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Why Am I in the Ministry?

This is a question that every minister should ask oneself. Someone might say, “Now brother, don’t you think that is a silly question to ask? You know that we are all ministers, we’re called, have goals and visions. Why would you ask such a question?”

Well, I ask the question because it deserves a legitimate answer, a Scriptural answer. You see, there are numerous reasons that we have for why we believe that God has called us. Every church or ministry, for the most part, has some kind of vision or goals set for it. However, the Bible tells us why we are ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament establishes the vision and purpose that a minister is to reach for, regardless of whether one is an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, or a combination of more than one of these.

In Ephesians 4:8-11, the Scriptures teach us that the called ministry actually is an extension of Jesus Christ and His ministry. This very simply means that the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are to minister in accordance with the purpose of Christ.

What is Jesus’ purpose? Ephesians 4:10 says that His purpose is to “fill all things.” The Twentieth Century New Testament states it this way: “…that he might fill all things with his presence.” Phillips Translation says, “..that the whole universe from lowest to highest might know his presence.” Jesus’ presence is not some spooky, invisible deal. Jesus lives in His people. His presence is known as He is revealed through His people. This leads us straight to Ephesians 4:13 where we see that it is the will of God for every Christian to become a “…perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The word “perfect” means mature or complete. We are to be as mature in character as Jesus Himself. The New English Bible’s translation of Ephesians 4:13 tells us that we are to come to “mature manhood, measured by nothing less than the full stature of Christ.”

What are we saying?

We are saying that every Christian is to be as mature in character as God is and it is the responsibility of the ENTIRE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST to equip the members of the body of Christ with the knowledge of who they are in Christ and Who Christ is in them so that the body of Christ may minister to itself and to the world. This is how Jesus will “fill all things with his presence.” Paul, a minister of Jesus Christ conveys the same fact again in Colossians 1:25-29. He says that we are preaching Christ “warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” He finished it by saying, “whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working which worketh in me mightily.” Notice that it is Christ Who is laboring through Paul to “present every man perfect” (mature or complete) in Himself (Christ).

How are we going to fulfill this calling? First of all we must look at what we have been given to work with. Ephesians 4:12 says that the ministry is called to perfect the saints. The word “perfecting” in this instance means “to equip.” If we are to equip others, then we ourselves must have the equipment as part of our own lives. The tools that we actually possess are all of the qualities of the life, nature and character of Jesus that we received when we were born again (Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 1:2-7; Colossians 3:12, 13). Colossians 3:14 states that love is the “bond of perfectness.” Maturity is measured by how we exemplify the character of Jesus with love as our motive (a good definition of love is to serve and to give without being motivated by personal gain, i.e. selfishness). This must be the goal that we have for our own lives, for this, in essence, is what really qualifies us as bonified ministers and representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, we must teach the saints these things by precept and example (1 Peter 5:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:16, 17). This must be as important to us as it is to Jesus. Living “in Christ” and teaching the believer how he has been made “in Christ” must be primary in all of our ministries. This is what the New Testament is all about.

Thirdly, we must make adjustments in the visions of our ministries. Certainly, there are many good things that we are doing . But how can Jesus “fill everything with his presence” when His body as a whole, for the most part, does not recognize His indwelling presence? God’s vision must become our vision. In our churches and ministries, we must make character and love a priority. The primary portion of our vision, so to speak, is to educate the saints with what God has placed in our spirit and to help them to renew their minds to these things (Romans 12:1, 2).

This adjustment will accomplish three things.

  1. One, it will give us strength through a proper foundation.

  2. Two, it will unify us.

  3. Three, outreach will be born out of our internal development and growth rather than through our natural, carnal plans (John 13:34, 35; I Corinthians 3:6-17).

Any vision that is not founded on the purpose of Jesus Christ is out of order and needs to be adjusted.

Lastly, it will help us to keep in mind that people are more important than programs and numbers (exponential increase). It takes time to build character. Maturity does not come in twenty-four hours. It comes over the course of time as we are consistent in building the purpose of Christ into the people that the Lord has given us oversight of. Many of us must be willing to slow down and build the way that God tells us to in the Word. Anything that grows too fast does not have deep roots, nor does it have a proper foundation. Hence, when pressure comes, it will wither and die. Many believers are not reaching their full potential as Christians because we, as ministers, are not showing them the whole picture. The saints must become disciples…and that takes time, energy, commitment, availability, teaching and examples, all of which the ministry is supposed to provide.

As I conclude, I want to leave you with this Scripture from Philippians 1:9-11 Amplified Translation: “and this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment]. So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].”


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