“The one who calls people into the pulpit is the same one who calls people outside the pulpit.”
“When are you going into ministry?” This is a question I often get asked by people in my circles who believe in my Christian witness. My answer often is this: “I am not going into ministry because I already am.” I am in ministry. Their surprising countenance upon hearing my answer is priceless. This is because many people have a narrow-minded perspective on what constitutes ministry. To me ministry is simply “the work of God.” What is the work of God?
The work of God
To many of us, the work of God is working directly in the five-fold ministry of “apostles… prophets…evangelists…pastors and teachers.” One day, a crowd approached Jesus with an enquiry, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus’ response was both simple and profound, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one He has sent.” That’s all!
Doing the work of God is not necessarily about occupying an ecclesiastical office. The work of God is to believe in the Messiah, Christ. Therefore, any activity we engage in as a result of our faith in Christ qualifies as the work of God. It does not have to be in church. It can be in your home or on the streets.
Every ministry satisfies two purposes. First, ministry glorifies the name of the Lord. The best way to validate your faith is to be conscious that the reason for what you do is because of your faith in God; that your intention is to honor God and to make others look favorably unto Him. Second, ministry must uphold human dignity. It is impossible to honor God without upholding human dignity. The person who says “I love God” but hates their neighbor is pronounced a liar in 1 John 4:20. The scripture asks a rhetorical question, “for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (NLT).
So whether you work in an office, classroom or in a shop, if you align your deliverables to your faith in God and your commitment to advance the wellbeing of others, you are doing the work of God. If human beings are created in the image of God, then it behoves on all who believe in God to be committed to His image. Service to God is expressed through service to fellow humans.
Called by God
The work of God is not to be done only by few people. Every person is on earth to fulfil God’s agenda. If we commit to doing that, then we can say that we have responded to the call of God. It is not only pastors who are called. God made us so that “we can do the things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). If David had lived in contemporary times, he would have been a politician, yet he was referred to as a man after God’s own heart. Job was not a priest or prophet, yet God described him as “my servant Job.” God is the one who calls, He can’t be wrong.
Make it a point to do the work of God. If it means being in an ecclesiastical office, go for it. If that is not the case, don’t despise what you do. The one who calls people into the pulpit is the same one who calls people outside the pulpit. So long as what you do honors Him and enhances the wellbeing of His people, you are in ministry. Well done, good and faithful servant!
About the author
Terry Mante is a business development and management consultant who has worked on market research, strategy, corporate training, capacity-building, branding, as well as PR and communications projects for clients in diverse fields. He is an incisive and inspiring author, personal development coach, moderator of focus group discussions and conference/workshop resource person.
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