Equipped For What?

13 Jun

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”
-Ephesians 4:11-12

As a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ, I often hear people make a distinction between those who are called to ministry and those who are not. This statement has never sat well with me and causes me to continue to believe that we have misunderstood the role we, as Christians, have in God’s plan to rescue a people through His Son for His glory.

According to Paul, we are all to be equipped for the work of ministry. What does he mean? Well, if we take a dictionary definition, the word ministry means “the performance of [Christian] duties.” Now the question becomes: What are these “Christian duties”? I think that any honest evaluation of the Bible makes it clear that these duties are to proclaim the Gospel message and make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 12:31, Acts 8:4, 1 Pet. 3:16 ).  We, the saints in Christ, are to be equipped to accomplish these things according to our gifts. And who is to equip us? The pastors, teachers and evangelists. They serve and fulfill their ministries in equipping the rest of God’s children for their ministries.

It is imperative that we do not mistake pastors and teachers for those in ministry. Yes, they are in ministry. However, they are not the only ones in ministry. Each and every one of us who is in Christ is in ministry. The grace of the Gospel flows out through our lives in active work to the glory of God (Eph. 2:10). And these works will serve to accomplish the ministries that God has ordained for each of us.

This might mean sharing the Gospel message with family and friends, walking alongside them for years to come as they ask questions and wrestle with the truth claims of Jesus Christ. It might mean mentoring young men at your church, spending time reading and discussing Scripture, as well as praying for them and giving them a vision for how they can minister to others. Your ministry may be loving your neighbors, building relationships with them and inviting them to receive the truth of the Gospel. There are a multitude of ways in which ministry can take shape in your life. You don’t need a seminary degree or 40-hrs a week to minister to others. Rather, what you need is a clear understanding of your calling to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples, and a desire to fulfill it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

For me, I am being called to reach out to Latino college students with the Gospel message and disciple them so that they might go to their communities and the world to continue on in fulfilling the ministry Christ has called us to.  So the question is: What ministry are you being equipped for?

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2 Responses to “Equipped For What?”

  1. Martha L Shaw June 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    You are right and I’m glad you posted this. We are all ministers. Often this word has come to mean (wrongly) someone who’s been to college to study for an ordained role in leading a church. Not the case, as you point out. The Lord Himself will empower and enable us to do the work He has for us and if we ask Him to use us, He will due so! We have free will. He will not force us, but He lovingly waits for us. if any are not sure, have no fear. He will lead you. Me, I’ve been called to write among other things. We are all blessed with ways in which He will use us if we walk ahead in faith and invite Him to do so.

    • Tyler Helfers June 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I hope that it is a motivation for you and others to continue to seek out ways to fulfill our mission as Christ ambassadors to the world.

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