“Making a Difference Through Ministry” is the November focus for the Hickman Mills church where I preach in Kansas City. Each month this year we’ve been focusing on a different purpose God has for His people. Yesterday, I preached on ministry. Wrote about ministry. Lead a small group to begin a new ministry. Yes, I’ve got ministry on my mind! So…..
Our word of the week is “minister.”
Often we used the word “minister” as a noun. And more often than not refer to the preacher as “the minister.” However, the word can be used as a verb. In fact, thirty-seven times the Bible uses “minister as a verb that applies to all Christians.
The Bible exhorts, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” ( 1Pet 4:11)
That’s what ministry is all about. Putting the saints into circulation! God wants and needs every member of His family to be a minister. Not just preachers. Here are three things we learn about ministering from this verse.
(1) Ministering is based on our gifts.
We all have different “gifts.” And they can be used to glorify God and serve others. The church family is a cooperative body where everyone has something to add. To share. To give.
Some minister through teaching or preaching. Some minister through their leadership skills. People blessed with monetary resources can minister with their money. Others with their time. Or talents. One may minister more quietly behind the scenes through encouragement. Showing mercy. Visiting the sick. Doing physical work.
In was in a meeting last year where two members were doing some work in the house of an elderly widow lady. They both definitely had some skills that this writer lacks!(Just ask my wife!) But they found a way to fulfill Galatians 6:10. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
(2) Ministering is a measure of our stewardship.
Stewardship is a Bible concept that says, “God is the owner. I am the manager.” Biblical stewardship is a lifestyle. An attitude. A willingness to surrender to God. To give the best of everything. And the first of everything.
Stewardship applies to my time. My talents. and my treasure. And it begins with an attitude of love. Love for God. And love for others. An understanding that we not just put here to consume resources. But to contribute. To give. To share.
Peter says we are to be “good stewards.” Good stewards are faithful. Trustworthy. Dependent. Ministering means that we work for the Master. We are his servants. His stewards. His slaves. His minister!
(3) We minister according to God’s grace.
Our gifts come from God. Paul put it this way.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
We all have been blessed with different talents, gifts and abilities. Our professions, personalities and personal pursuits lead us into to various opportunities to minister. By God’s providential grace we’ve been provided a means to minister to others. Paul succinctly says, “Let us use it!”
Ministry is a call of activity. Ministry is not theory. Speculation. Or lectures. It is love in action. It’s Christians on the go. It’s God working through us.”
Today. This week. This month. Look for opportunities to minister to the needs of others. Begin in your home. Look within your church family. And expand to see how you can serve in so many ways in your community.
When you minister, God will be honored. Others will be served. And you will find fulfillment.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman