READ: Colossians 4: 2-17
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:12
When I first started out in full time ministry, people would often ask my wife at work, “Oh, so your husband doesn’t work anymore?”
My wife would answer, “You have no idea how hard he works.” Many people think that all that the pastor does is to prepare one sermon a week and then deliver it on Sunday morning. Afterwards, he is free to sleep until the next Sunday.
These and other remarks have made me realize that some people think that the ministry is one long restful occupation – an easier alternative to real and difficult jobs. From both the Bible and my experience, I have seen that there is no work like ministry work.
The interpretation of Ephesians 4:12 is a bit clearer in the New International Version: “To prepare God’s people for works of service…” (Ephesians 4:12, NIV). The saints are to be perfected for the work. This means that pastors are to perfect the saints so that they can join in the hard work of ministry. Epaphras, a servant of Christ, was “always laboring fervently…in prayers“. This man was laboring; he wasn’t resting. Throughout the Bible, ministry has been described as work. When Jesus saw the multitudes who were fainting because of lack of a shepherd, He said, “The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.”
The Greek word translated laborer is the word ergates, which means a toiler, teacher, laborer, and a worker. Decide to be a laborer for God’s kingdom.