by Brandy Webb
I grew up in the Church of God, and I remember how, as a child, I looked up to the ministers. I felt that they had some sort of super power. I still do admire those that are called to be ministers, but I now realize that they are human and have the same “power” within them as I do, the Holy Spirit.
The thing is, though, since they are in the front of the congregation, many in the congregations have chosen to become lax in their walk, relying on their ministers/pastors to teach them everything they are supposed to know. I do not feel this is what God intended. I believe He really wants everyone to become mature Christians, able to understand and discern His Word and to help others, also.
I am not saying we don’t need ministers/pastors. What I am saying is that they are just a part of the whole body. All of us have gifts, and all of us are supposed to grow in them. We all are to eventually be able to partake of spiritual food and not just spiritual milk (Heb 5:12). Our ministers/pastors are there to help, serve, and guide us in our walk, but it is our duty to learn God’s Word, to live by God’s Word, and to become children of God.
I admire those who answer the call to be ministers because they do have a heavy burden to carry, and they have to face the temptations of pride when they have congregations that rely solely on them to teach them the way. But, the body of Christ is not made up of just ministers. We are all part of it, and in order for us to grow to maturity we need to embrace our calling and start doing the walking. The reality is that we all have a purpose.
He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ; from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love (Eph 4:11-16).
We need to work together, so the body grows. We cannot rely on a handful of ministers to do all the work for us. We all have to work together to become mature Christians, and we all have to work together for the body of Christ to grow. In the end, when we each “give an account of [ourselves] to God,” we can’t give the excuse that we didn’t do this or that because we weren’t told to by the minister (Rom 4:12).
We all have to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). We all are to grow into the fullness of Christ. The body needs active healthy members to survive. The physical body cannot survive on just its legs. It needs its mouth, brain, heart, blood, etc… Well, the spiritual body cannot survive on just ministers. The body needs true apostles, true prophets, true evangelists, true teachers, etc… (see Eph 4:11-16 (quoted above); Romans 12:6-8).
We all have a purpose, and we all have a mission, to love one another and to preach the good news. We may not be led to preach in front of a congregation, but we can “preach” to the willing ears that we may come into contact with everyday. Remember, it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom 10:15b; Isa 52:7).
Therefore, let us work together in love, building up the body of Christ, helping each other to reach maturity in the Spirit, edifying each other, and glorifying our Father and Messiah, so, that we can stand firm in our faith and endure to the end.