Summary: Being a Body Builder is more than pumping iron. It’s getting into spiritual shape so that the Body of Christ may be built up.
Have you ever seen a professional Body Builder?
Muscles rippling and bulging, every part in sync, his whole body a perfect specimen of health.
Today, I want to talk to you about becoming a Body Builder.
Not the Body Builders we see on TV, but the Body Builders in the Church who work hard to make this Church Body a perfect specimen of health.
We’ve been looking at the five purposes of the local church (Fellowship, Discipleship)
Today, we’re looking at the third purpose – Ministry, service, meeting needs.
The first week, we asked the question, “How can we grow warmer in fellowship?
Last week, we asked, “How can we grow deeper in discipleship?”
Today, we ask “How can we grow broader in ministry?”
To answer that, I invite you to turn to Eph. 4:11-16.
This is a great passage on ministry, but it also is great passage on fellowship and spiritual maturity.
vv. 1-6 encourage us to make every effort to promote the unity we have in Christ.
vv. 7-10 speak of promoting this unity via the grace gifts Christ has given us.
In vv. 11-16, we see the purpose of the grace gifts in building the Body.
How can we grow broader through ministry? By becoming Body Builders.
You can be a body builder is just 4 easy steps!
I. BY UNDERSTANDING WHAT A BODY BUILDER IS.
By understanding five key aspects of ministry, found in this passage.
1. The foundation of ministry.
11It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
He is emphatic. God gave these gifts of leadership to the Church.
Leaders in the Church help to lay the foundation for ministry.
In 1 Cor. 3:10, Paul says “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder…”
The foundation for ministry is leadership.
God gave these spiritual gifts of leadership to specific individuals for a purpose…
2. The purpose of leadership.
12to prepare God’s people (for the perfecting of the saints) for works of service,
The purpose of leadership is to prepare God’s people for ministry.
Prepare – has a rich meaning and background.
In Mt. 4:21, it’s used to describe James and John as they repaired and prepared their nets for fishing.
They had to prepare the nets in order to catch more fish.
In Lk. 6:40, Jesus uses this word to describe a student who is trained and prepared to imitate the model of his teacher.
In 2 Cor. 13:9,11, Paul uses it to refer to bringing people to wholeness and spiritual maturity.
In classical Greek, it referred to the setting of a bone, putting it back into proper alignment with the body.
The purpose of leadership is to prepare and align the Body and bring it to maturity.
for works of service (diakonia). It’s where we get the word “deacon” from.
A deacon is a servant, a “minister”.
The purpose of leadership is to equip the saints to minister.
That means that every saint, every believer, is a minister!
The Leaders are the administers – the people are the ministers!
Illus. A church once posted on their sign – Minister: every member.
The purpose of leadership is preparation.
3. The goal of ministry.
12so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity (oneness) in the faith
The central theme of Ephesians is unity.
In Eph. 1, we are reconciled into one unified organism.
In Eph. 2, the dividing wall of Jew and Gentile is broken down.
In Eph. 3, we are united because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Eph. 4, our collective ministry within the Body produces unity.
13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the (full) knowledge (recognition, discernment) of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure (the full stature) of the fullness of Christ.
Mature - complete, perfect
In this context, it means Christlikeness.
My job as pastor will never be done until all saints become mature, like Christ.
Your job as ministers will never be done until all saints become mature, like Christ.
We need to have the attitude of a child or teenager – can’t wait to grow up!
We can’t wait to become like Christ!
The goal of ministry is unity; unity in faith and knowledge of God, which leads to maturity and fullness of Christ.
(foundation, purpose, goal)
4. The result of ministry.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.