The Ministry

God has given the ministry of the church as a governing element and to help us understand the meaning of His Word (Nehemiah 8:8). From experience and the Bible, we understand the importance of the ministry having the oversight of the flock of God (Acts 20:28). Anytime a local church gets out of harmony with God’s plan and allows deacons, elders, trustees, or anyone else to control the church, that local church is in for trouble. God’s plan calls for the ministry to have this oversight, not as a dictatorial tyrannical oppressor, but a God-fearing leader, dispensing spiritual food to the saint.

Where and what would our lives be like without the ministry, without a shepherd’s heart guiding and leading us under the direction of God? The ministry is not the sole agency of protection in our lives, but it is an extremely important one.

God has given the fivefold ministry to the church (Ephesians 4:11-14). Look up the meaning of the following:

  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Evangelists
  4. Pastors
  5. Teachers

The primary task of the ministry is to equip the saints so that everyone will be able to work effectively in the church and thereby strengthen the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

Two areas of responsibility are vital to a healthy relationship between ministers and church member. We cannot cover every detail here, but the following points will start us on the road to developing a proper relationship between minister and saint.

  • Our Responsibility to the Ministry. We should:
    1. Remember those who have the rule over us (Hebrews 13:7).
    2. Esteem them very highly in love (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
    3. Obey those who have the rule over us (Hebrews 13:17).
    4. Count them worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17).
    5. Salute (greet with respect and kindness) those who have rule over us (Hebrews 13:24).
    6. Do not muzzle them (1 Timothy 5:18).
    7. Do not receive an accusation against them except before two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19).
  • The Ministry’s Responsibility to Us. They should:
    1. Feed the flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
    2. Reprove and rebuke with all long-suffering (2 Timothy 4:2).
    3. Preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
    4. Make disciples, baptize, and teach them to observe all things the Lord has commanded (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:26-39).
    5. Command and teach what God’s Word declares (1 Timothy 4:11).
    6. Give direction for our lives, and Paul did to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 5:11).
    7. Teach and exhort believers to obey God’s commands (1 Timothy 5:7; 6:2).

The Word of God is the measure or standard of both the minister and his or her message. All the factors we have presented in this study combine to preserve balance in the church and assure salvation for the believer.