by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat Vice President of Ministry Services
(from Take Heart Volume 1, Issue 8)
“He gave some as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Ephesians Chapter Four is jammed-packed with the “hope of your calling.” “Put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:4) is followed closely with the admonition, “Be angry and sin not” (Ephesians 4:24). As with many passages of Scripture, Ephesians Chapter Four offers so many deep truths to ponder and apply to our personal and ministry lives.
Take another moment and re-read the two verses again. What catches your attention? Apostles, prophets, and the rest? The work of service? Building up of the body of Christ? Of course, these are all important and worthy of study and application in their own right. But, before tackling those powerful points, we start with an eternal truth of Christ – “He gave” (Ephesians 4:8).
Yes, He gives us Himself, His Word, His Way, His Truth, His Life and oh, so much more! Here in this passage we see Him giving gifts for the work and the building. But, don’t rush too quickly to assume that the gifts are the all-important positions of those in leadership as pastors and teachers. Not quite. “He gave some” so that they could be those things. He gave people to the cause of His work and for His work.
To paraphrase this passage for our Christian organizations, He gave some as Board Members and Client Services Directors, others as executive leaders and volunteers, and still others as advocates and trainers for the work of affirming life! In a very real sense, whatever title you have in responding to His call to the work, you become His gift to the effort. This includes those in the ministry and those touched by the ministry. This includes the community and the Kingdom.
Never forget that God chose to work in and through people. He could’ve chosen the angels or just stayed on earth in bodily form Himself to accomplish His great mission. Instead, in His infinite wisdom, He chose to work in us and through us. That makes you, your colleagues, and your collaborators – His gift!
Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible.
Read more from this edition of Take Heart.