Minister Defined

What is an everyday minister? Is it a senior pastor, associate pastor, youth pastor, worship pastor, elder, or deacon of a local church? It is the pastor or staff member of a large church? Is it the pastor at the small church? Is it full time or part time pastor? This has been a question that has resonated with me over the past few years. Mainly, because I believe that the idea of an “everyday minister” is widely misunderstood in the American church, specifically those that are found in the “bible belt.

” Below are a few different definitions for the term minister. 

          • “A person authorized to conduct religious worship”  (from Vocabulary.com)
          • “One officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship”  (from Merriam-Webster.com)

We tend to think of a minister in the same way of both of these websites, as a clergy member in a religious organization. Where scripture seems to have a different definition for a minister.

 

Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,”

 

Paul was explaining to the church of Ephesus that Christ calls some men to the role of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Paul, not only explained that Christ has set these men apart, but he provides what their purpose was to be. The purpose of this article is not to provide an exhaustive study of each of these callings but rather focus upon their purpose. Paul goes on to explain that these men were too, “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” The men called to such a role, were to and are still are to teach and prepare the body of believers to do the work of ministry. 

 

Saints and Ministry

 

Which leads one to ask some additional questions, who are the saints and what is the ministry? First, the saints are simply those who believe in Christ and trust upon Him for salvation. Second, the ministry they are called to is shown in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. Both of the scriptures present Christ’s final command to not only the disciples but for all believers. Which is to to go, therefore, and to make disciples of all nations by being Christ’s witnesses. 

An everyday minister then is all believers living their lives in such a way that makes the Gospel known from their home towns to the entire world and then disciplining those that come to Christ for salvation. But in today’s culture, we seem to have taken the ones with a special calling from God and placed them into the category of “minister”. Rather than understanding that everyone who comes to Christ in salvation is called to be a minister of the Gospel.

I want to leave you with two final thoughts when thinking of an everyday minister. First, as the “pastor or teacher” and second as the “everyday minister”. 

Pastors, staff members, and elders do not forget that you are to be an example to those who are under your leadership. You are to be an example of one that lives and shares the Gospel, as well as one that disciples recent converts. You can accomplish this by taking people along with you, as you share the Gospel or disciple an individual.  Also, make sure those God has placed under your care know how to present the Gospel to their lost family, friends, and coworkers. Do as Ephesians says, “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Lastly, celebrate, encourage, and pray for your church members as they fulfill the great commission!

 

Gospel Focus

Saints, do not forget that God has invited you to be His instruments of the Gospel that would make Himself known to those around you and all over the earth. This is an honor! So, do not sit by and expect your pastor to do the work of ministry to those God has placed in your life. Second, if you do not know how to share the Gospel with someone, ask your pastor to teach you how. As a pastor, I can guarantee that this would not only be the best way for you to learn, but it would a great encouragement for your pastor! Third, do not be discouraged, for salvation is a work of God and God alone, you do not save anyone!

So in short, if you are reading this article and are a follower of Christ you are an everyday minster. 

Pastors lead by example and equip the saints for ministry. 

Saints, do the work of ministry and be not discouraged!