for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of
the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Every believer is called to the body of Christ and has a place in the local church. We are all called to the work of ministry. Many believers have the "I can take it or leave it attitude" regarding the local church and their ministry in it. They look at it sort of like whether or not they would like to go out to eat or stay home, however, involvement in a local church is not a option to a serious believer. Here is how you can take your place in the body of Christ.
I. Know that God wants to make you a servant (minister) in the house of the Lord.
The scripture in verse 16 above says, "every part does its share." That means you. YOU must do your share. The government used to have a poster out where Uncle Sam was pointing and the caption read something like "Uncle Sam wants YOU" Well, Jesus wants YOU. When God called Paul, he said, But
rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.
Even if you are not called to be a mighty Apostle, like Paul, you are called to
serve and do your share in the body of Christ. God wants YOU. He wants your time, He wants your talents, He wants your tithes. If you will serve Him, He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. If you run from Him he can make life pretty miserable, like He did to Jonah when he was cast overboard and swallowed by a whale.
1. You're just as called as the pastor.
You're role might be different, but your call to help is just as important. We need every part doing its share. Most people think only the apostle, prophet,
evangelist, teacher or pastor is called to minister. I can just go to church
when I feel like it and serve if I feel like it. However the Lord is more serious about His calling and His ministry and His church than that. His church cost Him a great price and He wants us to be serious about serving in the house of the Lord.
Even though you might not be called to preach or oversee the church, you're still called to be a part of the church. You're just as called to attend, pray,
serve, worship, help, encourage, and bless the people of God as the pastor. Can you imagine what would happen to the church if the pastor and the elders only showed up about half of the time? It would fall apart in no time. The people would say, "I'm out of here, the pastor doesn't care about the church."
2. There is a general call and a specific call.
Everyone is called to general ministry. Things like cleaning the church, praying before the services, participating in work days, reaching out to people, inviting people to church, and lifting up our voices in worship, are all areas of service everyone can participate in.
Specific calls are those that not everyone is called to. Not everyone is called to be a pastor. Not everyone is called to lead worship. Not everyone is called to be an elder or teacher. God sovereignly chooses certain people for these ministries. We need to know our calling.
3. Answer the Call.
At our house when we get a phone call from an area code we don't recognize we usually don't answer the call. We let it go to voice mail. We have learned our lesson by being flooded with telemarketing and political calls. We have learned to be selective regarding the calls we actually answer. When we are expecting an important call, however we answer it. When God calls you it is a "Very Important Call" – Answer it.
We are not our own. We've been bought with a GREAT price. So, let's not be rude to the Lord Let's answer the call.
4.Love is the motivator.
The church today needs to teach people the first commandment. "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
Loving the Lord is a commandment and therefore a choice. It should be our first prayer and our greatest desire. For if we would love the Lord will all of our heart all else will fall into place. When we love God we will want to serve Him. When we love God we will automatically want to live for Him. When we love God we will want to seek Him. Worshipping the Lord is not a chore when we love Him.
Bishop Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship