When God calls you to Himself through Jesus Christ, He simultaneously calls you into Christian ministry. All Christians are called into ministry. There’s not some Christians who are called into ministry and other Christians who are called to just sort of be along for the ride. If you are a Christian, you are a minister. There is good work to be done, and it involves you.
With this in mind, we’re going to look at Ephesians 4:1-16. And in reading this we’ll see two things: 1) what we should be like as Christian ministers and 2) what we should be doing.
What Should Christian Ministers Be Like?
“I [Paul] therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called …”– v. 1
We have all been called, and we are to walk in a manner worthy of this calling. Who you are is foundational to what you do. So we don’t just want to roll up our sleeves and get busy in Christian ministry and neglect who we are.
In the next two verses, we find four character traits of Christian ministers:
- Patience/Bearing with one another
What do people remember about you as an individual? As a church? Let them remember how humble, gentle, patient and united you are with other Christians.
What Should Christian Ministers Be Doing?
Verses 7-10 might be confusing, but this is the gist of it: Jesus is the one who died for our sins; He’s the one who ascended into heaven; He’s the one who gives gifts by which we can be ministers. But we’ll focus on verses 11-12:
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ …”
We don’t go to church to receive something. We go to church to contribute something. You’ll know you’re confused about the concept of church when you use these phrases: “I didn’t get anything out of it” and “There’s nothing there for me.”
This passage uses words like “equip,” “work” and “build” to describe our participation in church. But what are we supposed to be building? What are we working for?
Why Are We Ministering?
“… until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by ever wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”– vv. 13-14
What we’re building toward is deepening faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ. The unity of a shared faith in Jesus is what we’re working for over time. How do we do this? By “speaking the truth in love” (v. 15).
When we remember that we’re all called into ministry, the church grows naturally. We “grow up in ever way … into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, … makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (vv. 15-16).
So ask yourself: “Have I received the humble, patient love of Jesus Christ? Am I growing more humble, patient, gentle and united over time? How can I build up the body of Christ?”
All Christians are called into ministry, may we live in a manner worthy of our calling and may we do the work of ministry together.
- Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
- Do you consider yourself a minister?
- Are you growing more humble, gentle, patient and united over time?
- How would you describe your participation in church? Are you seeking to contribute?
- How do we build unity and a deeper relationship with Christ?
- How can you build up the body of Christ?