Summary: The role of ministry in spiritual growth
Lesson 9: The role of ministry in spiritual growth
“Spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. We grow up in order to give out.”
• You were put here to serve God and to make a contribution.
- There are things that God has designed specifically for us to do.
- They are custom-made for each of us.
• The way we serve God is by serving others.
- “If I have no love for others, no desire to serve others, I should question whether Christ is really in my life.” Rick Warren
• In the Bible, the words ‘servant’ and ‘minister’ are synonyms, just like ‘service’ and ‘ministry’.
- The Bible says every Christian is called to service.
- Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service.
- There is no such thing as a ‘non-serving’ Christian.
• When most people hear the word ‘ministry’, they think of pastors, priests and professional clergy, but God says every member of His family is a minister.
• The beauty of Christianity is that believers have been redeemed for a reason, converted to a cause, and saved to serve.
- We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven.
- “Holy living consists in doing God’s work with a smile.” Mother Teresa
Study in depth
I Why should I serve?
a) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10)
- I’ve been created for ministry.
b) “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)
- I’ve been reconciled to God for ministry.
c) “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
- I’ve been chosen for ministry.
d) “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
- I’ve been gifted for ministry.
e) “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
- I’ve been sent for ministry.
f) “Your attitude MUST be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve …” (Matthew 20:28)
- I am commanded to minister.
g) “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
- I am accountable for my ministry.
h) “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23, 24)
- I will be rewarded for my ministry.
II How do I know my unique ministry/service?
a) You have been S.H.A.P.Ed to serve.
- Spiritual gifts (What am I gifted to do?)
- Heart (What do I love to do?)
- Abilities (What talents and skills do I have?)
- Personality (What is my unique style?)
- Experiences (How have life’s experiences shaped me?)
b) What God made me to BE (my SHAPE) determines what God intends me to DO (my ministry).
c) “Your ministry will be most effective and fulfilling when you are using your gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire and in a way that best expresses your personality and experience!” -Rick Warren
d) Your primary ministry should be in the area of your SHAPE but your secondary service is wherever you are needed at the moment.
e) Your SHAPE reveals your ministry but your servant heart reveals your maturity.
- No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting and pick up trash or stack chairs.
- Anyone can be a servant. All it requires is character.
III What do I need to know about my spiritual gifts?
a) A spiritual gift is, “the supernatural ability to carry out the work of Christ through his church.”
b) It is a special ability, given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others, and therefore extend and deepen the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth.
c) Important principles of spiritual gifting that we need to keep in mind:
- Only people with God’s Spirit have spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 2:14)
- Every Christian has at least one gift. (1 Cor. 7:7)
- The Holy Spirit decides what gifts I get. (1 Cor. 12:11)
- No one receives all the gifts. (1 Cor. 12:27-30)