October 4, 2020 (Ministry: Part One)
While the United States differs, many governments around the world use the word “ministry” to refer to various bureaus and departments that handle various tasks. A famous fictional example is the “Ministry of Magic” in the Harry Potter books. Each of these organizations serves a purpose to the government that sets it up. That role: service, is what ministry is about.
When our minister was in high school, he believed in his calling to become a minister. Many of his classmates wondered what that meant: Was he going to marry and have a family and children? Was he going to be a priest, and wear special clothing to perform his duties before the congregation? Was he going to be a hermit, and live in isolation?
But we believe ministry is special, because it’s part of who we are as a church. We believe in the priesthood of believers, so while our minister might be special because he gets up in front of everybody to give sermons, he’s not the only person with a role in our church. God calls everyone to action.
To get that to happen, God empowers all of his people, so everybody can fit in. Paul writes that:
Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.2nd Corinthians 4: 1-7 (NLT)
Since we’re able to minister or serve in God’s kingdom, there’s a place for everyone to serve. We serve in some roles when we’re together as a congregation: participating in worship, committing our lives to Christ in baptism, taking communion, prayer, and helping in spiritual growth. Those are all ministry roles that happen inside our church.
That’s only part of the picture.
A church doesn’t just focus on activities inside it. A church also connects with the community around it.
Stay tuned! We will focus on how ministry extends to the community next week.