TO MINISTER IN A CERTAIN--CAPACITY--LEVEL--ARENA
1. Is it in the Bible?
2. What do we believe it means?
There are different levels of ministry. god might call some to minister to a small number of people, while others might be called to have larger churches.
3. What does it really mean?
This is an attempt to reconcile what the Bible says about ministry and the existing structure of Christianity. Experience readily reads this idea into the Bible, even though it is not at all.
There is something that Jesus taught, which totally contradicts this idea...
Mr 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
this teaching is often "excused away" by the claim that Jesus is speaking about heaven. But clearly this is a ministry principle of apostleship. The principles of the kingdom are supposed to be reality in the church. The church is meant to imitate Jesus as best as we can--yes imperfectly--but the only way to change is to be open to change.
In the bible, believers did not seek status, and there is no mention of "arenas or levels. there is an example of someone who, within the church--"sought preeminence"....
9 ¶ I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth
to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
Ministry is service toward others, at least in the new covenant. Yes, in the old, the Levitical priest had God's authority to minister exclusively in the temple. But the Bible clearly tells us that the priesthood is changed.....
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
and all the church is meant to function in a priesthood...
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
the new covenant calls for an equitable ministry among believers. Jesus' definition of ministry was NOT authority over other believers.....
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them,
Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles
exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: (Mark 10:42-43)
the amount of people one ministers to is not at all any measure of power or authority given by God.
At least it is not supposed to be-!