"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13
In my last post because of my strong emphasis on ordinary believers being raised up, trained up and unleashed into the church planting fields some may have felt that I have little regard for professional ministers. That would not be accurate. I myself am a professional minister and make my livelihood serving our Lord in full time capacity. There is an important role that professional ministers play. It is not only important it is also vital. If the professional minister do not fulfill their task completely then the laymen will not be able to do their job fully.
But what exactly is that role the professional minister is to play? I believe the verse at the beginning of this post gives the best description. Professional ministers exist to prepare and to equip God's people to be effective in doing the work of the ministry. In that verse Paul list four different gifts to the church or as some would call four different servants. They are apostles, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teachers. If the church is going to get serious about raising up, training up and unleashing ordinary Christians into the church planting fields then the professional ministers will need to get serious about performing their jobs with excellence.
If the ordinary believer is going to be effective in being the church planters then they will need excellent Bible and theological training, they are going to need good training in witnessing and church planting, they are going to need direction given on where the gospel needs to spread and they will need a strong prophet voice warning them against the subtle evils that will encroach upon the church. To fulfill this mission that Christ has given us will require both the professional minister and the ordinary believer fulfilling their responsibility. You can't have one without the other. We need both.
WORK OF THE MINISTRY.