Summary: Ministry work should be done by every Christian not just for pastors and church leaders. In this message, we will learn from the life of Deborah three things that can help us as we minister to God, to the Christians and to the unbelievers.
Many of us think of ministry as the work done by pastors, by missionaries, by Christian Conference speakers or evangelists.
We rarely think that work done by bankers, by lawyers, by engineers or homemakers can also be considered as ministry.
We have a wrong notion that only those who get their paychecks from a church or other Christian organizations are the ones doing ministry work.
In our message for today, we want to expand our outlook and vision on ministry so that you can view all you do, regardless of your occupation as ministry that glorifies and influences other people.
At the same time, we will look a three things that we value most in ministry.
You see, ministry is very much related to our everyday life.
In fact, our lives should evolve around our ministry.
According to our Discipleship Class 301 notes on Ministry, Christians should minister in three directions:
First, we minister to the Lord through worship. When we worship sincerely, we are ministering to God.
Then, we minister to other Christian believers by serving them through the use of our spiritual gifts, talents and abilities.
Then, we also minister to the unbelievers by sharing to them the Good News of salvation and praying for them.
In the same manner, we minister to the three areas of need of every man.
To the soul, to the physical body and to the spirit of man.
First, we should minister to people's physical needs by feeding them and giving them clothes.
Second, we should minister to people's emotional needs by giving them counsel, advice and admonition.
Third, we should minister to people's spiritual needs by proclaiming Christ and sharing God's wisdom through God's Word.
Life on earth is all about ministry.
It's all about service both to God and to other people.
The Great Reformer, Martin Luther said: "The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt the worst trick of the devil among Christians. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by the works done therein.. The whole world could abound with services to the Lord... not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop and field."
This is so true.
When you think that ministry is done only here in church, it is a trick or deception from the devil.
Martin Luther understood the real meaning of ministry.
It is more than just done by the pastors but by everyone else wherever you are and in whatever capacity you are in.
That Greek word in the New Testament translated as "ministry" is "diakona" which means "service."
And our service can be done in the home, in the workplace, in the field or in the church, wherever there is an opportunity.
We can define ministry therefore as the faithful service of God's people rendered unto God and others on His behalf to bring Him glory, build up the church and reach out to the world.
Let's look at this in detail:
How should we do ministry? Faithfully
Who should do ministry? God's people
To whom should we do ministry? To God and others
Why should we do ministry? To bring Him glory, to build up the church and to reach out to the world
Brothers and sisters, that is the entire reason why we exist on this earth - To do ministry work to others.
Therefore, it is not limited to the service of select few appointed to particular offices within the church.
It is for EVERYONE of us, regardless of your age, your sex, your profession or educational attainment.
All Christians are to be ministers in this world.
Our task as leaders of the church is to prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV) "11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up."
We are to inform you, to motivate you, to prepare you and to coach you in every level of ministry work so that you will be comfortable in doing it and encourage others to do the same thing.
You see, we live in a very fast-paced, high tech world.
Everywhere we go, we have gadgets on our side such as the i-phone, the tablets and computers.
We spend a lot of time on facebooks rather than in church.
And because of that, we simply fail to recognize that God is very much intricately involved in the details of our lives.