Ephesians 4:11-12 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.
I went to College and obtained a degree so that I could be a minister. I took several test to climb a ladder of succession in my denomination to have credentials to be a minister. And then I read this scripture from Ephesians and realized that I had the wrong definition.
When I mention the words laity and minister a very clear picture comes to mind. A minister is a minister of music, youth minister, children’s minister, pastor, evangelist, etc. and everyone else is a laity. Right?
Did you know that the word laity means someone who is in the presence of a professional. When I go to the doctor’s office I am a laity. It is not a scriptural word. The Message does use the word in 1 Chronicles when it is referring to the people who are not priest. But Peter says twice that we are all in the priesthood.
So, who are the ministers? Paul says that five offices were given, not one person holding all five offices. Five offices have the distinct responsibility to equip the saints. That is their primary function.
Who are the saints? According to Romans 1:7, 8:28, 15:25, 1 Corinthians 1:2, etc. . . the saints are those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Are you a follower?
The Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are to equip the saints or followers of Christ for what purpose? For the work of ministry. What do you call someone who does ministry? A minister.
Therefore, in our congregation the saying is heard often, “You are a minister or a minister in training.” There are no laity here!
Feel free to leave your comments or insights.