Ministry

By Jerry Ousley

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (NKJV)

As a child my mother had several names for each of her kids. For instance, if I was in trouble she'd call, "Jerry Dale!" I knew that one all too well. Whenever she'd include my full middle name I knew I had done something wrong and was prepared for the worst. But if she was calling me in for supper or to have me do a chore she'd only use my first name. I could tell by the way she called my name and the tone of her voice what to expect. We all have a call. Even those who have not yet given their lives to the Lord have gifts inside of them that they were born with placed there by God awaiting the day that they will come to Him and yield themselves. Those gifts are in rough form before salvation but begin to flow with anointing from God as we grow closer to Him.

The quoted scripture tells us that God anointed each of us with the spirit of a ministry gift but it doesn't mean that we will all fulfill them in the traditionally thought way. Some will. But more of us will minister utilizing our ministry gift but defined by the talent gifts which He has placed within us.

I don't read anywhere in the Bible where God called us to the ministry of "pew sitters." Yet by today's standards we have limited each other to just that. If we can't stand before a crowd of people and preach or teach about God we somehow think our job is just to occupy the seats. Not so. We all "preach" whether vocally or by demonstration. We all are called to the ministry.

We also need to stop and take a look at just what the word "ministry" means. It doesn't refer to some glorified position as a leader defined again by the confines of what we perceive today. It simply means "servant." We are all called as the servants of Christ. That's exciting! We all need to be occupied in life and it's the same for Christians. We need to be doing something more than just following someone's lead from a pew.

There is purpose in our group assemblies. But those assemblies should be a time to worship God collectively and testify of the wonderful things God has done through our own personal service for Him. Isn't that exciting? We all have a part.

When we speak about a "call" from God, I have come to believe from His Word that the "call" will fit our gifts. That call just doesn't fall from the clear blue sky above but begins from the moment of conception. As I have already said, He begins to implant within us desires and abilities that are unique only to us. We tend to look at talent, and that's good, but we can't compare talent when talking about ministry. Many can write better than I can but they can't put on paper what God has given me to put there. It's the same for each of us.

Absolutely no one can take your place and do exactly what you can do because God has called you to that form of witnessing for Him and no one else. You are irreplaceable.

Often when we think of ministry we think of tools. The tools change with times. We use what's available. That's what Jesus did. He used examples and tools of His day to illustrate the love of God and to preach about salvation. So it is with us. Tools change. They get better or sometimes stay the same. The tools are the means to interpret on a level that people can understand. We have a habit of making the tools the message, but the message is from God and will not change from what is written in the Bible. But tools will change because people change.

What I'm trying to say is this: We all have a call and God will use who we are, what we are, and what is available today to get His message out. After all, the message is the important thing, right? So what is your ministry?

Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of three books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" and "Ordeal." Listen to our daily broadcast Spirit Bread. Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com or email us at jousley@spiritbread.com


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