This morning I read something that Bill Easum wrote: “The role of the pastor is to equip God’s people for ministry, not to do all the ministries himself or herself.” He was paraphrasing Ephesians 4:11-12 that says (as I paraphrase):
Some people are called to be pastors, whose job is to equip each of Jesus’ followers to do their own work that will build up the body of Christ and help the world come to faith in Jesus.
In other words, there are to be no slackers in the Kingdom of God. The pastor is neither designed nor meant to do it all. Every follower of Jesus is meant to be a participant and have a ministry. 1 Corinthians 12:12 puts it this way,
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”
That was the initial design of the church. And the church flourished. Every follower of Jesus had purpose. But somewhere along the way we began to believe that if we paid people to do ministry on our behalf, all the rest of us have to do is show up on Sundays – or every other Sunday. And what we are left with is entirely too many “purposeless people in the pews.”
One of the great challenges today’s church faces is not only to help the spectators in the seats find purpose, but to convince them that they truly are designed to play a vital part in the Body of Christ. God knows the plans He has for you. He has a purpose for all of His children. He has a purpose for you within the Body of Believers that He calls the Church.