Encouragement From The Word

Don’t leave it to the professionals

What’s your ministry?

A lot of church people would say, “Ministry?  That’s the minister’s job.”  We pay professionals to teach our children piano lessons, or to bark at us at the gym, so we often assume that ministry is to be left to the “professionals”.  But is that really a biblical model?

The noted Quaker theologian, D. Elton Trueblood, once said, “If you are a Christian, then you are a minister.  A non-ministering Christian is a contradiction in terms.”

Each person who has received the grace to follow Jesus possesses at least one special ability to serve God and build up the church – to minister.  And the word ‘minister’ simply means ‘serve’.  Do you know your spiritual gifts?

Lots of people keep busy in the church, and sometimes, they burn out – not because the work they are doing is not in some way valuable, but because these people may be serving outside of their gifting.  Do you feel burned out?  It could be that you are serving in an area that is not working for the way God wired you up.

If you’re serving in the church and are experiencing the joy of the Lord, as well as seeing spiritual fruit borne, congratulations; you’re serving according to your gifting.  If not, it may be time for a change.  Take a spiritual gift inventory, learn how God has equipped you to serve, and adjust your ministry.

If you’re not doing ministry, though, why not?  It’s not enough to come to church and “be fed”, if you’re not making practical what you’re being fed!  (To get a blunt take on this theme, listen to this clip of one of Amy Grant’s lesser-known songs.)

Do you love Jesus?  Then understand that he has given you abilities to serve him in the church, to minister.  Discern those abilities, those gifts, and put them to work.  Every local church has all the spiritual gifts among its people that are necessary to undertake the work God has planned for that church; we just need to unwrap those gifts!

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly.  As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4.16, NLT).

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