All Christians Without Exception are Called to Engage in Ministry
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
All Christians are to engage in not only mission but also ministry. Thus ministry is simply the outworking of their missional calling in all areas of life. Ministry is not the privilege of a small elite group of people, but for every disciple of Jesus Christ. Noticed that I did not say that all Christians are called to ‘the ministry’, but to ministry, diakonia, that is service. We do a great disservice to the biblical understanding of Christianity whenever we refer to the pastorate as 'the ministry'. For by our use of the definite article we give the impression that the pastorate is the only ministry there is, just as much as medieval churchmen regarded the priesthood as the only (or at least the most 'spiritual') vocation there is. The reality is that all Christians without exception are called to both mission and ministry.
We are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ whose life exemplified ‘service’. He preached the kingdom of God, healed the sick, fed the hungry, befriended the friendless, championed the oppressed, comforted the bereaved, sought the lost and washed his apostles' feet. No task was too demanding, and no ministry too demeaning, for him to undertake. He lived his life and died his death in utterly self-forgetful service. And we are called to imitate him? He said, “As the Father sent me, so send I you” (Jn. 20:21). The world measures greatness by success, however, Jesus measures it by service and I might add by friendship and relationship, which moderates our service to make it less all-consuming and much more humane as Jesus demonstrated throughout this life and ministry.