Posted On May 15, 2019

Ephesians 4:12-13, “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

What does “the work of ministry” look like?

In our little church, “the work of ministry” looks like making coffee, clicking powerpoints, opening doors, and greeting strangers and friends alike. It looks like planning crafts and arranging snacks. It looks like wiping noses and playing with blocks. It looks like preaching and singing and praying for one another. I imagine one hundred pairs of hands at work each Sunday. Whatever our “work of ministry” may look like to human eyes, what we’re actually doing is “building up the body of Christ.”

After Jesus ascended, he gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers (v. 11) to equip us to do the work of ministry. The building of the body of Christ is a collaborative effort, requiring a variety of different gifts. As each person uses their gifts to do “the work of ministry,” we all grow towards full maturity together. What is striking about this passage is the way it celebrates both the collaborative nature of the work and the collaborative payoff of corporate maturity. As those with a gift for teaching get opportunities to teach, we all “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” Even though teaching takes a central role in our Sunday service (and deservedly so!), the ultimate purpose of this teaching is to equip us all to do “the work of ministry,” even the behind-the-scenes work that can so easily be taken for granted.

None of that work is wasted, though. Somehow, even when our contribution to the Sunday service may not look like much, God joins our work together with the work of all the other saints in order to build us all up toward maturity. When we work together, we grow together. We all mature.

Our aspiration is to reach “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Jesus Christ represents to us what full maturity looks like, but the goal is not to race towards maturity as a personal achievement. We reach that maturity as a church, using our gifts to encourage and teach one another. We don’t use our gifts to train ourselves. As much as we have may have learned from the spiritual journey of Pilgrim’s Progress, we should not conclude that the way to Christian maturity is ultimately a solo trip. Instead, we are to seek to attain maturity together. Only as the body of Christ can we reach “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

This means that “the work of ministry” includes tenderness towards the young, mercy for the weak, and service for our siblings in Christ as we press on together.

Related Posts

Born Again This Way – Rachel Gilson

Born Again This Way – Rachel Gilson

The LGBT airwaves are filled with opinions, and books are being written from every angle – both conservative and liberal. Rachel Gilson adds her voice in her most recent book, Born Again This Way. What makes Gilson’s book refreshing is that she approaches the subject...

Made Perfect Forever

Made Perfect Forever

Hebrews 7:27–28, “He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but...

Bob Kellemen- Gospel-Centered Family Counseling

Bob Kellemen- Gospel-Centered Family Counseling

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave and Bob Kellemen discuss how biblical counselors can equip and empower parents with grace and truth, how our personal time with the Lord impacts our interactions with others, along with his new book, Gospel-Centered Family...

Theodicy: Reconciling a Good and Powerful God with an Evil World

Theodicy: Reconciling a Good and Powerful God with an Evil World

When wicked and painful events of life occur, people wonder how an all-powerful and all-good God could allow such things. People wrestle with these competing realities and question whether God is indeed good and sovereign over the events in His creation. How could...

An Unstained Priest

An Unstained Priest

Hebrews 7:26, “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” The Levitical priesthood was only a temporary solution to the problem of sin. Though God accepted...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share35
Tweet10
Email
Reddit
Share