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The Call of Ministry

The Call of Ministry

Minister; ministry leader; ministerial staff; preacher; pastor; associate minister—the list could go on and on when it comes to labels for those given particular roles (often paid) in the life of a church. One of the joys of being at Woodmont Hills is seeing how many people, daily and weekly, are engaged in ministry.

Literally hundreds of people serve as ministers to our children. But there are countless other volunteer roles as well that require servant’s hearts and time expenditures for people. Some are involved in particular ministries like CCSI or Room in the Inn, or seasonal projects like the Angel Trees or Little Red Schoolhouse. Some come week after week for the “little things” like preparing the bulletins for mailing or putting cards in the back of chairs in the Great Hall, or preparing communion for three services. Each Sunday we witness many different people ministering to the whole church in our worship.

But there is also an intimidation factor when we continually see all of the talented people involved. It is easy to assume the role of spectator and never actually become equipped for ministry or engaged in ministry ourselves. Because there apparently are so many others engaged, we can assume our own services are unnecessary or our particular abilities are inferior. While we are comfortable using the term “minister” for others, we are less comfortable assuming the term fits everyone in the faith community—even me.

If the Apostle Paul is correct, however, there are no unimportant members of the body (I Cor. 12), and there are no Christians who are not also ministers. Paul tells the Ephesians that the whole point of the Spirit giving different gifts is so that the saints—you and I—can be equipped “or the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13). Our maturity as Christians depends on us being equipped for ministry. That requires commitment to growing and becoming more than we already are. It demands that each one of us see our lives as projects in progress.

Even if we already are serving in particular ministries, we remain students capable of learning to minister in other ways as we mature into him who is the head of the body, Christ. Discovering our own gifts of ministry and being trained to minister are critical ingredients in our future as the body of Christ. Let each of us accept God’s call to ministry. Let us all be part of the building up of this body to maturity, “to the measure of the full stature of Christ!”

I know, sometimes we just need to be ministered to, not given another job to do. But some times spiritual health, like physical health, requires more than complete rest in order for proper healing to occur. Sometimes we need rehab—we need those exercises in ministry to continue on the road to spiritual health and maturity. Next time the call for volunteers (ministers) comes, just say YES, and discover all that God wants to accomplish through you. The task won’t last a lifetime, but the calling will!

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