One of the greatest privileges we have in the Church is bearing the responsibility of participating in the ministry of the Church. There is a great responsibility we bear in being engaged in the ministry of the Church. Not only do we need to be concerned that the ministry we are engaged in is in line with Biblical standards and expectations, but we must also be concerned that what we are doing brings glory to God. That responsibility ought to be considered a privilege, because, though Christ declares that He will build his Church, He has chosen to use men and women who are fallible, so that as His Church is built, He gets the glory and not us.
Many in the Church today look at their church and ask, ‘What does our pastor need to do to grow this ministry, make it more effective, or reach our community?’ While the pastor undeniably bears a large responsibility in setting the tone for the congregation through his example, the example in scripture is one of the lay person in the church doing a great work in expanding and enhancing the influence and ministry of the local church.
In Acts chapters 6-8 there is a description of certain men, not only being selected to serve, but stepping up and taking responsibility in boldly proclaiming every day through every part of their life the love of Jesus Christ and the salvation offered through faith in His death on the cross as the substitutionary payment for our sins. Men like Stephen and Philip, two of the men identified in Acts 6, were not pastors. Yet, these men are identified as being integral to the growth, effectiveness, and outreach of the early church.
It is a privilege we have been granted to be able to participate in the work God is doing in building His Church. We ought to consider it for what it is and respond in kind. Knowing that we have both a privilege and responsibility to serve in the Church we take seriously what we do and we do it with joy.
The Church today does not necessarily need better preachers or better programs, what it needs is more committed people. By committed people I am talking about people who, like Stephen and Philip, are recognizable as having had their lives changed by the power of God’s love. As those who claim to know Christ as our Savior, we have been transformed and should be unashamedly proclaiming the love of Jesus Christ and the salvation offered by faith in his substitutionary death on the cross.
If we are committed to Christ and truly believe that trusting Christ as Savior is the most important thing that we have done and the most important thing anyone else will do, we must ask ourselves, ‘How much do we have to hate someone to with hold the most important information they will ever hear?’ Why are we not totally and thoroughly committed to the privilege and responsibility we bear, as members of the Church of Christ, to share the love of Christ, and participate in a large way in the growth, effectiveness, and outreach of our church?