The Purpose of Ministry
Wade E Taylor
All authentic ministry is a gift from the Lord, and is given
for the building up of His Body, the Church.
Each time the word “ministry” appears in Scripture,
it is coupled with the word “gift” in some manner.
Some examples of this are: “He GAVE apostles”
Eph 4:11; “Whereof I was made a minister, according
to the GIFT of the grace of God” Eph 4:7; “As
every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same”
I Peter 4:10.
Many different types of ministers are needed to build up,
and bring the Body of Christ to maturity. There are those
who are called, and then set apart to the ministry. These
ministries, as listed in Ephesians 4:11 are: Apostles; Prophets;
Evangelists; Pastors and Teachers.
Along with these, there are other ministries that find their
expression through the members of the Body of Christ. Some
of these are: Speaking forth a quickened “Word”
as an exhortation; A ministry of Prayer or Intercession; Sharing
a personal testimony; Leading people to the Lord, or functioning
in an “altar” ministry. All these, as well as
others, are expressions of ministry that function through
the members of the Body of Christ.
In addition, all ministries should be able to function in
one or more of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. “But all
these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to
every man severally as He will” I Cor 12:11. These gifts
are: The Word of Wisdom; The Word of Knowledge; Faith; Gifts
of Healing; Working of Miracles; Prophecy; Discerning of Spirits;
Tongues; and the Interpretation of Tongues. I Cor 12:8-10
These gifts are to be sought after and used. “But covet
earnestly the best gifts” I Cor 12:31a. “But the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal” I Cor 12:7. “How is it then, brethren?
when you come together, EVERY ONE of you HATH ...” I
Cor 14:26. It can be said that the “best gifts”
are those that are not available at the time of need.
It is very important that we seek the Lord to find our PLACE
of ministry in the Body of Christ. Then, we are to wait for
the right time and opening for its expression. This latter
part is very important, and many miss here.
Notice that I Cor 14:26 tells us that “every one of
you HATH” rather than “sayeth.” If “what
we have” will meet a need, or lift up the spirit of
the meeting, and is edifying; then, with the cooperation of
the leadership, it should be shared.
As we actively look to the Lord and wait upon Him, expecting
to receive our portion of ministry, He will impart a ministry
to us and provide the enabling power and the anointing for
its expression. Then, no matter how limited or unqualified
we may feel, as we are obedient in its use, the Lord will
develop and perfect this ministry within us.
The Lord requires our faithfulness in the outworking of the
ministry gift that has been given to us. This principle is
confirmed in Matthew 25: 14-30 in the parable of the talents.
“And unto one He gave five talents, to another two,
and to another one; to every man according to his several
When those who had received the five talents returned with
ten, He said to them: “WELL done (not much done), thou
good (Godly) and faithful servant” Matt 25:21. A careful
reading of this passage shows that the Lord required the return
of the gift to Him with increase, and that He also expected
their “faithfulness” in the outworking of what
He had given to them.
Notice that His emphasis is on their “faithfulness”
rather than on the increase that a ministry may produce. “Moreover
it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”
I Cor 4:1-2.
He was telling them that the functioning (well done) of their
ministry had produced “Godliness” (His image and
likeness) in their lives. Therefore, the real and lasting
reward was in what they had become as a result. “Thou
good (godly) and faithful servant.”
What we “do” in ministry, is given to us as a
“ministry gift.” We cannot be rewarded for what
the Lord has accomplished through us. But, we can be rewarded
for our “faithfulness” in being obedient to the
outworking of this ministry, and for what it has produced
in our lives as a result.
Thus, discovering and coming into the full expression of
our ministry is not the final purpose of our having a ministry.
There is something more. In Romans 8:28-29 we are told that
we are “to be conformed to the image of His Son”
and that He takes all things in our lives and then works them
together toward this goal.
As we are faithful to the gift of ministry that He has given
to us, He will faithfully use all of our efforts in the outworking
of our ministry, as a means to change us into the image and
likeness of His Son.
Not only will we be spiritually matured through the functioning
of our ministry, but along with this His purposes will be
accomplished in the Body of Christ, and among the un-saved,
as the Gospel is proclaimed. “His intention was the
perfecting and the full equipping of the saints, that they
should do the work of ministering toward the building up of
Christ's Body, the Church” Eph 4:12 Amplified.
Ministry is the Lords deposit of Himself in the members of
His Body. Have you discovered your ministry? Do you function
in it? Can it be said by the Lord that you are a faithful
steward of the ministry gift that you have received?
If not, do not delay any longer, accept the ministry gift
that is waiting for you, and begin to function in His Body.
Your eternal state, as well as the lives of many others is
dependent upon this.