WHAT IS REAL MINISTRY?
These are days when most people are not really sure of the position of the Church of Jesus Christ on vital issues, and the direction in which the Church is clearly moving. Several doctrines, issues, and practices continue to stir up more confusion in people’s minds, and blur their vision of God’s holiness, purpose, and direction for mankind, especially God’s sons and daughters in Christ.
There is the ordination of homosexuals as ministers of the Gospel; sexual immorality (fornication and adultery) plus pornography, profanity, and sexual abuse in divers forms are practiced freely; greed for financial and material gain has eaten deep into the minds and hearts of many Believers; occultism and un-biblical religious practices have been made to become legitimate part of worship in several churches.
More than ever before, young people in the homes of church goers have become extra rebellious, carnal, lazy, unspiritual, lighthearted, careless, immoral, users of alcohol and illegal drugs, dabblers in witchcraft, irresponsible users of resources, fun lovers more than work lovers, and very immoral in all forms of sexual practices, just like children of the world. On top of it all, supposedly Christian homes and families are becoming as dysfunctional as the homes and families of the world, and the divorce rate of the Church runs parallel to the divorce rate of the world.
So, where is the Church of Jesus Christ standing as the Light of the world, and Salt of this earth?
Churches are multiplying now more than anytime in the history of nations, especially charismatic and evangelical churches, but our problems seem to multiply along with the formation of new churches. The truth about God’s character and purpose is eroding away from many churches and our communities at an alarming rate, mainly because many Pastors, Ministers, and Church Leaders are not teaching and practicing the real biblical truth to the people of God.
Majority of people who go to church have lost, or do not really know, the fear of God anymore, especially young people. There is more activity than true spirituality. Instead of the zeal for personal Bible study and obedience to God’s will, there is more jumping, shouting, slogans, fun, programs, and singing of songs that have no real meaning to the singers in church services.
People are more committed to programs and performance of duties in place of real commitment to Jesus as Lord, effective bible study, meditation on scripture, obedience to God’s word, and fervent prayer, which will ultimately lead to demonstration of holiness and true love in our homes, marriages, family life, outside the home, and in our churches. This unfortunate trend has to be broken, and must be done so now!
God is looking out for men and women with true understanding of authentic ministry. The Lord wants to draw such men and women closer to Him, reveal to them His will and purpose for this generation, train them to become sharp tools and useful vessels in God’s blessed Hands, as they “work together with God” (2 Corinthians 6: 1) for the fulfillment of His ultimate purposes on earth. “God teaches the humble His way” (Psalm 25: 9).
The good news is that God has always had a devoted remnant of Believers who have stood firmly with the Lord to maintain the fundamental principles and doctrines of Christ for His Body, the church, in every corrupt generation. Therefore in every place on this planet today, there are still churches where the real truth of God is preached, taught, and practiced for the expansion of God’s Kingdom, and to the glory of God.
This is the reason why dedicated and concerned Pastors, Ministers, and Church Leaders with a genuine passion for God and desire to engage in true Ministry, gather from time to time to discuss, analyze, teach, encourage, motivate, and challenge each other to move ahead and work with the Lord to conquer more territory in order to expand the Kingdom of God. We can then gather other people within our sphere of influence, teach them, and demonstrate by our lives of obedience, enlightened zeal, true love, humility, faith and demonstration of holy living, WHAT REAL MINISTRY OUGHT TO BE.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal (blameless) to Him” (2 Chronicles 16: 9).
“ The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11: 32).
To Minister: To attend to the needs of others, or to serve.
Minister: a) The act of serving; ministration; religious position or clergy.
Christian Ministers are Ministers of:
God —- 2 Corinthians 6: 4
Christ —- Romans 15: 16.
The Gospel —- Ephesians 3: 7
The Word —- Luke 1: 2
The New Testament —- 2 Corinthians 3: 6
The Church —- Colossians 1: 24-25
Righteousness —- 2 Corinthians 11: 15.
b) Ministers are Servants of:
God —- Titus 1:1
The Lord —- 2 Timothy 2: 24
Jesus Christ —- Philippians 1: 1
The church —- 2 Corinthians 4: 5
c) Ministers are Witnesses
They are given the anointing, power, and authority to witness about
God as Creator
God’s character and attributes
God’s salvation plan for mankind
God’s revelation, redemption, and deliverance through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 43: 10-12; Luke 24: 48; Acts 2: 32; Acts 3: 15; Acts 5: 32, 42; Acts 10: 39-43; Acts 13: 29-31
Ministers are Stewards (managers, attendants, people entrusted with
Responsibility for). They are Stewards of:
God —- Titus 1: 7
The grace of God —- 1 Peter 4: 10
The mysteries of God —- 1 Corinthians 4: 1
Your call to be a minister is a stewardship from God given to you for the people within the Body of Christ —- Colossians 1: 25.
d) Ministers are Overseers (directors, inspectors, supervisors) —- Acts 20: 28
The major qualifications of an overseer are listed in 1 Timothy 3: 1-7.
a) Work and care for, attend, do for, minister to, wait on or wait upon.
b) Place food before someone.
c) Meet a need or requirement, answer, do, suffice, suit (e.g. serve a purpose).
Ministers Lead: Exercise special influence in the life of someone, conduct along a way, guide,
be ahead or head of, tend toward a given result (e.g. a practice that leads to success), direct the performance or activity, start or begin, be in the front or foremost, have an advantage or superiority (e.g. lead in a game), be an example, play a principal role.
Other descriptions and titles that intimately go along with the calling to be a minister are:
1) Fishers of Men (Mathew 4: 19; Mark 1: 17);
2) Laborers (Mathew 9: 38; 1 Thessalonians 3: 2);
3) Lights or lamps (St. John 5: 35);
4) Apostles (Mathew 10:2; Acts 1:2);
5) Prophets (Ephesians 4: 11);
6) Teachers (Acts 13:1; Ephesians 4: 11);
7) Pastors (Ephesians 4: 11);
8) Evangelists (Ephesians 4: 11);
9) Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5: 20);
10) Angels of the churches (Revelations 1: 20; Revelation 2: 1);
11) Defenders of the faith (Philippians 1: 7);
12) Elders (1 Timothy 5: 17; 1 Peter 5: 1);
13) Men of God (1 Timothy 6: 110;
14) Messengers of the churches (2 Corinthians 8: 23);
Some examples of service and leadership in the Bible:
1) The Apostles appointed or instructed the appointment of Elders to serve as Leaders in every New Testament church (Acts 14: 23; Titus 1: 5).
2) God instructed Moses to appoint 70 Elders to assist him to lead and minister to the people of Israel (Numbers 11: 16, 17, 24, 25).
3) Rulers and Leaders were chosen and appointed by Moses for Israel (Exodus 18: 21-26).
4) Aaron and his sons ministered as Priests in garments of ministry in the Holy Place (Exodus 35: 19 & 39: 41).
5) Service of the Lord was performed with offerings —- burnt offerings, sacrifices, and peace offerings (Joshua 22: 27).
6) David appointed men over the service of song in the house of the Lord (1 Chronicles 6: 31).
7) Very able men fit for the work of the service of the House of God (1 Chronicles 9: 13).
8) Service of God for Israelites —- goes with adoption as sons of God, glory of God, God’s covenants, the law of God, and the promises of God (Romans 9: 4).
9) Vegetation caused by God to grow for the service of man (Psalm 104: 14).
10) Service of the faith of the believer —- goes with sacrifice (Philippians 2: 17).
11) Service of divine ordinances of the first covenant (Hebrews 9: 10).
MAJOR CHARACTERISTCS OF TRUE MINISTERS OF GOD
A TRUE MINISTER MUST
1) Minister to people for their good. Be a good minister of Jesus Christ —- Romans 13: 4; 1 Timothy 4: 6.
2) Be sound in good doctrine —- 1 Timothy 4: 6.
3) Be nourished in the words of faith (feed on a balanced diet of whole and pure scriptures) —- 1 Timothy 4: 6.
4) Fully acknowledge that the Lord called and put him or her in the ministry (received it from the Lord), and allow the Lord to control all aspects of the ministry —- 1 Timothy 1: 12
5) Depend entirely on the grace of God in every area of the ministry —- 1 Timothy 1: 14.
6) Be an elder who rules well —- 1 Timothy 5: 17.
7) Be a servant of the Lord —- 2 Timothy 2: 24
8) Be committed and devoted to the Lord and his or her duties —- Philippians 1: 21
9) Live a holy, pure, and righteous life — a character that matches the Gospel and the ministry —- 1 Timothy 4: 12.
10) Live a sincere and honest life of integrity —- Learn to hear and listen to God —- Isaiah 6: 8; Isaiah 30: 21; Acts 22: 17-21; Isaiah 15: 21; St. John 10: 3, 16, 27; James 1: 19; 1 John 1: 1, 3, 5.
11) Wait upon the Lord for His counsel, guidance, instructions, anointing, and power — Isaiah 40: 30, 31; Acts 1: 4, 5, 8; Isaiah 30: 1, 15-21
12) Obey God’s instructions and commandments —- St. John 10: 3, 16, 27; James 1: 19;
13) Not quarrel but be gentle to all —- 2 Timothy 2: 24.
14) Not be greedy or lover of money — 1 Timothy 3: 3.
15) Must be the husband of one wife or wife of one husband —- 1 Timothy 3: 2.
16) Must be able to teach —- 2 Timothy 2: 24. Labor in teaching and doctrine —- 1 Timothy 5: 17.
17) Be patient —- 2 Timothy 2: 24.
18) Be a man or woman of faith —- 2 Timothy 4: 7.
19) Fight a good fight —- 2 Timothy 4: 7.
20) Know his or her race and run it very well —- 2 Timothy 4: 7; Hebrews 12: 1, 2.
21) Be able to identify and fully use all talents and gifts —- I Timothy 4: 14; Ephesians 4: 7-16.
22) Persevere, be steadfast, and persistently keep the faith —- 2 Timothy 4: 7; 1 Timothy 4: 16.
23) Be consistent and faithful —- 1 Corinthians 4: 2
24) Correct in humility, those in opposition to him, the Gospel, the Church, or God —2 Timothy 2: 25.
25) Must be ready to suffer persecution —- 2 Timothy 3: 12.
26) Must preach the word of God! —- 2 Timothy 4: 2.
27) Must preach in season (when convenient) and out of season (when inconvenient) —-2 Timothy 4: 2.
28) Must learn how to convince (speak the truth emphatically and persuasively), rebuke (admonish, caution), exhort (urge by strong appeal, encourage and advise to do right), with longsuffering (enduring patience) and a teaching (educating and instructing) objective —- 2 Timothy 4: 2.
29) Finish his or her assigned work (fulfill all your responsibilities) —- Colossians 4: 17; 2 Timothy 4: 7; Hebrews 12: 1, 2.
Copyright Jan. 2009. Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo
Professor of Biology
Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, USA
Founder & President, Fruitful Ministries International Inc.
(Evangelistic and Teaching Christian Ministry)
6 Red Robin Turn
Hampton, VA 23669, USA