Who Is A Minister?

Equip the Saints

Equip the Saints

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.


George Muller – Man of Faith And Purpose

picture-8During the time of George Muller there were no computers, no phones, no internet and yet in his lifetime he provided education for over 123,000 orphans in England and personally housed and took care of 10,024 orphans, establishing the very first orphanage in Bristol, England.

George was born in 1805 and died in 1898. He was not born into a Christian home and was, by no means, a Christian growing up. All through his teen life he was known for his lying and the ability to spend other people’s money. He had even spent time in prison, an atmosphere far different from what we have today.

In 1825 all of that changed. He found his way into a prayer meeting and received a true conversion, never to be the same again. In 1832 he moved to Bristol and pastored the same church for 66 years.

He felt very strongly that his calling was to be a missionary, but in the midst of his training became sick and in his recuperation pastored a small church and was married.

By faith Muller supported missionaries, handed out free christian material by the millions, he built five buildings to house 2,000 at a time, and humbly claimed that God answered 50,000 of his requests, of which 30,000 happened the same hour or day of the requests. It is said that there were times that there was no food for the next meal in his orphanage and yet he would sit down to eat, believing that God would provide and He did, never missing a meal.

It is said that God provided over 75,000,000 pounds in his ministry. If I calculated correctly, that would be the equivalent of $1,091,862,000.00 in U.S. That is almost 1.1 billion dollars in his lifetime! And I am squirming to just believe God for $400,000.00 for our church? He never solicited for money nor was he ever in debt. He just prayed and believed with childlike faith. “Lord, forgive me for worrying of our finances.”

Did he miss his calling that he felt that he received at a young age, to be a missionary? By the age of 70, following the death of his wife, he became that missionary and traveled to 42 countries, traveling the equivalency of traveling around the globe 8 times, speaking between 5,000 to 6,000 times to some 3,000,000 people. For many of his ministry travels he was gone for a year at a time. It is said that he read his bible from beginning to end almost 200 times, taking every word by faith.

George Muller walked by faith and never questioned God on his calling. Although he was 70 before he saw his original calling fulfilled, he did not waist his time waiting to be a missionary. He impacted his community and thus, in many regards, impacted the world.

The question is, would he have preached to over 3,000,000 in so many countries after age 70 if he had just waited for his “true” calling? What are you waiting for?

You can find more about this man of faith at http://www.mullers.org/cm, a website by the Muller Foundation.

Are You A Priest?

picture-11Exodus 19: 6 “‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

I do not know how many of you remember reading this verse. After God had led this group of people out of Egypt through the leadership of Moses they were brought to a mountain where God would deliver to them their first laws. God was developing them into an organized nation.

But God had a special relationship that He had in mind – to have a nation of priests – an established relationship with each person, each one a priest. Surely, this invitation excited them, right?

Exodus 20:18-19 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

Invitation refused.

Although God’s invitation was not accepted then for everyone to have the benefit of a priest, it has been given to us.

1 Peter 2: 5, 9 You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, . . .

You, as a follower of Jesus are a part of what God wanted for Israel back then. We are a nation or kingdom of priests.