"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..." (Ephesians 4: 11-13 NKJV)
The Work of Ministry is a method of discovery whereby the members of each congregation determine their God given gifts and calling to serve each other. The early apostolic congregations were communal. They ministered to each other and thereby edified the body of Christ under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the apostles as described in Ephesians 4:11-13.
This is a precedent for us today born directly out of the scriptures. Each member of the body of Christ contributes their spiritual gifts for the benefit of all. However, this requires all to possess specific knowledge based upon personal discovery:
- What are my God given gifts?
- What has God called me to do?
- What are my passions?
- What experiences has God engineered in my life that have shaped my ability to serve Him by serving others?
- How will I best integrate these factors into my congregation while leading a balanced life?
This is a deeper understanding than volunteerism and requires us to be students of the Gospel. If you have not investigated this yet, please consider this your personal invitation to take an enlightening journey of self-discovery. Your rector will have information and resources to help you get started.