God wants everyone in full time ministry?
I have often seen how people have experienced disasters in ministry because they felt the tugging of God's call on their lives and they misinterpreted that as being a call into full-time, five-fold vocational ministry. Even if you have an anointing to preach or teach, a strong desire to win the lost, or a unique charismatic ministry gift such as prophecy or healing, it does not necessarily mean God wants you to quit your job and start a church. Like the apostle Paul I have the tendency to wish everyone were like I am, going to the nations and preaching the Gospel full time. But we must not forget that 'each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another' (1 Cor. 7:7, AMP). If you venture outside the call and gift of God, you will not have the grace to do the job, and this could be disastrous for the one who has wrongly discerned God's call and all those unfortunate enough to wind up under his leadership.
The good news is that serving God does not always mean becoming a preacher.
I come from a long line of ministers. I am the fifth generation of preachers coming from my father's side of the family. My grandfather on my mother's side was also a pastor. My wife's father is also a pastor. Needless to say, I've been around a lot of ministry. I think a lot of people assumed that I went into the ministry because that is what was expected of me by my family, but it is quite the opposite. In fact, my father often counselled me by saying, 'If you can do anything else'”do it.' In other words if you can be happy doing something other than full-time ministry, you're probably not called to it. The truth is that occupational, fivefold ministry is not for everyone and should not be assumed without a clear and certain call. Yet many people who have not received the call to 'ministry' still have a burning desire to serve the Lord. The good news is that serving God does not always mean becoming a preacher.
The Kingdom of God needs ambassadors in every area of society. In Matthew 13 Jesus tells two stories with the same moral.
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." MATTHEW 13:31'“33
God's plan is for the real work of the ministry to be done by the plumbers, the high school teachers, the landscapers, the lawyers, and the doctors.
The picture Jesus is painting through these two parables is clear. The Kingdom of Heaven is designed to grow, multiply, and infiltrate all that it comes in contact with, just like the small, seemingly insignificant mustard seed grows to become the greatest of the herbs in the garden, a tree large enough for birds to live in. And just as the small measure of leaven infiltrates every ounce of the lump of meal in which it has been hidden, in the same way God's kingdom is intended, not to be confined behind the stained-glass windows of beautiful churches, but to permeate the planet.
That can never happen if the only ones doing the work of the ministry are the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists. Instead God's plan is for the real work of the ministry to be done by the plumbers, the high school teachers, the landscapers, the lawyers, and the doctors. We need men and women who carry the glory of God and the Gospel witness into the White House, Hollywood, Wall Street, Main Street, and every other area of culture and society.
God wants to use the gifts, talent, and calling that He's given you to impact the world for His glory in your sphere of influence.
Through the years a fundamental disconnect has evolved between two parts of the church commonly known as the clergy and the laity. A hierarchical concept of ministry has evolved, which has segregated the two groups. This has resulted in a crippled system in which the career ministers, who are a minority of the church, have assumed the majority of the work of the ministry. Meanwhile the rest of the Body of Christ, the majority, have been taught that they are not qualified for ministry and have been reduced to a crowd of spectators.
But when Ephesians 4 talks about the role of the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists, the concept that emerges is very different from what has been modelled in the modern church. The New Testament pattern is for those in fivefold ministry offices to serve the Body of Christ by equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12). If the Body of Christ were compared to a football team, those in fivefold ministry would be the water boys, serving the team and helping to keep them equipped and refreshed.
The real ministers and ambassadors of God's Kingdom to the world, the real players on the field, are the hundreds of millions of blood-washed saints who make up the body of Christ. What a tragic loss we have incurred by perpetuating the mentality that the few of us in fivefold ministry are the 'real' ministers and the rest are just spectators.
My friend, God wants to use the gifts, talent, and calling that He's given you to impact the world for His glory. Use whatever sphere of influence He places you in to further His Kingdom and authority!
God has a plan for everyone.
Do you know yours?
This Bible Study has been taken from Chapter 2 of Daniel Kolenda's book, LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE, which is not only a 'wake up call' for you but also offers practical and scriptural insights on how you can discover and fulfil God's will for your life.