You know there are a lot of misconceptions in the world of Christendom today. One is the idea that we “pay” people, those called “professional clergy” to do the work of the church. Problem is: This is absolutely, 100% false! If you are a saved, follower of Jesus Christ, you have a ministry. In a church it should be said, “Each member has a ministry.”
I talk about this a lot during our meeting together as a church family/body. Ephesians 4:11-12 tells me that pastors/teachers or elders are a “gift” from God. They have been given to the church as a gift.
I’ll show you:
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherd and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ… Ephesians 4:11-12
Why are shepherds or elders or pastors a given to a church? So, they can “equip” the saints for the work of the ministry. It’s my job as a pastor/elder to equip the saints. I can’t do all the work by myself. Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses…” Who was He talking to when He said that in Acts 1:8? Was it just the pastors or deacons? Of course not. He’s talking to anyone who names His name.
Paul tells us: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us…” 2 Corinthians 5:20a
Are you getting this job done? How are you doing? What’s your job performance as an “ambassador?” How would you grade yourself? Would you get an “A.” Or would you get a “C,” or possibly a “D?”
I’m not trying to levy guilt here. I’m not trying to be legalistic. I just wish people would stop thinking that they can throw a $20 dollar bill in the offering plate and “call it a day.” We’ve got to see life from a Biblical perspective: “Every member has a ministry.” Jesus told us to “Go and make disciples…” And “go” we must!
This is why I believe we must turn our homes into “disciple-making” factories. We must do so, first and foremost with our children, but we can’t stop there. The first century church moved along from house to house. If that was the case today, (house to house), the Gospel would die. Why? Because we have no one to our homes but ourselves and family. We don’t show hospitality any more. It’s a shame. Why do you have a home or rent a place? Is it just for you? We say the places we live are “for the Lord?” But, are they?
Pam and I have made it a practice for years to invite new people in our church or community into our homes. We “mark” this on the calendar once per month. If we didn’t “mark” it down…it would likely never happen. Why? Because, like you, we are all busy and have many things going on in our lives. This is why we must be intentional in reaching out and being “salt and light.” If we don’t, then we become a “holy huddle.”
We just attract people like ourselves. We become very inwardly focused and we are dangerously close to becoming “all about me.” A church can be like this as well. God forbid. We must get outside of our comfort zones and reach people for Christ. And guess what? This is going to get messy! Rolling up our sleeves and discipling (Remember Jesus said, “Go make ‘disciples,’ not just ‘converts’ of all nations.”)
Are you getting the job done of making disciples for Christ? Are you a good ambassador for Christ? Whom are you discipling right now? You might say, “Well, I’m not capable of discipling someone right now.” Well, why not? You might say, “I’m discipling my family.” Good. How long will that take? Forever. Yes, I’m with you! We will disciple our children from the womb to our tombs, won’t we? So, when do we reach out and include others into our lives? Again, I’m convinced there are way too many “holy huddles” in our homes and our churches. Jesus came to “seek and save that which is lost.” Most Christians have come to “seek and save me and mine.”
So, I love the fact that our church is trying to reach inside and out. I’ll show you what I mean. Recently, we had a Sunday School/Bible Study class who hosted a dinner after church for our Young at Heart (YAH) group. What a blast! Take a look.
Isn’t that great! Yes, we should care for our widows and widowers. We are to respect and care for our elders for the Bible makes this very clear. But, we must also get outside the walls and go!
Last Saturday night the men and boys of the church made cakes and we raised money to help put a roof on a church in Mexico. We raised over $5,100! Every dime will be used to “raise the roof” in Mexico!
No one was counting calories…I promise you that!!
We have a family in the church who always “take the cake,” (pardon the pun :)), when it comes to their unique and creative cake. Check this out! It’s a picture of our church with a hand reaching out to the world! Isn’t this awesome! That’s exactly a picture of what a church is to look like, according to Scripture.
Here’s a picture of two of the young men who made the cake. Simply amazing! Way to go Marc and Josh!!
And now for the cake Andrew and I attempted to make. Well, it wasn’t going so well. Therefore, we had some help. Recognize the hand?
Yep, that’s Pam’s hand and she and Kandace had to help me and Andrew with our LEGO CAKE.
And this is the finished product!
Pretty nice job of helping out the boys! Thanks Pam and Kandace! Andrew and I are very grateful! We returned the favor by folding clothes! 🙂
So, there you have it. Ministry. Each member ministry. Inside and outside the church. Inside: caring for those needs among us. Outside: in our homes and throughout the world. That’s being “Jesus’ hands and feet.” So, are you doing your job? Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive in! People are literally “dying” to hear about Jesus!