Today: It is time to build!
11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4, NIV 84) emphasis added
The ministry gifts of service is God’s gift for His body, until the second coming of Christ. However, the prophets of the Old Testament, whose books we have in the Bible, are different from the prophets mentioned here. The word of any NT prophet is to be tested/compared with the word of God, whereas that which came out of the O.T prophets, and is part of the word of God, is infallible!
The duty of a Pastor/teacher is to help the church to attain the maturity of Christ. We see two extreme practices today: in the first type, the pastor is everything and the believers are just spectators; they are not allowed to exercise their gifts of ministry in the church or elsewhere!
The other extreme is where there is no specific leader or Pastor for a congregation, and all (men) are leaders.
Then there is the one where we see a local Pastor for the congregation, where believers are free to exercise their gifts. There will be all types of gifts and ministry, bringing blessing to the church, but they submit to the spiritual headship of the local Pastor
In his book on Ephesians (BST), John Stott mentions about his visit to a certain church in Connecticut, where he saw this writing: “ministers: whole congregation”
John Stott supports that. He supports the view that each believer is called to some form of ministry, and that the local leadership must encourage that
The fear in encouraging believers in ministry is “understandable” in such a time as this, where it may even be a matter of “job security” for some. I don’t deny the fact that prayer and caution must be exercised in bringing people up. At the same time, church ultimately belongs to the Lord. If those in the house don’t get room to bloom inside, they may go elsewhere and bloom!
If God sent someone with a certain gift, specifically to your church, God is responsible! Ask the Lord for specific directions, how to handle! The basic rule is: “handle with prayer”. The body of Christ needs to be built up, not down
When the focus is on quality, quantity will follow; but when the focus is simply on “doubling the church numb-ers” anyway, it can be pathetic!
I say this from what I see around
Let us be part of God’s work. “It’s not by schemes nor by skills, but by the Spirit of the Lord”. It is time to build!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for talking to me. I know that you have called me specifically for a ministry and I know that, but I have been avoiding you all this time. I am sorry. Help me God, to grow in that area and invest in it daily; Amen.
If we expect a mansion up there, there is no way we can stay away from its building process; do it here, and we will see it up there!