“Ministry”

If one looks up the word MINISTRY in the dictionary, many definitions ranging from a government building to a hard rock musical group will be given. In this article, however, let’s use “a function, service or sacrifice presented to Christ and his church.”

One analogy might be to compare it to a bicycle wheel. The hub would be the Godhead around which the rim and spokes radiate and revolve. It provides the strength to support the other two parts. The whole Bible, especially Psalms, refers to God as a center of strength and stability—a rock or fortress (Gen 49:24) (2 Sa 22:2) (Ps 18:2).
The spokes transmit this core’s power to the rim where it allows the wheel to move the load. Each spoke is an independent part but must work in harmony with the others as the hub turns. This is much like the analogy of the human body and the Lord’s church (Rom 12:4-5)
(1 Cor 12:20). Imagine a bicycle in which each spoke decided to go its own way or take an unannounced break.

Many congregations use a “ministry” system whereby a good work is directed by one or more deacons. The first time this is mentioned is in Acts 6 when 7 men took the responsibility of the daily distribution of food to the widows in the church (Act 6:1-4).

If we follow our definition of a ministry, any service of sacrifice and love dedicated to Christ is valuable (Rom 12:1) (Col 3:23). Some ministries are visible such as the card, visitation, benevolence, missions, education and several others. However, some works are unseen by most of the brethren yet are equally important (1 Cor 12:22-25).  Every member can and should be a spoke by bringing God’s will and his strength to the rim which represents the world. Even if one is immobile, he or she can be a “prayer warrior” for Christ (Mt 6:5-9) (Eph 6:18) (1 Th 5:17).

It would seem as if the rim is an afterthought in our ministry analogy. Not so. It was for the hope of saving the world from Satan and sin that Christ had to sacrifice his life (Jo 3:16) (Jo 10:10). We were all a part of the rim at one time. The rim can always respond to the strength of the hub and the service of the spokes, or remain a wobbly part of the wheel.

—Jim Bailey