Last week we held our annual Ministers’ Convention. It was a great week for all who attended as well as for those who listened to the messages remotely. Our focus was on First Timothy, though all were encouraged to read 1st & 2nd Timothy as well as Titus before coming, as those are Paul’s letters of instruction to ministers.
Leaving aside the messages from this conference, which I encourage you to listen to at, it struck me that most Christians do not know that all believers are called to be ministers. That is one of the reasons why the Scripture teaches us how to be a Husband and Father, a Wife and Mother, a Master and a Servant, a child and how to interact with others, both inside and outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
My hope is that a brief story, may highlight what I mean. Years ago, a dear brother of mine in the Lord, Lawrence Tsimese was talking with me by phone. This was before he entered into formal discipleship training which, ultimately led to his being recognized as an ordained Minister of the Lord. At the time, he was working at a plastics factory in Massachusetts.
During the conversation, he said to me, “I know that the Lord has called me to full-time ministry.”
I responded, “You’re not a full-time minister already?”
Lawrence was shocked, mostly because his idea of a minister was pretty much the same as most peoples. A minister is one who preaches on Sunday, has a congregation that he is responsible for and receives all of his compensation from the church. From that description, neither Jesus nor the Apostle Paul would qualify as ministers.
No, a minister is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ in all that he or she does. The Lord showed it to me this way – spaced over ten years.
First, when I had newly come to Christ I went for a prayer walk one night. As I stepped out the door, I asked the Lord, “What is it like from your perspective?”
He replied, “Look up.”
Of course, when I did, I saw the stars in the Heaven and the Spirit quickened to me how we are lights unto the world, which is in darkness. I thought that was pretty cool and went on praying.
About 8 or 9 years later, a Christian brother by the name of Dan Cypert was staying with us for several months. During that time, I was helping him get a few things organized in his life and frankly was faltering in my Christian love towards my brother. About that time, Dan mentioned to me that a minister friend of his, in reference to the Great Commission, so-called, had told him that the sense (in the original Greek) of Jesus’ command to His disciples to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), was that Christians were to preach the Gospel as they go in the world.
Immediately, the Spirit brought back to my remembrance my prayer from many years before, but He now enlarged on it. Specifically, He showed me that every star in the Heaven had a place. We call them constellations. That is why Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows if one of his sheep is lost, much like we would notice if one of the stars in Orion’s belt was missing. He also showed me that the stars stretched from horizon to horizon and that if Christians, would minister the Gospel where God has placed them, there would be nowhere under Heaven where the Gospel would not be preached. The Gospel would be proclaimed in every household, place of business, shopping mall and street corner where one of God’s children was present!
“Praise the Lord,” I exclaimed, as the burden of feeling like a failure in fulfilling the Great Commission was lifted. I did not have to travel all over the world to fulfill the Great Commission. I could do it right where I was.
Through the years that revelation has sustained me as I continue to do secular work, so-called, as an attorney. In fact, my work as an attorney has been the richest mission field that the Lord has given to me. May the Lord bless you, as he did Lawrence and myself, in fulfilling the Great Commission right where God has placed you. And remember, minister the love of God in everything you do, that is what it is to preach the Gospel. If necessary use words!