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 ever man
hath received the GIFT, even so minister the same" (I
Different types of ministry are needed to build up and bring
the Body of Christ to maturity. There are those who are specifically
called and set apart to these ministries. "And He ordained
twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send
them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses,
and to cast out devils" Mark 3:14-15. These ministries,
as listed in Ephesians 4:11 are Apostles; Prophets; Evangelists;
Pastors and Teachers.
Along with these, there are many different ministries that
function through the members of the Body of Christ. Some of
these are; Prayer, Intercession, Testimony, Exhortation, Ministries
of Music, Altar Ministries, and various forms of Ministries
of Helps. These, and other ministry gifts compliment the pastoral
In addition, all of these 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
"How is it then, brethren? when you come together,
EVERY ONE of you HATH," I Cor 14:26. In a Gospel meeting,
each member of the Body of Christ should have a ministry that
is waiting for the right opportunity to fulfill a need. "But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal" I Cor 12:7.
The "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" are to be specifically
sought after and used. "But covet earnestly the best
gifts," I Cor 12:31a. These "best gifts" that
are to be diligently sought after are the ones that are needed
in order to accomplish a particular purpose, but are not available
at a time of need.
The Lord desires to give a ministry to each one of us. As
we prayerfully commit our life to the Lord, and actively seek
our portion of ministry, He will impart a ministry to us.
As we wait upon the Lord, He will provide the enabling power
and the anointing for its expression. No matter how limited
or unqualified we may feel, as we are obedient in its use,
the Lord will develop and perfect within us the ministry that
He has given.
It is very important that we find our PLACE of ministry
within the Body of Christ. We should prayerfully 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 "sayest". If what we "have"
will meet a need and lift the spirit of the meeting, then
with the cooperation of the leadership, it should be shared.
Our ministry gift can be considered to be the talent that
we receive from the Lord. "And unto one He gave five
talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man
according to his several ability; and straightway took His
journey" Matt 25:15. When the one who had received the
five talents returned with ten, the Lord said to him: "WELL
done (not much done), thou GOOD (Godly) and FAITHFUL servant,"
A careful reading of this passage shows that the Lord not
only expected to receive an increase from the ministry that
had been given to this servant but, along with this, looked
to see if the one who ministered had been changed as a result
of their ministry. Therefore, the real and lasting reward
was that which this one had BECOME. The Lord saw him as being
"Godly and faithful."
What we "do" in ministry is given to us as a "ministry
gift." We cannot be rewarded for what the Lord has been
able to accomplish through us. However, we can be rewarded
for a faithfulness that results in our being changed into
"His image and likeness." Thus, there is something
more that just discovering and coming into the full expression
of our ministry.
In Romans 8:29 we are told that we are predestined to be
"conformed to the image of His Son." Therefore,
the Lord uses our ministry as a means to bring about our being
changed into the image and likeness of His Son. "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. We will be spiritually matured through the functioning
of our ministry.
Ministry is the Lord's deposit of Himself in the members
of His Body. Have you discovered your ministry? Are you functioning
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 as an active
member of His Body. Your eternal state, as well as the lives
of many others are dependent upon this.