What is Ministry?
This is a question that has popped into my head a few times now. I seem to be persistently reminded of it no matter how much I try to shake the sensation. I have, for the past while, wanted to go into “ministry” and have my vocation be something in the field of ministry. I feel like I have a handle on the term and the meaning of the word. However, why am I constantly reminded of this one question… What is ministry?
What is Ministry?
Ministry – the work or vocation of a minister of religion.
This is how google defines the word ministry, which is silly because the definition just led me to another question, what is a minister? Again, I feel like I know what a minister is, but to truly understand what ministry is we have to dig down to its roots.
Minister – a member of the clergy, especially in Protestant churches.
(For those of you who don’t know what a clergy is it is a pastor of some sort.)
Boom! The logical and worldly definition of ministry is the actions or the work of a pastor. If the term minister can only be used to define a pastor and ministry to define the work of a pastor, then the answer is simple: Ministry is only for pastors who preach the word of God.
The Common Misconception
The world has this preconceived notion of what ministry is, as you can see above. Those definitions came straight from the dictionary. The problem arises when Christians begin to adopt the worldly meanings behind these Christian words. This happens all too often in the Christian community… We begin to adopt new distorted definitions of words such as “love” which is a dangerous trap to fall into.
We are all called to be “ministers” of sorts, not solely those in pastoral positions. We are all called to share the Word of God and to make disciples of all nations!
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
What does this Mean?
It means that no matter what your vocation is, and no matter where God has you in life, you have a job to do. Your job is to minister to those who need it and to disciple those in your life. Ministering is a full-time job, plus overtime. It’s a job that requires more than your attention, it has to be your priority. As Christians, we are all called to lives of ministry.
God has blessed us all with different and unique spiritual gifts, allowing us to perform better in certain areas of ministry than others. We all play a part in the body of the “church,” or, in other words, “ministry.” This means that we need to be performing our ministerial roles no matter where we are and no matter what we are doing. We have to perform our roles in the body or else the body will not function as it should and effective ministry ceases.
On That Note…
I have been in a place before where I did not feel qualified for the position of ministry I was being called to. We all hit those points in life where we don’t see ourselves as fit to share the Word of God. Trust me, I am at that point right now. I am taking a job soon as the Director of a Youth Ministry, where I will be launching an entire youth group. This is a daunting task, and as a 19-year-old I truly feel under-qualified and unprepared for this position.
No matter the qualifications or lack thereof, God has plans for you. His plans trump any qualifications you think you may or may not have. The place where He is leading you to, He will prepare you for however He sees fit. God never leaves us, so for us to say that we are not prepared for a position is to claim that God is unfaithful in His promises and reveals our lack of trust in His sovereign provision.
Exodus 3:11 “But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’”
Moses knew for a fact that he was not prepared to accomplish what God had called him to- one of the most daunting tasks in the history of the world… Yet God provided for Moses, and although that is not the central focus of the story (Although some argue that it is) we can learn something about God’s nature and character through it. He provides… He is Jehovah Jireh, The Great Provider.