“Am I A Minister?”
I have had this question asked of me and I would like to say that the answer to this question is yes–and no. It is “yes” because we all have accepted the salvation that Jesus Christ died to provide for us. We all are capable and encouraged to share and speak about the faith that we now profess to live. Peter speaks about the priesthood of believers, which implies to me that there is a shared responsibility to minister.
But the answer to the question is also no. It is “no” because not all who believe in Jesus are called to be pastors, teachers or evangelists. Not everyone is called to preach and to stand in front of the church and proclaim the gospel. Not everyone is called to be a preacher because there must be a desire, a passion for the word and work of Jesus Christ, a willingness to share the Gospel. Ultimately, our willingness to be a part of the process is what God wants from us.
Not being a full-time minister does not relieve any us of our responsibility to model, tell and live the life and death of Christ in our bodies before the world for them to see.
Ministry is not an Option
After Peter denied Christ, Jesus gave him the same number of opportunities to be reconciled (John 21:15-19). Having done so Jesus sent Peter to feed His lambs. While the command to feed the lambs is found within a specific personal and historical context, I believe that it is a much more general command. One that must be listened to by all who love Jesus. To follow Jesus is to walk where He walked, doing what He did, with love and grace.
When we identify with Jesus we buy into the ministry that He came to bring. The great commission shows us this. Jesus, once He had suffered, been crucified, died and was resurrected did not leave this earth without leaving some final instructions. There is work left to be done and that work is the responsibility of all who bear His name. Do you know when we will no longer have to worry about spreading the Gospel? When we are in heaven.
Ministry is not an option for the Christian. Some may feel that they are exempt because they do not know enough or because they have not been Christians long enough. These are not valid reasons for not ministering. The most basic Christian responsibility is to love one to another and this is done through ministry.
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians tells us that we all have spiritual gifts. So the question that each Christian should ask is why? These gifts that are different and given to all have at the root of them have one purpose–to minister other believers and to the world around us.
Learning To Say, “Yes!”
When we think of the word minister we most often think of someone who is a pastor or who, at the very least, works for a church. The word minister actually means “to serve.” There are some professional ministers that have forgotten this, but that does not give the rest of the body of Christ the right to forget. The Christians in this modern time must come back to what is most important, service. We ought not to dread doing the work of the church.
Many do not serve because they do not know where to serve. Others fail to serve because they do not know how to serve. Still others fear serving because they believe they have nothing to offer. All of these would be incorrect. Allow me one last word of encouragement. Just say “Yes!” to God and the rest will take care of itself.