There is no greater honor than to serve the Lord in His Church. In Ephesians 1:10 we learn that the Church is the focal point of the will of God, to bring all things together under Christ. In Ephesians 1:22-23 we see that God appointed Christ to be Head over all things for the Church, which is the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. Hence, it is through the Church that the great plan of God is being fulfilled. And every local church is an expression, though imperfect, of the body of Christ.
This means that there is no greater gift that leaders of the church can offer to their people than to involve them in ministries, no matter what these ministries might be. There is a condition, however. Those who are involved in ministries must offer these ministries to Christ so that He can fulfill His will through them. In Colossians 3:17 Paul says, very plainly, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” The significance of our ministry in the church is not measured by how important it might seem to others, but by allowing the Lord to fulfill His will through us.
In view of the shortness of life compared to eternity, there is no greater folly than to live purely for self. And perhaps there is no greater offense to the Lord than to use our ministry or position in the church purely for self-gratification. Does this mean that there is no gratification in fulfilling a ministry in the church? Of course not. It means that every ministry is to be offered to the Lord so that He can fulfill it through us. One of Satan’s most effective tools is to cause those ministering in the church to use these ministries as a means of seeking self-praise. It is only from the Lord that the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16).
So here is a vital question. Who are you seeking to involve in ministry at this time in your church? Nothing gives your people a greater and more legitimate sense of purpose than being invited to engage in something that has eternal value. As you challenge them, pray that the eyes of their hearts may be opened, in order that they may know the hope to which they have been called, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and His incomparably great power–the same kind of power He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:18-20).
We always appreciate it when you share your thoughts with us. Here is a quote from Dario Agnolutto, Owings, Md.: “Thanks for your continuing encouragement! You are absolutely correct in saying there is nothing more satisfying than seeing God’s people recognizing they are the ‘hands and feet’ of Christ, to take up the call, live out the call and proclaim the Gospel. It also keeps you humble as a leader to recognize it is NEVER about you.”
From Dave Pacheco, Delaware, Ohio: “Many times I think it is just easier if I do it. But then I’m depriving someone else of a serving opportunity and a chance to develop ministry skills and deepen their own faith in Christ. I’m learning how to give these things away, but it’s not easy.”
From Jeff Peeler, Everett, Pa.: “Not until I see Jesus face to face will I be fully mature. But I am learning to…
- Communicate clearly with proven leaders to develop a workable plan.
- Share that plan with others willing to serve.
- Allow people to use their gifts without micromanaging them. As the pastor, I must do what only I can do, and allow others the freedom to use their giftedness as well. In short I must learn to pray, collaborate, plan and free others to serve the Lord as I also do the same.
We simply cannot be the Church if we all work alone. We must work together to offer grace to our world.”
You may contact the Equipping Church Network through Ed Short (email@example.com) or Tom Julien (firstname.lastname@example.org).