habits – involvement in ministry
Tonight in youth service I spoke about the fourth habit in our series, Involvement in Ministry. We talked about how many people view the church as a service industry. “What can the church do for me?” instead of “What can I do for the church?”
One of the things Martin Luther is known for (other than his 95 Thesis) is the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. This refers to the understanding that, as New Testament believers, everyone has equal access to God. We no longer need a man to act as a mediator for us to God.
The idea comes from 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
Obviously, this effects our understanding of our need (or in this case the lack of a need) for others in our relationship with Christ. This idea leads to “personal relationship with Jesus” and other language. However, the next step in this thought process is to understand that the priest (the believer) doesn’t just go to God of his own behalf, but for the people (the world) around them as well. Thus, we all have a responsibility to minister and not just be spectators.
But there’s another doctrine that applies here. It’s the prophethood of all believers. This idea comes from Numbers 11 when Moses has appointed the 70 elders to help carry his load. Apparently two didn’t make it to the anointing ceremony. When they start prophesying in the camp, outside of the tent, Joshua gets a bit flustered. He informs Moses and encourages him to stop them. Moses’ response is amazing. Verse 29 says, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
I believe Moses is speaking to a future time when His Spirit would rest on His people in such a way that they would be empowered to serve Him. On the day of Pentecost, that was fulfilled and now we live with the mandate and the prophetic voice to declare God’s Word to the world.
These roles apply to us all. We’ve been chosen and transformed for the purpose of being tools in the hands of our God. Let’s examine our passions and our gifts in order to find areas of ministry where we can serve effectively and with joy.