backward plan that is presently in place in most churches?  The church doesn't function as God intended.  The church moves at a snail's pace.  Believers miss the blessing of ministry.  When the body is not busy, it creates busybodies.  The church will be most effective when it returns to God's plan...all believers ministering.

What is the work of the ministry?  The ministry is anything that builds up the Body of Christ.  To edify is to build up.  What are you doing to edify (build up) other believers?  The ministry is caring for the afflicted, comforting the sick and sorrowing (1 Thess. 5:11-14) and visiting the fatherless and widows. James puts it this way, James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  

The ministry is caring for the physical needs of believers.  Paul distributed to the necessity of the saints (Romans 12:13).  He actively ministered to the poor saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:25-26)Ministry is caring for the spiritual needs of believersMinistry is ministering to those overtaken by a fault (Gal. 6:1).  Ministry is also evangelizing (Acts 8:1-8)
Ministering is encouraging one another.  Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us Let us fold fast the profession of our faith without waivering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  To neglect gathering together is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians.  We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord.  Difficulties should never be excuses for not gathering together.  Rather, as difficulties arise, we should make an even greater effort to be faithful in gathering.

What happens when we all do the work of the ministry - when the body functions in the manner God intends for us to function?  The church is unified.  Believers become Christ-like.  Christians become solid in faith and doctrine.  Love flows through all ministry.  The church grows and is known for fellowship and love

Let's return to God's plan for His church.  Let leaders perfect (mature) saints to serve.  The Holy Spirit has given each Christian special gifts for building up the church.  Are you spiritually mature, exercising the gifts God has given you?  If you know what your gifts are, look for opportunities to serve.  Use your gifts to encourage and strengthen the church.

God has given His church an enormous responsibility – to make disciples in every nation (Matthew 28:18-20).  This involves preaching, teaching, nurturing, giving, administering, building and many other tasks.  If we had to fulfill this command as individuals, we might as well give up now.  But God calls us as members of His body.  Some of us can do one task; some can do another.

Together we can obey God more fully then any of us could alone.  As the Body of Christ, we can do more functioning together than we would dream possible working by ourselves.  A ministering church will reach it's community for Jesus.  Let's be a growing, maturing ministering church.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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