Ministry: What is it?
To clearly understand the essence of MINISTRY from the Bible’s perspective, you must evaluate the biblical realities of ministry apart from business, occupation or how money is made.
What is it?
The term ministry, in the Bible, maintains a rather consistent meaning related to SERVING
So in simple terms, TO MINISTER means…
To serve God & Others on God’s Behalf
At the heart of ministry is one’s service to God out of real encounter with God—Rm. 12:1
In the Old Testament Ministry Means:
- as a verb—to serve or to officiate;
- as a noun—to be a servant, an assistant, an aide, a right-hand person.
In the New Testament Ministry Means:
- as a verb—to serve, attend or carry out duties.
- as a noun—to be a servant, attendant, waiter, public officer, and such.
Ministry has only two Dimensions:
1. You dealing with God about People—Up Reach
2. God dealing with People through you—Outreach
Note: Up Reach always precedes Outreach
When you stop and think especially of the New Testament explanation of ministry, you will notice that the biblical concept of ministry is quite simple.
Every Believer, a Priest
In the O.T. (Deut. 10:8) God designated some as priests—the tribe of Levites
“At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. (NIV)
And To Those Priests He gave Three Responsibilities.
- To Carry The Ark [the visible location of the invisible God];
- To Stand Before the LORD to minister
- Which Direction Is That? Up or Out? UP!!!!
- To Pronounce Blessings in His Name
- Which Direction is That? Up or Out? OUT!!!
In the NT, God expands the role of priest—still assuming they carry out the same functions, only in their fullest sense through what Christ has accomplished. The NT designates The Believer, every believer, says 1 Peter 2:9, as a Priest—an agent God Himself has set aside to serve in ministry TO Him and FOR Him in the lives of others.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Rev 1:4-6 says “(v.4) Grace and peace to you . . . (v.5) from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, (v.6) and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. (NIV)
Every Believer, an Ark-Bearer
All Believers: 1 Corinthians 3: 16
Every Believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19
Every Believer, a Minister Unto God—of worship
Ministry = First, Up Reach through Worship
Worship, e.g. in John 4: 23 proskuneo (pros-koo-neh’-o) (proskuneo: lit. to kiss toward); [Strong’s reference # 4352]
from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) KJV– worship.
Every Believer, An Agent
Bringing God’s blessing to others [perhaps the blessing of salvation, healing, enlightenment of His Word, help, service, encouragement, etc.]
Note then: Ministry is a dimension of Worship-sourced Service on God’s behalf flowing out of worship-based encounter with God.
So, One Could Say That Worship Is:
God Dealing with People through You
- The Bearers of God’s presence (Ark Bearers)
- The Worship Enablers (engaged in Worshiping and Helping Others to Worship)
- The Agents Through Whom He Ministered His Blessings
Six Foundation Stones of Ministry
Six basic elements of bottom-line ministry
No matter what religious title or position you hold, or don’t hold, there are only six things that make you a MINISTER. If you are regularly doing these six things, you ARE a minister (cf. 1 Pet 2:4-5, 9-10). If you ARE NOT regularly doing these six things—no matter what religious title or position you hold—you ARE NOT being a minister.
- A Passionate Daily Pursuit of Jesus (John 15:15, Ex 33:11)
- An Expectation For God to Move Supernaturally. (Romans 1:16,19; 1 Corinthians 4:19)
- Prayer With and For People (expecting #2).
1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:6,71 John 5:14
Romans 8:26; Ephesians 1:17-19; Ephesians 6:18;
1 Timothy 2:1-4; Philemon 1:6; James 5:13-16
- Care for People Under Assignment from Jesus.
James 1:27; Galatians 5:13-14; Ephesians 4:7,11-12
1 Corinthians 12:5-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13
- You regularly guide people for help into truths of God’s Word, the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16,17; Hebrews 4:12
- You can . . . and regularly do share your faith with people… whether or not you have the spiritual gift of evangelism
1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:5-8, 34-38;
1 Timothy 2:1-4; Revelation 14:6
Eight Ministry Categories
- Worship facilitation
- Care Giving & general Christian compassion
[Pastoral care, whether you are technically a Pastor or not.]
- Discipling, Mentoring and Leadership Training [This is specialized training and not simply Christian care and general instruction.]
- Teaching, Resourcing, & Training of local / regional church leaders and/or people
- Church Planting & Growth facilitation
- Catalyzing for Community Impact