Understand the call to the Ministry

Lesson 1

The term Ministry comes from the Greek word diakonia, which means to serve,

  • This is not a position as much as it is a posture of serving, it is a function that we do. Eph 4:11-12
  • God ‘s heart for the church is that the saints, every one of his people would be equipped for the work of the ministry
  • It is God’s heart and purpose that the saints would serve.

MSG Eph 4:11-13  filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

We live in a generation were there are so many complex issues and needs in our community. The need for the church is to have trained, skilled servant workers

  • One of the greatest lessons in the bible about serving is found in Mar 10:42-45
  • Jesus makes this profound statement that the biblical pattern of serving in the Kingdom of God is radically different to the worlds pattern of leadership.
  • In the world the idea is the higher you go up the corporate ladder the more people you will have serving or working under you
  • In the Kingdom the greater you want to be the more people you have to be willing to serve.
  • Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom
  • Ministry is really more about servanthood that leadership
  • Ministry is about be willing to give of yourself to serve others

There is a big difference between servanthood and servitude

  • Servitude is doing something because you feel you have to (like a slave)
  • Servanthood is doing something because you want to and out of a willing heart. (a servant heart) Php 2:1-8

The heart of ministry is all about:

  1. Not doing it out of selfish motives, this is not about building yourself up but about putting the needs of others first
  2. Being willing to humble ourselves but considering the needs of others first.
  3. Considering the interests of others
  4. Having the same attitude of servant hood as Christ had even to the point of death on a cross.

The why of Serving 1Pe 4:7-11

  • Ministry is all about using the gifts and talents that God has given you to serve and bless others.
  • God does not expect us to serve in our own strength but in the strength God provides.
  • In other words God empowers us to serve and use our gifts and talents.

The how of serving

NKJV Psa 100:2  Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
NIV Psa 100:2  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Here are these two translations we see that serving and worship are interchangeable, ministry is worship and should flow out of that heart to bless God and bless people.

  • God has called believers to be equipped to do the work of the ministry
  • God established the pattern of the church in the Old Testament Heb 8:5
  • Both the Old Testament and New Testament are just patterns of what is in heaven
  • In the OT we see this pattern of God’s people serving in the Church Num 18:1-5
  • Every priest and Levite in the temple had a function, the Levites where to assist the Priests in the functioning of the temple

Ministry in the New Testament Eph 4:11-16

  • God has called every believer to the work of the ministry
  • Now God may call you into a specific area of ministry, but we have to understand that we are all called to minister, we are all called to serve
    • To build up the body of Christ
    • To strengthen each other’s faith
    • To help others avoid deception
    • To bring others to maturity in the faith
    • To function as a body
    • To build one another up in love

The Greek word to equip or to prepare is the word “katartismos” which means to complete thoroughly, to repair or to adjust.

  • From this word “katartismos” we get the English word craftsman, one who has the ability to mend and repair something that is broken or to take the raw products and built and craft something wonderful.
  • The word “katartismos cam be defined as:
  • To make or mend broken nets by taking single stands of rope and binding them together so that they become a strong and functional net.
  • It can mean to restore a city that has been destroyed or torn apart by war or devastation.
  • It can mean to fit out a ship so that it is ready for sailing, ready to face the wind in its sails, the waves on its boughs and the storms on its stern.
  • It can mean preparing an army for battle. Getting an army ready for war.
  • Part of the responsibility of the fivefold ministry is bring people together, mending the broken hearts of people, then uniting them together to form a network of people who are going to be able to work and function and make a Kingdom contribution.
  • That makes you a builder, a general and a strategist.

The call to ministry goes out to all

KJV Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.
NIV Mat 22:14  “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

  • God invites every person to serve him, but if we are not willing to do the preparation process God is unable to choose us and use us.
  • It is like the Military Services, Swat, SAS, Firefighters or Police force. They invite people to do the training and only those that make it through the training and qualify get chosen to be in the services.
  • It is the responsibility of the fivefold to equip the church
  • But it is the responsibility of every believer to get equipped
  • God invites us to the biblical boot camp where we can be trained and equipped for the work of the ministry


  • Both Eph 4:16 and Rom 12:5 have this concept of being connected in partnership
  • As our limbs are connected to the body, the limb gets the blood and nutrients and everything it needs to grow strong and healthy

1Co 12:27  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

  • If a limb is ever removed it becomes severed it will lose its function and die. Rom 12:6-11
  • Our ministry calling is to use our gifts to bless others 1Pe 4:10
  • We are literally God’s waiters to serve the body and to serve people with the gifts that God has given us

The responsibility of Ministry 2 Pet 1:10-11

With every call of God there comes a responsibility to grow in your knowledge of God and develop into your God-given gifting’s.

  • Calling is the invite
  • Election is what you have been called to do, your purpose, your destiny
  • Our Calling is God invitation into ministry, how we minister is what we give back to God
  • It is up to us to make every effort to add to the existing foundations that we already have.

2 Pet 1:8  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • To be ineffective and unproductive has the meaning of being idle and slothful, to serve no real purpose.
  • The consequences of laziness is: ineffectiveness, unproductiveness, near-sightedness, blindness, an unrepentant heart and a lack of sincere appreciation for what Christ has accomplished in our lives.

KJV 2 Pet 1:8  “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When we have a heart to grow in our ministry it is life producing.  But when we fail to grow, we can end up dry with no real life or vitality in us and we become like a barren woman who is unable to produce life.

  • How can we lead passionate and productive lives if we are dry and spiritually barren?

God calls us all to fruitfulness. Mat 7:19-20, Luke 13:6-9, John 15:2 

  • The result of our diligence to make a Kingdom contribution will result in fruitfulness and productiveness, which leads to a rich welcome into heaven.
  • We have to begin with the end in mind Mat 25:21
  • The word faithful means to: remain true or loyal, consistent, reliable, a faithful worker,
  • It has the meaning of one who is accurate in detail, and one who is steadfast and one who stays the course.
  • As a Christian minister we should be ever growing, ever increasing in the calling God has placed upon our lives.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.