Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Ministering in the Church


The scripture references I will be using this evening are among those which describe and encourage each member of the Church to become a partner in ministry with the Holy Spirit when we come to Church. It is clear that God expects us to discover and pursue the spiritual gifts we have been given. Furthermore He instructs us to use those gifts to strengthen, encourage, and comfort the other members of the Body of Christ when we come together.

God has given individual responsibilities to each one of us for the overall health of the family into which He has set us. The New Testament plainly describes each one of us as a part of a body, designed, created, and placed in order as God sees fit. Each member of the Body of Christ is important to the function and work God intends. No one member is unneeded and not one should go unappreciated or unused. Everyone has a part.

Every member of a local Church is there for a reason. Together we are to recognize the benefit of each one and allow God to use them all to strengthen the Church. A strong and unified, well-ordered congregation will keep itself spiritually healthy and go out into the world in force with the message of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.

God has designed the Church as a whole, and each congregation individually, to need its member’s participation and support in order to function properly. He has set those in the Church as it pleases Him. There is a divine order, a divine call, a divine work, and a divine grace given to us by God.

The Holy Spirit has kept the Church growing bigger and going farther for 2000 years in accordance with the  “Great Commission” pattern and the principles of world evangelism through Church planting. Let’s begin to look at the ministry that needs to take place in the Church, which is first to the members of the Church, before we survey the ministry taking place outside of the Church. (BTW – Both the ministry to the Church members and through the Church members should be ongoing simultaneously.)

Ephesians 4

11  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

The primary purpose of the five-fold ministry is to equip the members of the Church during Church meetings so that the members can leave the Church and go out into their world and work the ministry. However, we are all able ministers of the Gospel of Christ and intended by God to be a part of the functioning Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:26 ¶  How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

1 Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

Romans 12

6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

7  or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;

8  he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Timothy 4:14  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

1 Corinthians 14:31  For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 

2 Timothy 1

6 ¶  Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

8  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

·        We have differing gifts given us by God’s divine choice.

·        God intends us to recognize, develop, and use our gifts in divine concert with others to accomplish His purpose.

·        Everyone is encouraged to participate in an orderly manner.

·        It is important to keep the gift of God active in your life and always motivated by love.

Can you identify the gift God has made you to the Body of Christ? Where do you fit?

Is God using you to be a blessing or encouragement to others when you come to Church?

Is Church equipping, encouraging, or facilitating the opportunity for you to fulfill the Great Commission during the week?

How much of this is a personal choice on your part? Are you participating?