Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:11-12
“And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11,12)
Christ gives gifts to people which are to be used in ministry. In our passage today, we see how He calls certain people to serve in the offices of the church — apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherd-teachers. While we no longer have the offices of prophet and apostle, we see the functions of these offices operating in the church today.
The word apostle means “sent one.” Today we see people called to be missionaries. They are sent out by the church to do the work of ministry around the world. Prophets were spokesmen for God. Today many preachers fulfill that role. The prophets in the Bible were given direct revelation from God. This is no longer the case. Preachers study the Bible and proclaim the truths of Scripture.
Perhaps the best known evangelist of this century was Billy Graham. God has raised up people who are uniquely gifted to share the gospel with unchurched people. Then, we have shepherd-teachers who faithfully serve as pastors and teachers in churches.
What is important to realize is that the primary task of these special offices is to equip God’s people for ministry — “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” My main responsibility as a pastor is not to do all the work of ministry. I am called to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Too many church members have unrealistic expectations of their pastors. They fail to understand that a pastor’s primary calling is to train the members of the church for works of ministry. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. However, unfortunately we still see a clericalism within the church, which looks at their pastors as the only legitimate ministers. Every believer is a minister. Pastors are to equip the members to be ministers.
As we equip our members for works of ministry, the body of Christ will be built up — “for building up the body of Christ.” The church will grow exponentially. Every member of eh church is a minister. We are all called to serve our Lord Jesus. We are to be His ambassadors here on earth.
What has God called you to do in His church? What gifts, abilities, talents, and interest do you have? The key is availability. Let’s be available as God leads us into works of ministry.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your calling in my life to be a minister in Your church. Let me be sensitive to Your leading as I look for opportunities to do works of ministry.
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