Often we think of ministers as people like pastors and evangelists—all preaching from a pulpit to large groups of people. While these people and their calling are very important (Ephesians 4:11-16), they can’t reach everyone. God has only assigned so many apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers to minister to the world. So how does God expect His good news to reach the thousands they can’t reach? Through Christians like us. God considers the average Christian mother, businessman, schoolteacher, and mechanic a minister. That status didn’t come because of a degree in communication or a diploma from Bible School. It came with our decision to make Jesus the Lord of our lives.
The first ministry commission was to Jesus’ eleven disciples. At the time, they weren’t as famous as they are now. They hadn’t written the New Testament. Like us, they were disciples first.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:16-20, NKJV).
We may never preach to thousands or write letters that will find their way into the world’s most famous book. But we are all disciples. Because we’re first disciples, we have been called to be ministers, assigned to communicate a powerful message. That message includes salvation for the unsaved and God’s love for those who already belong to Him (Hebrews 6:10).
We may be flattered that God has called us to represent Him. But are we qualified? According to 2 Corinthians 3:4-5, we are qualified—officially recognized and trained—to do the job.
We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:4-5, NLT).
The key is knowing who has qualified us. Intimidation sets in when we feel we must become qualified through our ability. Even trusting in someone else’s qualifications can be daunting because it has limits. But the Word of God says God has qualified us. There is no higher level of qualification. That alone should make us bold and confident!
God qualified us when we received Him as Lord and Savior. We become a part of His family and kingdom. He put His nature inside us so we could be like Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Though the world may look at us and say we don’t have what it takes, God has already declared His acceptance (Ephesians 1:5-7). We are qualified because we are His.
We’re called and qualified, but what do we have that enables us to get the job done? We can’t save or heal anyone on our own. We don’t even have all the wisdom it takes to encourage someone. God knew we couldn’t minister in our own wit and strength, so He enabled us through Himself.
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6, NLT).
God’s enabling comes through two sources: His Word and His Spirit. He gave us His Word as our message. He provided His Spirit as our empowerment (John 14:26, Luke 24:49). These sources enable us to do what is impossible on our own. This enabling is limitless and not dependent on our meager strength. They make all things possible if we’ll only believe in God’s ability working through us (Mark 9:23). Our assignment from Him is to share His message and let His power do the rest.
It doesn’t matter if our ministry is done from a platform or in a friend’s living room. The message is just as powerful whether to a crowd in public or to one person in private. My husband Michael has a weekly Bible study with someone who once spent twenty-five years in prison. To some, it may not seem as glamorous as preaching to a large congregation or having a large following on a Facebook live feed. But Michael ministers the same message of Jesus as the greatest evangelists. God is using Michael to meet a spiritual need in one person’s life—one no one else may be willing to meet. Only God sees it, but He will ensure Michael’s reward (Matthew 6:3-4, Matthew 10:40-42).
Opportunities like this will come if we daily listen to our enabler, the Holy Spirit. He will use something as intentional as a visit to the nursing home or as spontaneous as praying for someone at the post office. He will direct us to witness to the man at the gas pump or to buy groceries for someone in need. Every act of love qualifies as ministry and is as valuable as a sermon preached to thousands.
We should overcome our sense of inferiority and begin to see ourselves as Jesus sees us—as able ministers (2 Corinthians 3:6, KJV). We should never limit the call and anointing on our lives to reach others. We shouldn’t wait for what the world considers greatness before we act like God’s representative. Instead, we should take every opportunity the world thinks are simple and turn them into what God calls spiritually powerful.