My view of Ministry
By Chris Taylor
Ministry is a word that includes so many things. Many think of the Pastor of their church when they hear this word. Some think further to encompass things such as prison “ministry”, children’s “ministry”, music “ministry”, homeless “ministry”, or ladies’ and men’s “ministries”. The list could go on and on because there are so many forms and so many types of people who need ministered to. In fact we all need ministered to. This is why ministry is so special and essential to the Christian life.
Every believer in Christ is a believer because of ministry. Someone had to share the good news of the gospel in order for it to be believed in. Ministry is leading people to Christ and then making disciples of them so that they can do the same. In Matthew chapter 28, verses 18-20, the word says Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In these three verses, there are several things Jesus has instructed his disciples to do. The first is to GO and to MAKE disciples. He’s calling his followers to not only find others to “save”, but to make disciples of them all over the world. Not just Israel, not just Jews, but also every nation. What great news that everyone can receive what we as believers have been given! So how do we do this? It’s more than saying Jesus loves you and passing out a track. It’s more than just telling someone about Jesus and then leaving them to figure the rest out on their own. It’s more because it’s ministry. Part of ministry is the follow up. It’s living life together as a family… God’s family… Christ’s body! It’s the making of the disciple. It’s time invested, it’s gathering in confession and prayer and study. It’s teaching them what the word says so that they can grow in Christ and in faith. It’s baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I think most people know these things from this famous passage of scripture. I also believe that everyone should be obeying these commands given to these 11 disciples, as we are all disciples of Christ.
To the ones who are called into the very sacred place of leadership, I believe there is something much deeper that strikes the heart when we begin to think of the word ministry. I know it does with me. For me, Ministry is the purpose I was created for. It’s a burden for other people that is heavy. It’s a place of standing in the gap for others. It’s a passion for others to know what has been done for them and what is available to them. This passion leads to aspects of ministry that others don’t see. Aspects such as intercession, when you take a person, group, culture, or country before the Lord as if you are the only one who is going to plead with God for them. Aspects such as fasting, when you show through your actions that there’s no thing the body craves that could be worth more than what it is you’re seeking from God.
Ministry is loving others the way Christ has loves us. Ministry is not for wimps because really loving someone could be an event in the Olympics. It can be difficult. It must be selfless even to the selfish. This is ministry to me. It’s constant communication with the LORD so that you’re always prepared to give the Biblical answers to the questions asked. This communication is through prayer, study of the word, and listening to the Living God who still speaks. It’s being a leader and follower at the same time. It’s the life of a servant. It’s carrying concerns and finding ways to meet needs.
If you want to see my soul smile, say “Ministry”. There’s no greater joy than watching true ministry affect the life of another. So when asked my view of ministry… I would have to say it’s loving others in a way that leads to the fulfillment of what the Lord has asked us to do in his word.