God has called all of us to His Kingdom work in a myriad of ways.
The Christian church has been attempting to apply Paul’s instruction to Ephesian believers for 2000 years when he said,
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his 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 to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:11-13).
The Protestant Reformation drew attention to a concept later known as “the priesthood of all believers.” 1 Peter 2:9 reminds, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This concept reminded believers of several biblical truths.
We affirm that all Christians have direct access to God through prayer; they need not take their petitions to a minister who prays on their behalf.
We believe that God offers guidance and direction to all of His children, not just ministers. We practice a more democratic form of church government, giving lay members a voice and a vote in the direction of local church ministries. We do not focus excessive attention to distinctions between ministers and laity.
This issue of Holiness Today* features a sampling of the wide variety of ministries the Lord calls His people into for full-time Christian service. I trust your vision for ministry will be enlarged as you think together with each of the authors about the special places of service to which God has called them. Some ministries will be familiar to you; others not so much.
The Lord gave me insight into each of these avenues of service as I instructed university students in ministerial preparation for nearly three decades. I spoke frequently about ministry roles from Ephesians 4. Students often visited my office requesting more information and answers to their questions regarding the various ministerial vocations. I always tried to discern God’s leadership in their lives as we talked together about the gifts and graces He was developing in them for Kingdom service. We frequently prayed together about God’s vocational direction and trusted their futures into His hands.
The greatest reward as a faculty member came not in seeing students perform well on exams or submit well-written research papers, but rather from watching students clarify their divine call and move into meaningful Christian service. It was heartening to hear reports that students were applying the message of Ephesians 4 to their local ministry settings. You see, the concept of “the priesthood of all believers” tells us that God calls men and women to specific ministry roles for an important purpose: “to equip his people for works of service” (4:12).
Therefore, this issue of Holiness Today intends to inform readers of various ministry avenues as well as challenge them to find their own place of involvement in God’s Kingdom.
God does not call ministers into full-time Christian service to do all of the work that needs to be done in God’s church.
Rather, He calls ministers to train every believer, so they may share together in ministry.
God challenges us to find a place of meaningful service in His Kingdom work. He invites us to join together in His mission to our world. I pray that we will accept that challenge as we work together in service to Christ and His Kingdom.
Frank M. Moore is editor in chief of Holiness Today.
*Please note: This article was originally published in 2018. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.