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Who’s Actually Doing the Ministry Here?

June 6, 2014

I recently saw a thought-provoking tweet about church. It went something like this:

This is how a lot of people think about church: the pastor is the performer, God is the prompter, and the congregation is the critic who evaluates the performance.

Does that sound about right to you? Is that how you think of church ministry?

If so, please rethink! That is not the biblical view of church at all, and I doubt whether any church would survive very long if it was…

For one thing, it seems to assume that our main purpose is to arrange meetings – because it’s clear that the pastor does hog the limelight a bit on Sunday mornings – whereas that is only part of what we as a church are called to do. Actually, you could argue that Sunday services and Bible studies are only necessary in order to help us do the other things we’re called to do: preach the Gospel, feed the hungry, stand up for justice and truth, etc. If Sunday morning was our main focus, we wouldn’t survive long!

But that was only the first half of the quote. It continues:

In actual fact, the congregation is the performer, the pastor is the prompter, and God is the critic who evaluates our performance.

That makes much more sense! We’re all the body of Christ (have I said that before?), and the church is at work wherever anyone of its members is going about their business. My job, as the minister-prompter, is really to help them fulfil their role as members of the body of Christ that little bit better: by inspiring and challenging people to grow in faith, by encouraging the weak and teaching everybody from God’s word. The rest is down to everybody – fortunately, the ministry of this particular church isn’t limited to what I do!

This means that whoever you are, wherever you are, you are the body of Christ in that particular situation, and what you do – whether at work, at home, during leisure activities or hospital trips – is part of the church’s ministry in the world. At the end of the day, Jesus isn’t going to ask if you went to church services regularly or stayed awake during the sermon; he’s going to ask if you loved God with all your being and your neighbour as yourself, and what practical forms that love took. That doesn’t just apply on Sunday morning; being a Christian is a full-time occupation!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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