Dear Pastor Whoever….
What makes a minister of Christ a minister of Christ? As you know, within the vast worldwide realm of religion there are millions of ministers, but not all are ministers of Christ. I suppose it would be safe to say most are not. Most are appointed to leadership, not by our Lord Jesus, but by their religion. So how does one differentiate between a minister of religion and a minister of Christ? The answer should be of grave concern to you, Pastor Whoever, because you are considered to be, and consider yourself to be, “in the ministry”. Like everything else, the answer is in the New Testament….
Timothy was a “minister of God”. Tychichus was “a faithful minister in the Lord”. Epaphras was also “a faithful minister of Christ”. And we certainly could mention Paul and Barnabas and Silas and John and Stephen and many etceteras. Notice, if you would, none of these were certified. Notice, if you would, none of these were salaried. Notice, if you would, none of these were titled. Paul admonished Timothy to“Preach the word!”. Yes, you preach the word, but you also preach ‘church’. You preach CHURCH-ianity more than CHRIST-ianity. Religion more than relationship. The Bible plus and the Bible minus.
So again, what makes a minister of Christ a minister of Christ? We know it wasn’t denominational credentials because denominations were a later invention. It couldn’t be evangelicalism because the birthing of this religion was way off in the future. Hmmm. May I suggest a minister of Christ is simply one who ministers Christ? A minister of Christ – regardless of age or gender or intelligence or magnetism – is simply one who preaches “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” to a dying world and a sickly church.
Please (please!) admonish your people to embrace the NT as their only standard, and to never (never!) adapt evangelicalism as their guide. Assure them they have the same potential to preach “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” as the salaried, titled and credentialed. Occupying your pews is a Timothy and Tychicus and Epaphras. And who knows, maybe a Paul and Peter and John.
Respectfully, Larry Jones