Role of a Minister

Ephesians 4: 11 – 12

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the purpose of equipping of the saints and the building up of the Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ is changing rapidly and thus the dynamics and means of ministry are changing too. However, the role of the minister remains unchanged, in my opinion. During these tumultuous times, it is important to ask ourselves what the role of the minister is and the second question would be what is it that you need from your ministers.

The key purpose of all ministry gifts and ministry offices is to equip the saints and to build up the Body of Christ. The inquiry comes in how that is accomplished in a changing environment. Once upon a time the priests made the sacrificial offerings for the body. Obviously, that is a task which is no longer required. Yet in a way, there is still a component of that. We are to receive your offerings to God and to pray over them. When you give to a ministry, the ministers receive them on behalf of God, for the work of God.

Until recently, an important part of many ministers’ job was to stand in a pulpit and either teach or inspire. Now, we are increasingly using online services to share the word. There are still apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Each office has been given, by God, to equip the saints. As we go forward, we and you are going to have to learn how God’s work is done in the new era. There will be experimentation as we learn, but the one thing I would say is to make sure you are using the ministry gifts in others that God has put into the body of Christ and in ministry offices. Also, make sure you are willing to sow into the work of the ministry. God isn’t silenced just because we don’t congregate in the same numbers we once did. His Word is alive and always going forth. As I said once before recently, pull on your ministers. It is your right, but be willing to help them do their job too.

Shepherding the Flock

Hebrews 13: 17

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

It is hard to be a pastor. Even harder to be blessed with divine sight. I want to help people and sometimes I can see so clearly exactly where they are. I know I could help them. Sometimes I even offer, but I can’t invade. They must ask for my help. I can even give people a prophetic word but if they don’t move on it or ask for more, the moment and the opportunity may pass. I feel the resolution so close but for that person, it may be to them as looking through fog. If they only knew how close they were to their breakthrough. Just take my hand. Let me help you!

I have been asking the Lord a lot about ministry over the last year. What is our role? What good are any of us actually doing? I watched the church as a whole fail miserably when the Covid Pandemic struck. We lost our Billy Graham and there was no voice to fill the void. What is it that any of us can do? What should we be doing for our congregations?  What do people need and/or want?

There are many more questions, as the issue is quite complicated. You are part of the situation too. You aren’t sure where to turn or whether or not a pastor can actually help you. The role of the minister has gotten lost. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just a difficult time. Even before the pandemic, parishioners were changing, and the church was struggling to change to meet those changing needs.

Here is the good news. All bets are off. We are free to rewrite the book on ministry. God has given us lots of guidance in His book and He is showing us new ways we can help the people for which He will hold us accountable.  We can remake the church, saving parts and adding new things too.

I believe the ministry to which God has called me is being remade to meet new challenges. A great deal of what any minister does, though, depends on you. We, as ministers, must give you invitation to take advantage of the anointing which is upon us. That will only happen if you believe God has anointed us with ministry gifts. Second, if we make it taboo for people to ask their ministers for help then it will become a sign of weakness instead of a sign of wisdom for people to ask their ministers for their leadership. Here is the thing, I know there is a place and time for us to stand in the pulpit but there is also a time when we need to minister in small groups and individually. You need to call us. You need to pull on us so that we hear the need. And, you need to let us help you. We do have skills and gifts we would give to you. Though, truth be told, we are learning new ways every day with which to meet the needs of God’s people.

The challenges are very real because the landscape is changing. We do not always know how to offer the help you need nor do you know where the new boundaries lie. Neither do we but it is a brave new world with new potential. Let your ministers help you, nay, demand that we do. We will find our way in this new world, together. You will lead us by your requests, and we will lead with the gifts of God’s Spirit. Life, the church and the needs of the congregation have changed forever. Together, we will rebuild in ways that we couldn’t have foreseen years ago. We will rebuild stronger than ever and with more of the life and light of Christ than before. We needn’t mourn what we’ve lost but rather look ahead to the new thing God has in store for us. He hasn’t lost His way.

The anointing, which is upon pastors and ministers, has been given, by God, to bless His people. Do not let those gifts die on the vine. Call on the ministers of God to minister His grace and wisdom. Call upon us to fulfill our calling.

Send Me

Isaiah 6: 8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I will be honest with you. I just returned from an exciting weekend conference in Huntsville, Alabama with the dynamic folks at Impact Ministries ( We arrived home at midnight, thrilled with all that was shared at the conference but a wee bit on the tired side. So, I pulled this Word of the Day out of the archive. I don’t think you are being cheated though. I find myself, again, really attracted to this verse and even though I was there when this was written by my own fingertips a few years ago, I find it inspiring, especially after a powerful weekend fellowshipping around God’s Word. I hope you enjoy it.

What a poignant and moving passage of scripture! It is called Isaiah’s commissioning. Perhaps it stirs your heart because there is something in you that cries out, “Send me Lord.” Maybe you feel the call of the Lord on your life when you read these words.

We all are part of the body of Christ and every part of the body is important. Maybe you have been called into “the ministry” and maybe you haven’t been called into a pulpit ministry, but everyone has their part in the ministry of Christ. You are uniquely suited to do that for which you are called and no one can do what you can do because your uniqueness makes you uniquely qualified. You are the only person like you in the world and the only one placed exactly where you are. Maybe you are the mother of someone who will never be who they should be except that you fulfill your job. Only you can be the encourager they need. Maybe you are a great influence in your job. Or maybe you finance the work of the kingdom and without you some preacher will never get sent. Your faithfulness is key in the Kingdom of God. There will never be another you and only you can do what you have been given to do. Don’t minimize who you are but rather tell our Lord, “Here am I. Send me.”

Fruit Harvest

John 15: 8

By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

This is the high calling on our lives, that we should imitate the Lord in word and deed. Many people will read this verse and begin to think of all the good works they can do so that their light will shine. It is important for us to see, though, that Jesus did not ask us to perform great tasks and good works. Rather he desires us to bear fruit. This is an important distinction. The fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22). These are the traits that Jesus wants manifested in our lives. If we do all the good works but are not bearing the fruit, our testimony will be tainted. Good works are wonderful. There are many needs that we can individually and collectively address through our good works but they are not the end. Paul said if he did all good things but was without love it profits naught (1st Corinthians 13: 1-3). Let us focus on letting our lives demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit and in so doing we will forget not the good we can do for others.

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Ephesians 4: 11 – 12

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.

These are called the five-fold ministries and God calls people to these offices. What I found so interesting about this list is that only one of these ministerial offices is directed towards people outside of the church and, of course, that would be the evangelist. Verse 12 tells us that God gave these offices, and people to fill them, in order to equip the church for her work. In other words, the saints, or the laity, are being equipped for the work of the church. You are the body of Christ.

Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Luke 16:15) but then when he gave the ministerial offices he gave four that were designed more for the church and only one specifically for the unsaved. These offices are appointed to equip us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. They are designated to teach us and build us up. But we are not supposed to only absorb the teachings for ourselves. We are meant to be the distributors of the good news of Jesus Christ. Now how do we do that? Well, this specifically means that we were not all called to preach since we are not all called into one of the five-fold ministries. But we are all called and equipped for “the work of service.” Your calling might be as a school teacher or a hair dresser. Or maybe you are a doctor or work in a laundry. You are the word of the Lord that is sent into the world and you are going to interact with a lot more people than the pastor at your church.  

You are the one who will be there when a co-worker has trouble. You will be the one they see day in and day out. You don’t have to preach at them. Just let the love of God show in what you do. Be loving and compassionate. Do your job with vigor and honesty. Let them see how a child of the most high behaves. Let the light, who is Jesus, inside you shine. It’s not about telling other people what they should do. It is about being who you should be and allowing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22) to manifest in your daily life. That is how people will be saved, by love. Because God so loved, he gave . . . (John 3: 16).