The Purpose of Ministry
Wade E Taylor
All authentic ministry is a gift from the Lord, and is given
for the edifying and building up of His Body, the Church.
"Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high,
He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men" Eph
Each time the word "ministry" appears in Scripture,
it is coupled with the word, "gift" in some manner.
Some examples of this are:
"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and
some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" Eph
"Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift
of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working
of His power" Eph 3:7;
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister
the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold
grace of God" I Peter4:10.
The Lord has made ample provision for ministry to His Body.
He has not left the provision of ministry to His Body dependent
upon some arbitrary, or meritorious seeking on the part of
man. Rather, He has freely given adequate ministry gifts for
the building up of His Body, the Church.
"For every high priest (minister) taken from among men
is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may
offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion
on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for
that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason
hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to
offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself,
but he that is called of God, AS WAS Aaron "Hebrews 5:1-4.
(Or, "as is ..." - Your name, if it fits here).
Many different levels of ministry are needed to build up
and bring the Body of Christ to maturity. The order of these
ministries is listed in I Corinthians 12:28. "And God
hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets,
thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings,
helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
Those who are functioning in these ministries should have
the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation in their ministry.
"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 listed in I Cor12:8-10. They 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.
These ministry 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 14:26a.
It can be said that the "best gifts, "which are
to be sought after, are those that are not available at the
time of need.
It is essential that each one of us spend time in the presence
of the Lord to find OUR PLACE of ministry in the Body of Christ.
Then, we are to "wait upon the Lord" 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 the "ministry"
that is moving within us will meet a present need, or lift
up the spirit of the meeting, and is edifying; then, with
the approval and cooperation of the leadership, it should
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 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's part is to provide us with a ministry gift. Our
part is to be faithful in the outworking of the ministry gift
which 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 ability.
When those who had received the five talents returned with
ten, the Lord said: "Well done (not much done), thou
good (Godly) and aithful 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,
"faithfulness" in the outworking of what He had
given to them.
Notice that His emphasis is on their "faithfulness"
rather than o 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 of their ministry
("well done") 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 the ministry He has
given us, 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.
"And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God, to them who are the called according
to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be
the firstborn among many brethren."
As we are faithful to the gift of ministry that He has given
us, He will faithfully use all of our efforts in the outworking
of our ministry, to build up and edify His Body and as a means
to change us into the image and likeness of His Son.
, but along with this, His purposes will be accomplished in
the Body of Christ and among the un-saved, as the Gospel is
"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 a vital part of 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 being a faithful steward of the ministry
gift you have received?
If not, delay no 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 are dependent upon