Building a large congregation, holding outreaches and winning the lost to Christ, ministering to the homeless and less privileged, and the list goes on and on …
There are countless ways to describe what ministry is to different people but what does ministry really mean?
What Does Ministry Mean?
In the School Of Ministry Masterclass, I define ministry as:
… a process of imparting the world with the Word of God by rendering Godly service to the lost according to the gospel of Christ; for the purpose of leading them to the Father, raising them in the message we have received from the Lord and eventually making them become what we have ministered unto them.
Don’t allow the seemingly complex definition confuse you at all, I will break it down right away.
There are 5 things to note in this definition:
1) Ministry Is Imparting The World With The Word Of God
First, you see that the primary goal of ministry is to impart the world with the Word of God.
No matter what type of ministry it is, be it a pulpit or non-pulpit ministry, if imparting the world with the Word is not at the core of it, you are certainly not running a ministry.
2) By Rendering Godly Service To The Lost
The next element is rendering Godly service to the lost according to the gospel. This defines the audience of the ministry.
You see, in this age and time, everyone is on a special radio frequency called “WII FM”. That is the “What’s In It For Me” frequency.Until people know what's in it for them, they never commit to anything. Click To Tweet
Even the disciples of Jesus were on that frequency too.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? (Matt 19:27)
You must have something of gain to offer your audience if you really want to be in ministry. That’s where the godly service comes in …
During my ministry coaching programs, I help ministers determine what type of Godly services they could begin rendering to attract their desired audience to them.
3) For The Purpose Of Leading Them To The Father
Now, when you begin attracting people by helping them upfront, you need to be aware that the aim is to lead them to the father. The whole idea of ministry is to be able to share the gospel with them in the process.
I remember one of our outreaches in Lugansk, Ukraine before the war broke out. We met with over 50 homeless people on the streets every week. During this meeting, we would have food ready for the members and one of our pastors will share the word with them for about 15 minutes while they ate.
The provision of the food was the Godly service we were rendering to them and the objective was to have an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
4) Raising Them In The Message We Have Received
It is great to share the gospel with the unsaved but did you know that Jesus didn’t ask us to go an evangelize the world? His instruction was to go and make disciples of all nations and that is quite different from evangelism. (Matt 28:19-20)
Whereas evangelism gives birth to a new convert, it takes discipleship to make a disciple! In other words, it is what you do with the convert after their salvation that determines the end of the matter.
Hence, a proper ministry incorporates discipleship and training into its outreach strategy for effectiveness. That is why as good as sharing food items to widows is, if all you do is share food, you are not in ministry!
Jesus said he is the bread of life and everyone that come to his shall never hunger or thirst again. In other words, ministry to Him was all about solving people’s problems long term and not temporary solutions.
Therefore, the idea of ministry is to find widows who can’t feed, give them food and introduce the gospel. Then train them until they become ardent followers of Christ. Until a widow can come for the meeting even where they are sure they will be no handouts, they haven’t been ministered to yet.
5) Eventually Making Them Become What We Have Ministered Unto Them
This is where the joy of ministry comes in …When people begin to manifest the character of what you have taught them, you know that you have done a great job. Click To Tweet
In the example of a ministry to widows above, this is when a widow who was once attracted by the opportunity to get some handouts becomes born again, hears and applies the word of God to her life, and then becomes the one handing out the handouts to others!
Until people become what has been ministered, there is more work to be done on them.
So if you are an evangelist, while it is good to show up and win multitudes to Christ, the true measure of ministry would be in how many soul winners you are able to raise for the kingdom. For a music minister on the other hand, until people experience the message of your songs by listening to your song, you haven’t hit the mark yet. And if you are into the pastoral ministry; until people who once needed pastoral care are raised to become givers of pastoral care, you haven’t quite done a great job.
Ministry, therefore, is all about taking people from where they are to become ministers themselves. And a minister is that individual who is committed to imparting the world with the word of God by rendering Godly services to the lost according to the gospel.
See Also: Why Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen
Which part of the ministry described above do you still need to work on?