As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10 KJV)
Do you know the Lord will not only ask you about how you lived on earth but also what you did with the ministry He gave you? Sadly, many of us immediately equate ministry to having a Church or a formal ministry organization such as ours, Patrick Oben Ministries Inc. However, ministry in God’s mind is quite simple and often differs considerably from our ordinary meaning of the term in Christianity. So what is ministry?
Ministry is serving people using the abilities the Spirit provides. The two essential terms in this simple definition are “serving” and “abilities,” and I will briefly describe each.
The heart of ministry is serving people, and service is working to meet other people’s needs or for their well-being or progress. Therefore, we serve when we do something that enhances the well-being of another person. As a prime example, Jesus came to serve us: He died for our sins. If God meets anyone’s needs through your service, you are active in ministry.
Ministers serve people using the abilities or gifts that the Spirit gifts. So the Holy Spirit, like rivers of living water, flows through you to give water to the thirsty people around you as you serve them. Ministry is not mere charity or philanthropy, an exhibition of human goodness or talents. It is God meeting people’s needs around you through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Not all ministers occupy formal leadership positions in churches or ministries. Some do, and many do not. Whether or not you have a title, take heed to serve people using the abilities God has given you. He will ask you about it when He returns.
What is ministry? Are you actively involved in ministry, whether formal or informal?
Apply the Word
I just served you with the Word of God in this devotional using the wisdom God has given me; so I have ministered to you. Take heed to the ministry that God has given you to fulfill it ( Col. 4:17).
Ask the Father to help you increase in your ministry this ministry.