General Overview of a Minister’s Work
By Jim Durkin
The Bible is the heart and mind of God expressed, and everything that we know about Jesus is available in Scripture through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. A part of the Ministry is to preach and teach God’s Word, so the leadership has to thoroughly understand and practice God’s Word to maintain the unity of faith.
A minister must be thoroughly schooled in Scripture’s action principles, such as belief, confession, and action. When these are not practiced, it leads to a focus on informational preaching, which has the least transformational effect on the Body. It is necessary to submit to, practice and do the Word of God to propel onward movement.
When the purpose and the vision are lost as a divine reality, we fall back as believers unto the possible. If the vision does not lift us up out of ourselves to trust in God and believe in the impossible, we settle for passive possibility. E.g., It may not be easy just to think that we can be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. However, a dimension of awareness beyond ourselves is revealed when we fully understand that it is on the authority of God’s Word that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Therefore, messages must be filled with the purpose and vision to lift people out of their natural limitations.
Saints must be trained and equipped for the work of the Ministry. For this to be accomplished, various gifts are required, namely apostles, teachers, pastors, elders, prophets, and evangelists. The purposes of which are seen in Acts 20:28, ‘shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood”. 1 Timothy 3:1-2, shows the overseer as one who is able to teach. Throughout Scripture there are references to these offices and their respective roles. Therefore, the leadership must have a certain quality, unique to the office and themselves to be modified by the other gifts of the Body to have a complete and well-rounded ministry. Elders are older overseers and should be equipped by the other offices to have a broad understanding of all offices to shepherd the flock. Eldership left by itself to do one thing may lose its vision. This is why it is necessary to do other things like teaching or evangelize.
It is necessary to understand and put into function the family. One of the church’s weaknesses is that they don’t know that they are part of a family. There ought to be a practical understanding of the Biblical concepts such as family, brotherhood, priesthood and discipleship within the purpose and vision.
The Ministry should direct the saints to order their lives properly, through Godly counsel in marriage, finance, business principles and moral foundations to foster an atmosphere that allows creativity, personal growth and Ministry expansion. The leadership should plan, be analytical, observant and sensitive to the Spirit for direction. They should lead by example through precept and teaching and be aware that the Body will always amplify significant behavioural inconsistencies, e.g., wrong dress, alcohol, speech, therefore ‘abstain from all appearance of evil’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
Ministry must instruct, correct and reprove on a personal basis, and it will be better for those involved in the long run. Ministry must set the example of forgiveness and not hold on to grudges. They should not allow themselves to be easily offended by taking criticisms personally. Instead, they should train themselves and not let the sun go down on their wrath. They may run the risk of being repeatedly tricked, so their total confidence must be in God. They must use sound judgment as there may be situations where the sheep might be in danger and must be firm to protect them.
The Ministry must be careful not to fall into permanent role-playing of any kind but adopt an expanded role. Instead of identifying with a specific title, such as apostle, they can adopt a general attitude of being a brother or a sheep who follows the shepherd’s leading.
The Ministry must do as much of the work of other gifts as possible when they are not present until they become available. Although the leadership might be equipped to do the work of an evangelist, for example, as it was learnt, it is much better when a person with the gift of evangelism is present, as there is a powerful spiritual impartation.
The Ministry must demonstrate its submission to authority and support the authority over and under it. This will maintain peace in the Body of Christ. If there is rebellion, there will be friction in the Body. The Minister should establish and announce that he is a person under authority, allowing a natural flow and acceptance by the congregation.
Ministry has the most significant potential to fall into poor work habits as there is no absolute standard of judgement. A preacher must be disciplined and committed to the work of the Lord.
Finally, the Ministry must be prepared to discharge their duties whether or not they are paid, abiding by the principle, ‘freely have you received, freely give.’