Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Is "Ministry" Anyway? - Part 1 of 2

Photo: Microsoft Images

Occasionally on this blog, I will use the term "family ministry."  What exactly does "ministry" mean anyway?  Often when we hear "ministry," we think about people who have been ordained to office and therefore have authority within the structure of a church organization.

But what is the Biblical definition of "ministry?"  Part of the confusion may be that there are different words translated as "ministry" or "ministering."  The most common meaning of "ministry" in the New Testament can be translated as "service" and is used in the context of helping others meet their spiritual or physical needs.  Indeed, Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that the primary purpose for offices within the church is "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry."  The Bible clearly assigns the work of ministry to the lay members of the church body as well as to those formally ordained into the ministry.

Photo: Microsoft Images

Ideally, there is a reciprocal relationship between those of rank and general members to encourage one another so their faith is mutually strengthened.  As Paul stated, "I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours" (Romans 1:11-12).  One of the purposes of the church is to "consider one another in order to stir up love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24).

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of "What Is 'Ministry' Anyway?"

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