TRCC Distinctive: Ministry
In the past weeks, we have said that every service done in the work of the church is not a waste of time. My intention today is to continue to speak to that from the Scriptures for the purpose of encouraging more work from more people as the Lord of the Harvest might give to those who have ears to hear.
It is the Lord Jesus who sends laborers. Jesus told us to ask him. It’s his role, through the Spirit, to move you to serve. Its our job to catch those he calls through the faithful preaching of the text and the shepherding of people to be equipped to do the work.
All of this takes time and effort and trial and error.
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (Proverbs 14:4 ESV)
The idea is that an ox can make a mess in the stalls of the barn, but an ox does more work than the man manning the plow. Therefore, it’s worth the work of cleaning out messes in stalls to get to the abundant benefit of the ox.
A fallacy is that it’s easier, most of the time, to just do a task rather than take the time to equip someone to do it and then teach them to do it better, then bear with them when they don’t do it, and then teach them to do it better until they do it as an expert.
Although that may appear easier, it’s not pastoral ministry and it’s building something that can’t stand. The ministry of Three Rivers Community Church must never be staked on an elder.
The reason is that we are not defined by one elder. We have a Chief Shepherd, Jesus, Peter calls him (1 Peter 5:4), who leads us, and we are all growing up into him.
Therefore, it is not the elder’s job to do the tasks, but the elder’s job to teach you and help you do the tasks and grow up into Christ Jesus, our Head and Chief Shepherd.
Therefore, there can be NO ONE who is not engaged.
However, this does not mean that everyone should take over, start and / or manage a “ministry” with an organizational structure.
So, the question is, what is ministry? What is the individual’s role in that? What is the role of the elder in our life together as a local church? What is our goal / end / purpose in ministry?
- Ministry is service to the church and service to the world and service to the
Lord (worship) for Jesus’ fame Ephesians 4:1-16
The word for ministry is “diakonias”, deacon.
διακονία diakonía; diakonías, fem. noun from diákonos (1249), deacon, servant. Service, attendance, ministry. Verb, diakonéō (1247), to minister, serve.
(I) Service towards a master or guest, at table or in hospitality (Luke 10:40; 1 Cor. 16:15).
(II) Ministry, ministration, i.e., the office of ministering in divine things, spoken chiefly of apostles and teachers (Acts 1:17, 25; 6:4; 20:24; 21:19; Rom. 11:13; 1 Cor. 12:5; 2 Cor. 3:7–9; 4:1; 5:18; 6:3; Eph. 4:12; Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:5, 11). Used once of the office of a diákonos (1249), deacon (Rom. 12:7). Some, however, take this to have a wider sense as above.
(III) In the sense of aid meaning relief as spoken of alms, contributions (Acts 11:29; Rom. 15:31 [see Rom. 15:26]; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:1, 13; 11:8; Rev. 2:19). Spoken of the distribution or ministration of alms collected (Acts 6:1; 12:25, see 11:30; 2 Cor. 9:12). Diakonía involves compassionate love towards the needy within the Christian community (Acts 6:1, 4; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:12, 13; Rev. 2:19). Every business, every calling, so far as its labor benefits others, is a diakonía. In this sense Paul and Luke in the Acts use the word to designate the vocation of those who preach the gospel and have the care of the churches (Acts 20:24; Rom. 11:13; 1 Cor. 12:5; Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:5). Therefore, diakonía is an office or ministration in the Christian community viewed with reference to the labor needed for others, both in the case of individuals (1 Cor. 12:5), and generally as a total concept including all branches of service (Rom. 12:7; 2 Cor. 4:1; 6:3; Eph. 4:12; 1 Tim. 1:12).
Ministry: “Every business, every calling, so far as its labor benefits others, is a diakonía. In this sense Paul and Luke in the Acts use the word to designate the vocation of those who preach the gospel and have the care of the churches (Acts 20:24; Rom. 11:13; 1 Cor. 12:5; Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:5). Therefore, diakonía is an office or ministration in the Christian community viewed with reference to the labor needed for others, both in the case of individuals (1 Cor. 12:5), and generally as a total concept including all branches of service (Rom. 12:7; 2 Cor. 4:1; 6:3; Eph. 4:12; 1 Tim. 1:12).”
A. Service toward a guest, hospitality
B. Relief (contributions to people in need, particularly in the Christian community)
C. Compassion / Love toward the needy within the Christian community
D. Service in things such as the work of the apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor/teachers
E. Service in the office of deacon, as defined as an office of the church
What is your role in ministry (service)?
A. Know your giftedness and operate in it for the church’s benefit
1. Gift – the grace of God-given to you that benefits the mission of the church, the people of the church and makes you exceedingly happy in doing it.
a. Gifts are discovered in community doing ministry not by taking a test. A good test can be helpful, but does not measure supernatural giftedness from the Spirit.
B. Fill needed roles and don’t assume someone else will do it
C. Understand, no matter what the role it, that it benefits the larger mission of the church
D. Be holy
E. Be present
F. Be observant and take note of needs and meet them
G. Know that all internal ministry, done well, benefits the external ministry of the church
Illustration: there are encouragers here given by the Spirit for the purpose of lifting the heads of some. Some of you are given for me. You serve me with timely words that lift my soul and fill me with courage and strength to keep working. There is benefit in my salvation, in your exercise of the gift given by the Spirit and in the external work of the church.