I am one of those people who was born on Saturday and in church on Sunday. My parents served in our church and so did my aunts and uncles. My siblings and all my cousins serve in their churches as well. Several years ago I was struggling with trying to be a lay minister while having a full time job. I went to my pastor and told him I was having a hard time being a part time minister. He chuckled a bit and said, “I’ll tell you the same thing your grandfather told me. There’s no such thing as a part time minister.” Ministry is 24/7 because people need help 24/7. Most of us aren’t ministering all day every day, but we must be ready in season and out of season.
You may be thinking, lThis devotion doesn’t apply to me since I’m not a minister.” If you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior, then you are a minister. Ephesians 4:11 gives us what is referred to as the five fold ministry. There are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. However, if we go to the next verse, it tells them what their calling is. It says, “And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ” (TPT). You, and every other believer, are called to do your own works of ministry where you live and work. Your pastors simply can’t do all the ministry necessary to reach the world. That’s everyone’s job.
The New Testament is littered with lay people doing works of ministry. Paul mentions several by name in each of his letters. They have different occupations, but also responsibilities in their local churches and cities to minister. Paul goes on to say in verse 16, “He (Jesus) 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” (NLT). We are part of the Body of Christ and we all have a role to play. There are no useless parts. If you’re not sure what part you’re supposed to be, seek God, talk to your pastor and take a spiritual gifting assessment. Your church and community need your ministry.
Have you heard these phrases? Teamwork makes the dream work? There’s no “I” in team. Team – Together Each Achieves More. If you ever played sports or worked in a corporate environment, you’ve probably heard these and more. They’re trite sayings to remind you that just about everything you do is for a team of people around you. Each one of us are individual contributors to the whole. Some teams have a lot of dysfunction. Some have superstars who do the bulk of the work. Others function very well together like a well oiled machine. Groups of people working towards the same goal with the same vision and core values can accomplish exponentially more than any individual ever could. Yet, somehow, we think the ministry of the Church should be done by a few while the rest of us sit back and watch.
Have you heard these phrases around church? That’s the pastor’s job. I’m not comfortable witnessing. I’m not a minister. I don’t work here. If you’ve ever asked people to do things around a church, you’ve probably heard these. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight that we are one body working together to achieve the Great Commission. We let pastors do the work of the ministry and the church by themselves “because it’s their job.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, pastors work for the church, and many even have staff who work there too, but they are not the only ones who are supposed to be doing the work of the Church. If you belong to the Body of Christ and are involved with a local church body, you are part of a team and have responsibilities in the work of the ministry.
Ephesians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It’s so rich and full of things that jump off the page to me. If you’ve been in church long, you’ve heard of the five fold ministries listed in verse 12. God gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and that’s where we usually stop reading. However, verse 13 tell us why He gave them to us. It says, “And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ” (TPT). Their calling is to equip you, yes you, to do the works of ministry. You are a minister if you are a Christian. Read that again. We are all part of the ministry team and we each have a role to play in the enlargement of the Church. Sitting on a pew doing nothing and just attending church are not an option because you are part of the teamwork that makes the church work.