Summary: Christians are called to make mature disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit and the word
CHRISTIANS EFFECTIVELY MINISTER
A CHRISTIAN IS…
OBJECTIVE: Christians are called by God to minister to others and He equips them to minister effectively.
Let’s begin today’s message by correcting a misunderstanding of ministry:
MINISTRY BELONGS TO PASTORS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:11-13, KJV)
Notice how the King James Version implies that ministry belongs to those described as being in ministry, such as the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This is a poor translation.
The Correct perspective of Ministry
Sees every Christian as having Ministry. Every Christian is a minister.
"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” (Eph. 4:11-13, NLT); also 1 Cor. 12:4-7/ 1 Peter 4:10-11/ Eph 2:10
CALLED TO EFFECTIVE MINISTRY Colossians 1:24–2:5
“Filling up … what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ.” This is a controversial passage as some interpret it to mean that we need to fill up the sufferings of Christ, to complete it.
The simple truth is that Christians are called to suffer for Christ. Phil 1:29.
“Presenting the Word in its Fullness”
TO BE EFFECTIVE IN MINISTRY WE MUST
1. Have the Right ATTITUDE: SERVANTHOOD
Ministry requires the attitude of servanthood. We serve for the sake of others. We serve because we care and love others. Jesus showed us how to minister. He said, “He came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life for many.”
Selfishness and ministry are not compatible.
2. Communicate the right MESSAGE.
Paul says his message is the fullness of God’s Word. The apostle is referring to the mystery, truth once hidden but now revealed in the coming of Jesus. That is the full word Paul is talking about – Jesus.
3. Use the right METHODS.
A combination of all three makes an effective minister:
4. Minister with the right GOAL.
Why do we minister? What do we want to see happen to those we minister to? The answer : PRESENT EVERYONE PERFECT IN CHRIST. The goal is mature disciples. These are disciples who have grown to their potential, and are being transformed to Christlikeness. A mature disciple is someone who has learned to respond in life – to any experience, event, in a way that is right and honoring to God.
Colossians 2:1-5 defines this maturity this way:
Encouraged in heart – passionate in following Jesus
United in love – mature followers of Christ see themselves as a part of one body. They work to build up the body of Christ.
Fully Understand and Know the mystery of Christ
Firm in their faith in Christ, unmoved by fine-sounding arguments.
5. Depend on the right POWER.
First look at the human element: Paul works seriously. Ministry is hard work. Second, look at who empowers Paul to accomplish his ministry.