Saturday, August 9, 2014

Understanding Ministry

Pondering 'The Ministry' and approaching the word as if I have never heard it before. I think it is concept that is misunderstood and one we can get familiar with and miss the true value of this God given dynamic.

The word 'ministry' comes from the Greek word Diakonia (Strong's G1248) and it basically speaks of administering a stewardship of distribution. A ministry is in a sense a distribution center and a minister is an individual who assumes the role as a distributor... much like a mailman has a route and the moves the mail from their truck and put it in the right box or leave it at the correct door.

Every believer has a ministry of reconciliation.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." - 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 ESV

So in a way we are all mailmen of the message but it is more than that.

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:" - 1 Peter 4:10 ESV

It involves stewardship in personal service to one another. We are stewards of grace and that grace is many sided grace.

"Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, 'In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything." - 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 ESV

The 'we' aspect of ministry is very real. Flying solo we do not experience it but corporately there is a shared life and a magnification that must be experienced.

"For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee... Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith." - 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, 24 ESV

Pastors are helpers of the joy of a flock full of ministers. Stephen, and other men,  worked in the food bank so that the Apostles would be free to pray and administer the word of God to people (see Acts 6:4f) so that in understanding the individual can remain focused on what is important and real.


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