For a long time, the general notion about ministry is that it is only the General Overseer, Apostles, Pastors, Evangelists and Ministers that have ministries in the church, every other person is just a member. Being in ministry simply means you become a Minister, Church Founder and become a full time minister. This is an Old Testament view of God’s work – the priesthood of the selected few with Aaron, Moses and their children as only priests unto the Lord.
In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus changed that priesthood to that of all believers (2 Peter 2:19). In the New Testament every believer has a gift (Matt. 25:15), a calling and ministry to perform (Romans 12:6-8). The priesthood of the ministry of the saints.
A. Five-fold Ministry – Eph. 4:11-13
The Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist are the professional clergy. Their function is to help, edify and equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.
▪ The ministry of the five-fold is to demonstrate ministry to the saints.
▪ To train the saints to function as ministers in the kingdom.
▪ To recognize the gifting, graces and callings of the saints.
▪ To equip, empower and enable the saints to carry out ministry.
▪ To give chance and platform for ministry of the saints to function.
The five-fold leadership gift in the kingdom is not to do ministry, but primarily to allow the ministry of the saints to thrive in the church. A healthy church doesn’t need more ‘Members’, but more ‘Ministers’. A minister is ‘huperetas’ – Greek word for servant – people who work unseen but who make ships or things to move forward.
B. Every Christian a Minister – Matt. 11:28-29; Matt. 29:19-20; Acts 1:8
There are basically two callings that a Christian must receive;
i. ‘Come unto me’ – call to salvation and encounter with Christ.
ii. ‘Take my yoke’ – call to service.
Every Christian has a gift to use, an area of ministry to operate in. (Romans 12:6-8; Matt. 25:15; Luke 19:12-13
Every Christian must realize
✓ Who they are – Priests to God.
✓ Why they are here – To carry out their priestly functions.
✓ What they were – To act as guides and lighthouses.
As a member of the Body, each member has areas of function as eye, hand, mouth, head, leg, nails, heart and fingers. The priesthood of every believer negates the clergy / laity distinction. Every believer is a priest and king unto the Lord (Rev. 1:4-6; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:5)
C. Ministry of the Saints – Col. 4:17; II Tim. 4:5-8
A ministry is the work of God done inside and outside the church to expand the kingdom of God. A priest represents God to people and brings people back to God, training them in His ways.
✓ Outreach and evangelism ministry.
✓ Ministry of visitation and encouragement.
✓ Ministry of drama, stage plays and film shows.
✓ Ministry of giving and support.
✓ Ministry of singing and worship.
✓ Ministry of praying and intercession.
✓ Ministry of counseling and encouragement.
✓ Ministry of teaching, training and equipping.
✓ Ministry to prostitutes and women.
✓ Ministry to youths and young people.
✓ Ministry to businessmen and women.
✓ Ministry to men and fathers.
✓ Ministry to Pastors and ministers
Each of these ministries can start inside church but not limited to the church. It must extend to outside and can become great or small according to commitment to prayer and vision.
The ones that God will use must also submit for proper, thorough and adequate training for ministry. Only 5% of Pastors are trained well for ministry.
Flourishing ministry demands for solid, sound and continuous training in;
❖ Bible Hermeneutics
❖ Leadership skills
❖ Ministry skills
❖ Relational skills
❖ Ministration skills
❖ Problem handling skills
❖ Life and minister balance
❖ Current language of people
❖ Family skills
❖ Change and innovation.
To build a truly flourishing ministry, there must be formal, informal and non-formal trainings for those who are called into kingdom ministry.
These ministries MUST NOT and SHOULD NOT BECOME CHURCH, but purely a ministry for kingdom expansion.
These ministries are to help the church to grow, be healthy and fulfill her divine mandate.
D. The Believer That God Will Use
God always uses human beings, despite our imperfections to accomplish His purpose on earth (Acts 13:22). God doesn’t want us to be saved, sanctified and satisfied. Rather, He wants us to be useful in His vineyard. He doesn’t want us to be blessed alone; rather, He wants us to be a blessing to others and our world (Acts 13:36). God can use anybody in spite of your past.
However, God will not use any kind of vessel. He will only use vessels that are clean, pure, holy and pliable (2 Tim. 2:20-21). Now, how can you be a vessel that is useful unto the Lord? What are the qualities you need to possess that will make you useful to the Lord?
1. Burning heart for the Lord – John 9:4.
2. A surrendered life.
3. Discover your gifts and graces.
4. Discover His purpose for your life.
5. Be prayerful, serious, obedient and teachable.
6. Flee from sin, evil company and wickedness – 2 Tim. 2:19.
7. Seek to do His will and glorify Him.
8. Obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
9. Witness and preach the gospel with your mouth and life.
10. Start where you are and be effective for Him.