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The Whole Church Body is the Ministry
by Scott Price

"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that everyone of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end." Hebrews 6:10-11

    Every person that God graciously calls and justifies is put into the ministry in some way or another. The word "ministry" or "minister" simply means to serve, be a servant, aid, assist. This is done in the context of the duties that are related to the confirmation, defense, promotion, and furtherance of the gospel of grace. The labor and work of the individual members of the church body is not any less important than anyone else in the body. There is one exception to that. Christ is the preeminent head of the church. He is the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. He must increase and we must decrease in every sense of the word.

    God has given elders/bishops/pastors to equip the body of Christ, by teaching/preaching the ministry of reconciliation (II Corth 5:19-20, Eph 4:11-12). As the body is built up or edified, they in turn will minister to each other and others outside the body. If they have been taught correctly by the leadership of the church, the whole body will be ministering. Some examples may be, by evangelizing (by preaching or distributing literature or tapes to the lost outside the church body), praying, etc.

    I heard a man preach a very good gospel message and immediately after the message an older gentlemen ask the one doing the preaching, "Where do you minister." (because he was from another part of the country). The man that preached pointed to his pastor who was also at this meeting and said, "He is the minister." These are divisive ideas. The body of Christ must be built up not tore down. Everyone that is converted by God's grace is in the ministry. What about the prayer that was offered up by many in the body, for the speaker and the hearer, before the message was delivered? What about the planting that was done to the hearers before they heard the gospel again? All the body ministers. If they do not, the body is sick and needs immediate attention.

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