The Purpose of the Local Church Fellowship
“…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:12 (ESV)
The main, immediate purpose of the local church fellowship is that every true believer within that fellowship be involved in spiritual ministry. In a word, every Christian a missionary. It does not mean every Christian should preach or teach whenever someone ask them to, nor does it mean that every self-appointed elder may stand in a position of authority. If you’ve not been called by God Himself as a pastor-teacher, forbid yourself to enter the pulpit or podium, you’ve no business there.
How are members of the fellowship to be equipped?
The pastor-teacher, the under-shepherd, called of God and having given evidence thereof is to equip the saints. “Equip”, Greek katartismos, which is a “complete furnishing, equipping” (Thayers).
But equipped to do what?
Work, toil,…. the word is ergon , an effort or occupation; by implication an act.
It means, and please listen carefully, every member of the local fellowship is to toil, work, be occupied with ministry.
What is the ministry?
Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ya mean just anyone who wants to impress men ain’t necessarily supposed to be a preacher? Shocking!
As Spurgeon (and many others) put it – if ye can do anything else, by all means do it.
Too may hirelings fill pulpits – no church oversight on training preachers for the most part. Bringing the efficiency movement of 20th century business into the church has warped many of its functions. Time to get back to the Bible!
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