The Work of the Ministry is YOUR Job

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…(Ephesians 4:11-12)

Do not ask your pastor to do your job for you.

We’ve got it twisted in our consumeristic society. We expect to go to church, be fed truth, and go home. Thanks for the message, pastor. Thanks for the worship, worship leaders. You did your job well this morning, the crucial task of the ministry.

But we forget it’s now our turn to do ministry.

We’ve elevated our expectations of vocational ministers to the great neglect of our own responsibility. We outsource the responsibility for heralding the rescue of the gospel to those who get paid to do it, but that’s not their job. Their job is to equip us, to love us, and to shepherd us so we can do the work of the ministry. It isn’t that vocational ministers don’t also do the work of the ministry – of course they do. I’ve seen The Door’s staff sweated wet from serving others and if you go to any of the area coffee shops, I bet you’ll see one of them meeting with someone. They are to serve their neighbors and coworkers just like the rest of us – but they can’t do the work of the ministry solo.

What we too often expect from pastors is akin to expecting a political leader to pick up a rifle and go win a battle by himself. It would be like asking Winston Churchill, after one of his rousing speeches during World War II, to then go take out the Nazis. That’s ridiculous.

Some of us are called to sell our belongings and move overseas on mission, but the large majority of us are called to live Spirit-drenched lives where God has planted us. We are all missionaries. We are called to serve the poor among us, build up the body of the church, and perhaps most importantly, to offer the eternity-altering gospel to others. We do not do the converting – God does that – but we can saturate the soil of a human heart by lovingly presenting the truth of what Jesus has accomplished for us. We can only give that which we’ve been given, so it is necessary that we immerse ourselves in God’s word and surround ourselves with good preaching and teaching.

If you have placed your faith in Jesus and have experienced his saving grace, you are in the ministry. It doesn’t matter who signs your paycheck. Per Ephesians 2:10, God has prepared good works for you before you were born. You need only to walk in them faithfully, capable and ready. And the next time you see one of your pastors, thank them for equipping you to do what God has called you to do.

What’s In a Church Building?

The Door Church started in a small retail space generously offered by Metrocrest Community Church. As we struggled (and sweated – man it was hot!) through our first services, God began to gather people. Our next space was a shared space situation at Sae Sarm Methodist, where our generous Korean brothers and sisters offered their home so that TDC could meet.

TDC’s growth cannot be attributed to a marketing plan or the talent of any person. God has drawn people to himself and given us a place to meet at each stage.

Last July, we hosted our first service in a brand-new building on the hill between Coppell and Lewisville. It is a beautiful building, well-designed and comfortable.

Throughout the history of the church, church buildings have looked all sorts of ways. There are beautiful cathedrals, which are literal works of art. There are modern churches which look like concert venues and there are old country churches clad in white painted wood. Some prefer big, beautiful church buildings and others believe cheap church buildings are the way to go. I’m not here to debate which style of building is best, but I’d like for us to consider what a church building actually is and is not – and what it will eventually become.

     1. A church building is a forward operating base. In war, a forward-operating base (an FOB) is an operational facility located on or near the battlefield. It is a place where warriors fuel up, rest up, and get fixed up. Church buildings are like FOBs. They are a place to rest in God’s grace, feed on his word, and bear one another’s burden.

     2. A church building is not a museum for saints; it is a hospital for sinners. We all need Jesus because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The gathering of God’s people should lift the lowly and humble the proud, all underneath the proclaimed word of God as revealed in the Bible.

3. Church buildings will eventually become dirt. Build them however you want, they’ll end up as decomposed material someday. For that matter, the church members will, too. I know that’s morbid, but it’s true. We (and the buildings in which we gather) will return to dust someday. We must keep this in mind and allow this truth to grant us perspective.

The Door Church prayed for its new building and we are humbly grateful for God’s lavish response to this prayer. Our new building is a gorgeous forward operating base. We will rejoice and mourn there. We will worship there. But the building isn’t the point. It’s merely a good place to meet up and sit underneath the Gospel so we can leave and bring the greatest news in the history of the world with us.