Where is Involvement in the Scheme of the Christian Life?
Church leadership is constantly challenged to meet the spiritual needs of the sheep of their congregation. They take their positions seriously and want to be good stewards of those under their guidance.
On top of this is the knowledge that there is so much Christians need to know to grow spiritually. Church leaders hear the same sermons the sheep do every week and they are like church members at times—they are overwhelmed.
First, I must say that the Lord neither gives us too much information nor does He expect too much. His main concern is reconciliation and growth. Peter as he closes his second letter says that we should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Having been born again, as babes we are to grow and the church is to equip us in this endeavor (Eph.4:11).
Where does involvement in church ministry fit into the scheme of things related to personal spiritual growth? Simple put, the Lord has exemplified several areas of discipline wherein we grow more into His likeness and we also grow closer to Him. Ministry is one of the many of these. Others include things with which we are more familiar: prayer, study, mediation, solitude, fasting, giving, teaching, suffering, fellowship, rest, imitating the Father, etc. Ministry (serving others, bearing fruit, being involved in ministry) should be a part of any list of Christian disciplines.
The basis of this is that Jesus came to serve not to be served and He came in the form of a servant (Matt.20:28; Phil.2:4ff) and we are to imitate Him (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus is forgiving, kind, gentle, patient. He is Savior, Redeemer, the Anointed One of God, He is the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the good shepherd, the vine, the light of the world and the resurrection and life. But He is also a servant. Without this He would not have died.
In answer to the original question, ministry is one of many ways of emulating Jesus and growing spiritually. It is one of many ways of drawing us closer to the Lord. It is one of many ways of showing love for the Father, for fellow/sister Christians and for our neighbors.
With this question answered, I will make two suggestions to church leaders:
- Consider hiring a spiritual growth minister who will guide the church to grow in all of these areas. These are sometimes called “Discipling Ministers.”
- I can help you with the “ministering” or “serving” part of this and I would love that opportunity. If I can assist, please contact me.