Ministry is one of those interesting words that can be used in many ways. In churches it often means committees who are tasked with accomplishing various functions of the church. For example, many churches have missions ministries that oversee local and foreign missionaries and their mission efforts that are supported by the church. Many have benevolence ministries that are tasked with caring for the poor and people in crisis.
In all churches, however, there is an understanding that ministries must not be limited to organized church committees or task forces. Ministry must primarily be the work of all members of the congregation who are “…God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). No one is exempt from being and example of God’s handiwork…His Masterpiece! All of us are challenged to discover how His handiwork is revealed in our individual lives.
The Apostle Peter was very clear when he said:
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
Each one of us are priests in service to Christ, commissioned to “declare” His praises. Peter then leads into understanding how followers of Jesus are to live their lives in their daily walk (1 Peter 2:11-25).
So, we have the ministry of God’s Closet, offering children and adult clothing to local people who need help. But the church does so much more than this one ministry as our grandparents teach their families about Jesus, as parents live out their faith in front of their children and as our members go out to work every day. These are our ministries as well and we celebrate the way God has gifted each an every member to be engaged in the ministry of Christ wherever they are and with whomever they may find themselves.