Ministry or Menistry?

Ministry or Menistry
Robert Wurtz II

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 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.” (Ephesians 4:11–13 NKJV)

It is contrary to the general expectation of workers that they see no results for their efforts. If men and women cannot look with their eyes or touch with their hands the results of their works, they generally cannot comprehend the meaning and worth of it all. This was one of Solomon’s complaints… “It is all vanity!” In other words, nothing really lasts. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Moreover, living things must go the way of all flesh.
The purpose of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors (shepherds) is not to build something made of wood or stone. As tempting as it is, we must never measure our works by tangible things. Nevertheless, many are working towards leaving something behind that will serve as a monument or memorial to their “work.” It is a mindset. In fact, unless their time and treasure are in some way building the “monument” then spending them (time and treasure) does not make sense.  Some have the philosophy, whether they say it or not, that resources must not be spent on people — but on property or possessions. The concept of laying up treasure in heaven where moths and rust cannot corrupt seems to allude many.
Yet God has made an investment for His own project, the Church. While men are building their own memorials and their fathers’ sepulchers with God’s resources, God is expecting us to build an invisible Church. In another form, we are building a kingdom that does not come with observation. In other words, we can’t point to it and say, “It is here… or it is there.” This kingdom is within the hearts of men. We are to work in this ministry until 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.
Our labors are to be directed towards the saints maturing into the fullness of Christ. That is our end goal. Not anything that man can lay his hand on or look at. Our resources (giftings, time, and treasure) are to be spent with this in mind.  Ministry is work! The Greek word for work is ergon and is sometimes translated as ‘works’ (as in “the works of our hands”). These works we will someday be judged by. With this in mind perhaps we should ask ourselves a series of questions to know whether or not we are on the same page with God when it comes to our works in the “five-fold ministry.”
1. Does the ministry equip the saints?
2. Does the ministry promote men or ministry?
3. Does the ministry edify (build up) the saints?
4. Does the ministry work towards the unity of the faith?
5. Does the ministry preach and teach the knowledge of Christ?
6. Does the ministry aim towards perfection of the churches?
7. Does the ministry strive to be a body that rightly represents Christ in the earth?
In order for the people of God to realize (see come to pass) God’s purposes in gifting the Church with the “five-fold ministry,” there has to be a consciousness of what God is trying to do with the churches in the first place. What are we aiming at? Are we trying to build our own legacy? Are we trying to leave something behind that we will be remembered for? Are we investing our resources in tangible things so we can look at them and boast about them, or are we investing in people? Are we in step with God’s purposes in the earth?
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 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.” (Ephesians 4:11–13 NKJV)

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