Ministry: What is it?

To clearly understand the essence of MINISTRY from the Bible’s perspective, you must evaluate the biblical realities of ministry apart from business, occupation or how money is made. Clarity on ‘what ministry really is’ is essential before you can make good decisions on either, pursuing that ministry, and at the same time, dealing with the issues of how God chooses to finance you (occupation)

  1. What is it?

    The term ministry, in the Bible, maintains a rather consistent meaning related to SERVING; that is, so minister is to serve. So in simple terms, TO MINISTER means…To serve God & Others on God’s Behalf. Being a conduit, a Sprinkler Pipe, Through whom God Encounters Others

At the heart of ministry is one’s service to God out of real encounter with God—Rm. 12:1

    1. In the Old Testament ministry means:

      1. as a verb—to serve or to officiate;

      2. as a noun—to be a servant, an assistant, an aide, a right-hand person.

    2. In the New Testament ministry means:

      1. as a verb—to serve, attend or carry out duties.

      2. as a noun—to be a servant, attendant, waiter, public officer, and such.

  1. Ministry Definition

Ministry has only two Dimensions:

MINISTRY is …Dealing with God about people & Dealing with people about God

When you stop and think especially of the New Testament explanation of ministry you will notice that the biblical conception of ministry is quite simple.

The two dimensions of ministry are . . .

1. You dealing with God about PeopleUp Reach


2. God dealing with People through youOutreach

Note: Up Reach always precedes Outreach

Note how we arrive at the above definition:

    1. In the O.T. God designated some as priests—the tribe of Levites—and to those priests He gave three responsibilities.

Deut. 10:8 says

At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi [1] to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, [2] to stand before the LORD to minister and [3] to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. (NIV)

      1. to carry the ark [the visible location of the invisible God];

      2. to stand before the LORD to minister

-Which direction is that? Up or Out? UP!!!!

      1. to pronounce blessings in His name

-Which direction is that? Up or Out? OUT!!!

    1. In the NT, God expands the role of priest—still assuming they carry out the same functions, only in their fullest sense through what Christ has accomplished. The NT designates The Believer, every believer, says 1 Peter 2:9, as a Priest—an agent God Himself has set aside to serve in ministry TO Him and FOR Him in the lives of others.

Every Believer, a Priest:

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Rev 1:4-6 says “(v.4) Grace and peace to you . . . (v.5) from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, (v.6) and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. (NIV)

Every Believer, an Ark-Bearer

All Believers

1 Corinthians 3: 16

Every Believer

1 Corinthians 6:19

Every Believer, a minister unto God—of worship

Ministry = first, Up Reach through worship

Worship, e.g. in John 4: 23 proskuneo (pros-koo-neh’-o) (proskuneo: lit. to kiss toward); [Strong’s reference # 4352]

from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) KJV– worship.

Every Believer, an agent bringing God’s blessing to others [perhaps the blessing of salvation, healing, enlightenment of His Word, help, service, encouragement, etc.]

Ministry = second, Out Reach through worship-sourced serving of God by being the instrument of His blessing.

e.g. Romans 12:1

Outreach [Worshipful Service] e.g. Romans 12:1
(latruo: lit. understandable worship

Worship in Romans 12:1 latreia (lat-ri’-ah); [Strong’s reference #2999] from 3000; ministration or God, i.e. worship: KJV– (divine) service. 3000 latreuo (lat-ryoo’-o);

from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render, religious homage: KJV– serve, do the service, worship (-per).

Note then: Ministry is a dimension of Worship-sourced Service on God’s behalf … flowing out of worship-based encounter with God.

So, one could say that worship then is …

God Dealing with People through You

Summary: According to Deut. 10:8 Priests were . . .

  • the Bearers of God’s presence (Ark Bearers)

  • the Worship Enablers (engaged in worshiping and helping others to worship)

  • he Agents through whom He ministered His Blessings

Note then: Ministry is You Dealing with God—Up Reach—about

  • Himself

  • yourself

  • others

  • Ministry is God Dealing with People through You—Out Reach—about

    • God

    • His Word working in them

    • His Spirit working in them

    • His salvation

    • His healing

    • His help

    • His discipline

    • His maturing

Next Time: 6 Foundation Stones of Ministry

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