What Is Your Ministry?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
In the last several days, we have focused on Ephesians 4:11-12. These verses teach that all of God's people are ministers. These ministers are to be equipped by pastors and other church leaders for their ministry. So, no matter who you are, if you have received God's grace through faith in Christ, then you are a minister of Jesus Christ.
This truth points to an obvious question. What is your ministry? One aspect of your ministry is what you do in the life of your church. Teaching Sunday school, singing in the band, ushering in worship services, serving as an elder . . . these and dozens of other actions within the corporate life of the church are included in your ministry. As we'll see a few verses later, the effort of every single person is essential if the church is to be all that God intends it to be.
But, as we have come to recognize that all Christians are ministers, we have often fallen into the trap of believing that all ministry is "church work," narrowly defined. We have often failed to see that the ministry of God's people includes what they do within the organization of the church, but extends beyond this organization into the world. Remember what we have learned from earlier passages in Ephesians. God's plan is to unite all things in Christ. We are newly created in Christ for good works, the good works of sharing in God's restoration of all things. Thus, our ministry is not just what we do in church, no matter how important this may be. Rather, our ministry, rightly understood, touches our whole lives as we live them for God's purposes.
I work for an organization that is committed to helping all of God's people know that they are Christ's ministers and that their ministry encompasses their whole life. In 1961, Howard E. Butt, Jr., founded Laity Lodge as an endeavor of the H. E. Butt Foundation. The name reveals its purpose. Laity Lodge was established to encourage the laity–the nonordained people of God, in particular–to discover their role as ministers of Jesus Christ. But Howard did not envision the ministry of the laity as something that happened only inside the walls of the church or in organized mission trips. Rather, he also affirmed the high calling of our daily lives, including our work. Howard's vision gave birth to TheHighCalling.org, which sponsors these Daily Reflections among many other online efforts. We who work for The High Calling have the responsibility and privilege of sharing the good news that the laity (God's people) have a high calling as ministers of Jesus Christ, to serve Christ in every facet of life, both in the church and in the world, in the family and in the workplace, in the school and in the community, and everywhere else.
What is your ministry? It is offering your whole life in service to God. It is devoting all that you are to serving people in God's name. It is using all of your talents, gifts, training, and opportunities for God's work of building his church and uniting all things in Christ. It is living every moment for God, for his purposes and glory.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you understand your ministry as a follower of Jesus Christ? In what ways do you contribute to the health and growth of your church? How might you live differently if you were to see everything you do as part of your ministry?
PRAYER: Thank you, Gracious God, for calling us into your ministry. Thank you for the privilege of serving you in the world. Thank you for the ways we can help build up your church. Thank you for the opportunities you give us to serve others in your name in our daily lives.
Help us, dear Lord, to live each moment as your ministers. Help us to serve you, whether we're cooking a meal for our families, balancing a budget, closing a deal, or preaching a sermon. Give us fresh vision to see our whole lives as ministry. To you be all the glory. Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge Youth Camp, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.