In some of my books, I encourage Christ’s church and its leaders to think and act strategically. Paul and other leaders thought and acted strategically, as evidenced by Paul’s missionary journeys. He wasn’t out simply taking a walk; he went to certain cities, because of their strategic location for spreading the Gospel.
But we must remember that Satan also thinks and acts strategically. 9 out of 10 churches in America are plateaued or in decline. Satan strategically talks believers into non-participation in their churches. How often have we come across churches where the people expect the pastor to do the ministry in the church while they sit idly by?
Satan convinces them that ministry in the church is the pastor’s responsibility, not theirs. They think that they aren’t responsible for ministry in the church, because they haven’t been to seminary, aren’t ordained, or don’t want to change the way things have always been.
Not far from where the Cowboys play football is the Arlington, Texas – GM plant. What would happen to GM if one day all the workers who build the cars decided that they would not build cars? That’s the job of the bosses! You got it–GM would quickly go out of business.
That’s what has happened to most of our churches in the twenty-first century. They’ve gone out of ministry which, in turn, has largely contributed to the decline of our churches.
But what does Scripture teach about who is responsible to do the ministry in the church?
- Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 8 tell us that God has given all of us–not just pastors–spiritual gifts for ministry.
- 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that we are believer priests who serve God.
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that we have been indwelt with the Spirit who, in turn, empowers us for ministry.
- Ephesians 4:11-13 tells believers to use their gifts to serve one another, not sit on the sidelines and observe one another.
In light of the clear teaching of Scripture and the survival of Christ’s church, we as the body of Christ must rally and exhort believers everywhere not to sit on their hands on the sidelines, but to get involved fully in serving our Lord through ministry in the church.
Dr. Aubrey Malphurs is the Founder and Visionary Leader of the Malphurs Group and the Senior Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He frequently writes on Pastoral Ministry, Church Leadership, Strategy, and Vision and also serves churches and denominations as a Consultant and Speaker. His new book Re:Vision (released on October 14, 2014) focusing on the leadership competencies of the turnaround pastor is available for sale at Amazon.com. He is also a husband, father, grandfather, fisherman, and a diehard Florida Gator fan. | @amalphurs | website