Summary: Every believer is a minister. Equipping God’s people for the work of building up the body of Christ came from the heart of Jesus. It was His idea. It also validates that the Church should not run on the feet of the clergy, but on the feet of the laity.
This message holds the potential of changing your personal life — as well as the life of our church — forever. There is great excitement in the air as the Holy Spirit is releasing a breath of fresh air over the Church in the 21st Century. It is not a new revelation; it is a new revolution!
In today’s message, we are going to discover the keys that will open the door to revitalizing our church and releasing the hidden potential we have had for so long. The bottom line of my thought centers on this biblical truth: Every believer is a minister.
Life-giving churches today have discovered they could ascribe involving church members in the delightful work of the ministry as the number-one key to their success.
Churches on the cutting edge have discovered the pastor cannot do it alone. Not only is it impossible, it is blatantly unscriptural. A survey of 5,000 pastors across the U.S.A. asked the question, “What is your church’s greatest need?” Of these 5,000 pastors, 98% listed as the #1or #2 greatest need in their church: “To get the laity involved in the work of the ministry.”
Equipping the saints — God’s people — for their work of the ministry is the key of this century for the church.
“Jesus was not satisfied in having a succession of audiences to which He might proclaim His Gospel; He was interested primarily in having disciples in whom and through whom His ministry would be multiplied many times over.”
James D. Smart, “The Rebirth of Ministry”
“The Church should not run on the feet of the clergy, but on the feet of the laity.”
John W. Bosman
As your pastor, I gladly want to declare: We are the Church and we are on a journey! God is about to take us somewhere and I can hardly contain my excitement. There are some exhilarating things I want to share with you concerning the future of this church.
One of the things that has become a driving passion within me — and I know it has the blessing of the Lord upon it — is that we are going to become an army and no longer just an audience.
The greatest disaster . . . that ever came to the Church was when the ministry was moved from the people to the professionals — and from the pew to the pulpit.
That means that somewhere along the way the “hands on” everyday ministry of the church was taken out of the hands of the members and given to the career ministers! That was never God’s plan for the Church. All those who are part of the Body of Christ should be involved in the work of Christ.
Reasons why people are not involved in ministry:
1. Fear of failure. Nobody wants to get involved in something knowing they may fail. If people don’t know how to do ministry, they will never become involved.
2. They have never been trained. The traditional concept is that members are supposed to attend church and watch pastors do ministry. They have never been taught, “Every believer is a minister.”
3. Pastors are not trained to equip their people. Most Bible colleges and universities do not teach them how.
The magazine “Christianity Today” said that 85% of the things pastors learn in seminary, they never use in ministry. 85%!
Just like many members, pastors have bought into the traditional, erroneous mindset of thinking that they are the only ones to do the work of the ministry.
Is that the reason why:
• So many pastors quit the ministry;
• So few people are saved;
• So many church members are bored;
• So many pastors burn out;
• So many people feel they are not needed, and,
• So many people fall through the cracks?
4. Pastors are in the habit of doing everything. They have done all the work all of the time. They have known no other way. Many believe, “If you want something done well, do it yourself!”
Let’s say it over and over: The Pastor cannot — and should not — do ministry alone!
That is about to change in this church!
I invite you to go on one of the most exciting journeys we have ever taken together. Together, we are going back to the basics of the Word and I am going to equip you for the work of the ministry — like never before. This church is about to become a powerhouse because of YOU!
We understand that the love of God has to flow down the aisles of the church before it will flow down the streets of the city.
The True Application of Ministry
According to Ephesians 4, the pastor (as part of the five-fold ministry) has a two-fold purpose: