Every Member Ministry
In part 1 we made the case that every church member (every Christian really) is called to do mutual ministry. And this mutual ministry consists of both Deed Ministry and Word Ministry. Let’s take it a step or two further today. Stay with me as I make some bold statements.
Word Ministry Supersedes Deed Ministry
The Word of Christ (the Gospel) is what ultimately changes lives. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. Deed ministry is important and can soften hearts. Deed ministry is also a form of worship and reminds us of our ultimate place on this earth as servants. But in this age of grace, people are saved and sanctified by Word Ministry done in tandem with Deed Ministry.
Ephesians 4 tells us plainly that the role of the church leadership is to equip the body for ministry. What kind of ministry? Word Ministry- speaking the truth in love so that all can grow up into Christ’s fullness. If you are avoiding Word Ministry and being equipped in Word ministry then you are avoiding what Christ has called you to do.
Let me highlight two ways that you can get equipped at Grace.
1) Sermons and sermon questions- As the word of God is preached each week, it equips you to go out and share it with others. Here at Grace we have been providing sermon discussion questions recently as well as a Fighter Verse with discussion questions. Are you taking advantage of these tools? Are you letting them equip you? Are you using them to start discussions with your spouse, kids, roommates, small group?
2) 2 Squared Groups- 2 Squared is a discipleship training program that teaches you gospel centered living in a reproducible way. It is a set of three books that teach you how to grow in Christ and help others to do the same. In January we hope to offer many 2 squared groups that you can join and begin on Book 1.
1 Corinthians 14:26 describes the early church. Paul says that when they come together EACH ONE brings a WORD MINSITRY (a song, a prophecy, a teaching, etc.).
Are you in an environment where this is possible? Are you in any form of community where you have to talk? Share? Teach? Encourage? Warn? Admonish? Confess?
You need to be. And a smaller group is much better for this.
You are not necessarily called to teach all 600 people at Grace (like the Pastors). But you are called to “teach one another.” Where are you doing this? Are you growing in this? Maybe you’ve been teaching 3 year olds for decades, which is great. But are you in any environment where you have to speak the gospel to an adult? Are you comfortable talking about Jesus with all Christians and non-Christians? This should be your goal. And a great place to start practicing is in a small group.
Be With Jesus
Word Ministry has to flow from communion with Jesus. That is how Jesus did it. He spent time with the Father and then went out and did Word and Deed Ministry. Your calling is not to go out and spout off your own thoughts on theology and bible interpretation. Your calling is to spend time with Christ, to abide in Him, and then go out and share the good news of His life with others. Let your communion with Christ empower your encouragement towards others in God’s Word. Speak Christ to others- not your own ideas and “revelations.”
Share Your Life
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 “we didn’t just share the gospel, we shared our own lives with you” (my paraphrase). Word Ministry and Deed Ministry go hand in hand to be Whole Life Ministry.
The old adage is true- “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Who are you sharing your life with? Who knows you? Who really knows you? Are you sharing the Word of Christ with them, as you share your whole life with them? That is how Jesus did it too. He invited the disciples to be with him- 24/7. Who have you invited to be with you?
Who are you actively discipling right now? If you can’t name a name, then you are not being obedient.
This isn’t a guilt trip. It is life. You are not fully living if you are not fully dying. Dying to the selfishness that keeps you in your comfort zone of independent silence. I want you to be fully alive. So does Jesus. He gave you his life. Let Him do it. Why not go along for the ride?
It will be hard. Maybe the hardest thing ever. But it will be worth it.