“I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” – Romans 15:14 (NIV).
People love their church. No apologies. No qualifiers. They should because the church is us. If I don’t like something about the church, I have a responsibility to change it because it is us and us includes me. The church in Rome serves as an example.
In Romans 15, Paul gives us a little further insight into this church and tells us about this church and the qualities they possessed. First, he says, “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness.” That is, their motives were right. They had come to the place where they were motivated by a sense of goodness. Certainly, this church in Rome was a responsive church, a compassionate church. It reached out to people who were in need. It responded to those who had hurts and burdens and concerns. The second thing that the apostle says is that they were “filled with knowledge. This is a remarkable statement. Here was a church to which Paul did not need to give any new theology. He acknowledges that they had it already.
The third thing the apostle had to say about this church was that they were “competent to instruct one another.” Another remarkable statement. When Paul commends the church in Rome for their ability to instruct one another, he’s really commending them for their ability to minister God’s Word to one another. They loved God, they knew God, they honored God, and so they were able to minister the Word to one another in effective ways. And as they did that, they brought unity to the church and they grew up into maturity together. No wonder, then, that Paul could tell this church, “… I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.” (Romans 1:8).
There is too much pressure on pastors to minister to everyone when every Christian is a minister. That word “minister” isn’t a job title. It’s an action. A minister is simply someone who tends to another person.
If the idea of ministry seems intimidating or overwhelming, pray and look for places to use your spiritual gifts, skills, and resources. Invite people over, serve them a meal, pray for each other and for the church. Get to know them and where they could use the ministry of God’s word. In doing so, you will be ministering.
- Do you believe every person should be a minister? Why or why not?
- What can you do this week in the area of ministry?