Summary: A CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE pastor preaches that the Pastor is not supposed to do all of the work of the ministry of the Church! NO! The Pastor equips the laity to do the work of the ministry.
"A Wide Door for
Let the Pastor ’Move Over’"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Ephesians 4:11-16, KJV
Purpose: Is the Pastor supposed to do all of the work of the ministry of the Church? NO! The Pastor equips the laity to do the work of the ministry. That’s the Pastor’s ministry. I must train the Christians for service.
This message is the 2nd of a sermon series titled, "A Wide Door for Effective Service." The key verse for this series is:
"I will tarry...until Pentecost; for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries." (1 Corinthians 16:9)
The emphasis for the series is this: each Christian member of this church is, in fact, a minister. The time has come for you to find a suitable and enjoyable service in your church; for you to contribute in ways more than you have practiced until now.
==> I believe strongly--very strongly--that there are many ways YOU can be in effective service in Christ’s church; and at the same time, YOU CAN BE MORE FULFILLED by doing the thing that you enjoy, but doing it for God and His people.
Our Scripture for today is a classic passage, Ephesians 4:11-16. In this "central" passage, I hear Paul telling pastors what our responsibility is to you, the congregation. Look at verses 11-13 first, to see what the pastor’s job is, i.e., how your Pastor should serve you.
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 fulness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Now, Paul says that if we equip you to do the work of the ministry, i.e., "the perfecting of the saints," then here’s what we can expect...
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:14-16)
THE PASTOR’S REAL RESPONSIBILITY
A group that does these kinds of surveys recently took a survey of 5,000 pastors across the United States. They asked those pastors what their greatest needs were in the church. Interestingly enough, 98% of the pastors who responded listed as either their #1 or #2 need--the need at the top of their list--was to GET THE LAYMEN INVOLVED IN DOING THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY.
In his book, THE REBIRTH OF MINISTRY, James D. Smart says this:
"Jesus was not satisfied in having a succession of audiences to which He might proclaim His Gospel. Jesus was interested primarily in having disciples in whom and through whom His ministry would be multiplied many times over."
==> To that end, the Apostle Paul says that the moment I understand that I AM TO EQUIP YOU TO DO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, and that, in fact, YOU DO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, then there will be 1.) maturity in the church, there will be 2.) edification in the church, and there will be 3.) growth in the body of the congregation--but not until I understand and act on the knowledge that IT IS MY JOB TO EQUIP YOU.
Pastor is Paid to Get the Laity to Work!
You see, Paul teaches us very clearly that as pastors we are to equip you to do the work of the ministry. One of the greatest days of my life is when I first understood that, (tongue-in-cheek), YOU PAY ME TO GET YOU TO WORK!
Now...THAT’S A GREAT JOB. That’s why the title of the message this morning is: "Let the Pastor Move Over."
==> In fact, until the pastor equips the congregation, perfects the saints, to do the work of the ministry, and moves out of their way to do the ministry, the church will never be what it should be.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PASTOR IS TO EQUIP THE CONGREGATION FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY. That’s my job. Paul teaches that to us.
And I want to look with you this morning in depth about what this equipping means, and then how are we going to do it.