What do you think about when you hear the word Minister? Some may think of a person, most often a man, dressed in all black, possibly wearing a white backwards collar, who works professionally preaching from the Bible, ministering to the sick, and counseling the hurting. Others think of a missionary, in some remote country, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to unreached people groups. Still others may think of a hermit monk, priest, or televangelist.
So, what is the true definition of a Minister?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a Minister as “a person whose job involves leading church services, performing religious ceremonies (such as marriages), and providing spiritual or religious guidance to other people: a member of the clergy in some Protestant churches.”
That’s a pretty good definition from the world’s viewpoint, but it’s incorrect.
In Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT), Paul writes, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
According to this scripture, the pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, and evangelists are the ones who “equip” God’s people to do the work of the ministry. This can only mean that “God’s people” are the ones who do the work of the ministry.
Therefore, God’s people, those who have begun a relationship with Jesus Christ, who have asked the Lord for forgiveness for their sins, who have repented of their sins and made Jesus the Lord of their lives, are the Real Ministers in the body of Christ.
This means so much for all Christians everywhere:
- It means that every Christian is responsible for the work of the ministry.
- It means that everyone has a job to fulfill.
- It means that pastors, teachers and leaders have a greater responsibility to teach others to serve and to lead.
- It means that all believers in Jesus must live holy lives, not just those in vocational ministry.
- It means we must all look for opportunities to serve.
- It means that we are all interdependent upon each other.
So, greetings, fellow minister. It’s an honor serving with you.