There are many definitions and thoughts on the work of the ministry. Today we discuss what the Bible says the work of the ministry is.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Table of contents
Downloads and Links
Watch the video of this teaching at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/the-work-of-the-ministry/ or on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/fcrH6lmbgbg
Each year we like to return to the passages of scripture the Lord led us to in the Bible that we have set as our founding principles of Cell Life Church International. These are the passages that we use to measure everything we do. It is very important to always be sure that what you do lines up with scripture and with what the Lord has called you to do. It is very easy to go and start doing things you think should be done in your own power and lose sight of what God has called you to do.
In this teaching, we are going to talk about the role of church leadership, the work of the ministry, and what this looks like around the world today. We have learned many lessons in our years in the ministry both as regular church group members and as credentialed clergy or ministers. One of the conversations we have from time to time is about keeping the focus of Cell Life Church International on the mission God gave us and not getting distracted by other things.
We want Cell Life Church International to outlive us. We also want it to stay on course and function within the bounds that the Lord passed on to us. We can see the Kingdom of God grow by focusing on what God has asked us to do and encouraging you to do the same thing, nothing more and nothing less. This all is under the umbrella of the work of the ministry.
Role of Church Leadership
The role of church leadership is essential to the work of the ministry. Throughout time God has raised up leaders to lead his people. When you read through the Bible you will read passage after passage about leaders and what they did leading people. We often read the result of their leadership, too. Some leaders like Moses, Joshua, and Nehemiah did amazing things and the Kingdom of God grew and matured greatly. Other leaders were more focused on themselves than on the path they were supposed to lead God’s people on and the Kingdom of God suffered because of it. Leaders have a specific role to fulfill in the Church.
Ephesians 4:11-12 is our first foundational passage of scripture for Cell Life Church International and should be a foundational passage of scripture for every church group around the world. It is foundational because it sets up the basic roles of church leadership and the body of believers. Let’s read Ephesians 4:11-12.
(11) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, (12) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
The Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus and explaining many things. He teaches us here a few things. Church leadership is given to us by Christ himself. They have a distinct purpose according to their calling. The day-to-day ministering and growing of the Kingdom of God is done by the people.
The Lord gives us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These are all valid roles in the Church today and each has a specific purpose.
Apostles tend to oversee several individual church groups and are the chief vision casters of the Church. In some places, these individuals are referred to as bishops or superintendents. They set the overall direction that their church groups are going and what they are doing. They also teach and build up the other leaders.
Prophets help us see through the errors of our ways and keep us on track with what the Lord has called us to do. Prophets make sure we are on the path the Lord has laid out for our group and help us return to it when we stray away. They hear from the Lord and speak for the Lord.
Evangelists spread the good news of Jesus Christ. They encourage people with the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. They invite them to say yes to Jesus’ call and become a believer and child in the Kingdom of God.
Pastors and Teachers
Pastors and Teachers encourage, teach, and equip the people in their specific groups on good doctrine, lessons from the Bible, and how to reach out and serve their community in Christ’s name.
These roles are all very necessary to lead the Church. They must do what they have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to do. However, they must not do what they are not called to do. It is always important for all of us to do what God has asked us to do, nothing more and nothing less.
These church leaders equip God’s people for the works of service necessary to continue to build the Body of Christ, that is the Church. It is not the job of church leadership to serve everyone in their community or win them for the Lord. That is the role of members of the group.
The Work of The Ministry
The work of the ministry is outlined in Matthew 25:34-40 and these are the things the body of believers are supposed to be doing. These are the practical aspects of the Church. This is the second passage of scripture that Cell Life Church International is built upon.
If we all did our part, I believe we could wipe hunger from the face of the earth, we could see people thriving around the world instead of just trying to survive. We would see the role of governments lessen as the Church stood up and started to do what it has been ordained to do since Christ ascended to Heaven.
Let’s read what Jesus says the work of the ministry is in Matthew 25:34-40.
(34) “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (37) “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? (38) When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? (39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ (40) “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
This is the role of the Church in society today and these are the things that every believer needs to be doing their part. God calls each of us to a role. He gives us church leaders to help guide us, mentor us, and equip us to do these things effectively so we can build up the Body of Believers, that is the Church and ultimately the Kingdom of God.
Church, we are to provide for those who need help. Jesus never put conditions on a blessing or miracle for someone and we should not either. If the Lord has blessed you, share that blessing with others, in the name of Jesus Christ. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, house the homeless, and visit the captive. In all of these keep the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Christ in the forefront.
Leaders, it is your responsibility to teach the people in your group to show love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness in all they do. You must do it as well. Then encourage your people to do the work of the ministry by doing these things and things like them.
The Church Today
The Church today looks a little different than it did 2000 years ago. Many say they are part of the Church of Jesus Christ. The way to measure these groups is to look at how open they are to people in physical and spiritual need. Do they openly care for others and collectively serve their community in ways that line up with Matthew 25:33-40? Is the leadership focused on equipping the people of their group to serve their community? Is the church or group doing these things in the name of Jesus Christ without condition or requirement? These are the things that every church group in the world should be doing. This is how we build the Body of Christ. This is how we go and make disciples, as Jesus commissioned us all to do.
We ask every cell site, home church, and ministry that is a part of the Cell Life Church International network to serve their community in some way regularly. There are many ways to do that.
Cell Life Church in Pakistan reaches out to the brick kiln factory workers and helps provide much-needed food supplies and other necessities and they run a sewing school for girls teaching them a valuable skill to help provide for their families.
Cell Life Church in Kenya hosts medical clinics and treats people for jiggers and malaria. They teach basic hygiene for people living in the bush and are raising money to install clean water wells for villages.
Cell Life Church in Zambia is reaching out to the youth in their cities and helping them understand that there is a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them and has a school for prospective pastors. They also have been instrumental in providing hygiene supplies, especially during the pandemic.
These are just some examples. Some groups are doing all sorts of things in their community, all in the name of Jesus Christ. They are spreading the good news of Jesus Christ while serving them. Whether you are officially part of Cell Life Church International or not, this is the call and purpose that God has placed on every believer. The role of leadership is to serve those they are leading. The role of the believers is to serve others. Collectively, we represent the Kingdom of God here on earth in the name of Jesus Christ. We encourage you to seek the Lord and ask him what your specific role and tasks are and to help you fulfill that role and those tasks. It is not the role of church leadership to do all of these things while the body of believers sits back and watches. Leaders equip the body, and the body serves the world.