(prepared by Lilian Schmid)
The Ministry of Jesus in the Church
The ministry of Jesus is a ministry of service, love, healing, preaching and teaching, as well as being political. There are six significant characteristics exemplified in Jesus’ ministry:
- The Vocation of Jesus showed that His ministry is from God, key Gospel indicated that God sent Jesus and that Jesus himself has called him to a ministry of prophecy, sanctification, and leadership.
- The ministry of Jesus is a ministry of Service, this quality of service made a tremendous impact on Jesus’ disciples the early Christian community and later on the universal church. By washing the feet of His disciples Jesus showed humility and service. To be of service is an essential part of church order and ministry.
- The ministry of Jesus is a ministry of Love, through Jesus’ love we see God’s love. His death on the cross and suffering is the most sacrifice of love can someone can give and redeems us from all sins.
- The ministry of Jesus is a ministry of Healing, in this ministry Jesus not only healed the sick physically, he healed their pain and painful memories.
- The ministry of Jesus is Preaching and Teaching, His primary message was about the Kingdom of God, means that God is present always, Jesus taught holiness and He set us an example of his own holiness, He taught about compassion, grace, the message of the Gospel of love, mercy and hope. God’s goodness is the answer for all teaching and preaching.
- Jesus’ ministry was also political. Jesus spoke about justice, He was fearless in His criticism of King Herod, on the Pharisees, the Sanhedrin. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus called his disciples the Light of the World. The light reminds us to see the truth and be witness to the truth in our ministry.
Over the course of His public service Jesus operated in each of these five dimensions of ministry, when Jesus left this planet He blessed His church with gifts. These gifts are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Yes, He equips and gifts His servants. A proper perspective keeps in view the fact that we are not our own. It guards us in a place of humility. It is Jesus who gives the mission and ministry of the church. Ecclesial ministry and leadership are totally and fundamentally dependent on Jesus. Church leaders both ecclesiastical and theological must continually purify their presentations of Jesus’ mission and ministry by a return to the gospels.
The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
“What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.” The Holy Spirit is “the principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body.” He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity: by God’s Word, by baptism, by grace, by virtues, and by the many special graces (called ‘spiritual gifts’ or ‘charisms’) by which He makes the faithful “fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church.” (CCC 797-798)
Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, these special graces provided and ordered by the Holy Spirit to directly and indirectly benefit and build up the Church, for the good of all men, and for the needs of the world. (from CCC 799)
“There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit. There are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5)
The Church is Salt and Light
Christians are commissioned by Christ to represent the Kingdom of God on a daily basis. This is highlighted in these gospel scriptures: Matthew 5:13-14, 6:10, 13:31-33, 22:37-40, 28:18-20, John 17:18-23, and Acts 1:8. This is confirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:16, 2 Corinthians 3:3, 5:18-20, Ephesians 5:1, Hebrews 13:7 and Philemon 1:6. Similarly Peter states our position in Christ at 1 Peter 2:9-10 and 3:15-16.
In 2 Corinthians Paul describes our commission the following ways:
- Fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus (2:15)
- Living letters written by the Holy Spirit on the human heart (3:3)
- Transformed people reflecting the glory of God (3:18)
- Jars of (soft) clay revealing the glory to God (4:7)
- Christ’s ambassadors (5:20)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
Read Exodus 25:31-40, Zechariah 4, Matthew 5:14-16, John 8:12, 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 1:12-20, and Revelation 21:23.
Through the Holy Spirit, the church has great vision for your city and region:
- Vision: a picture of our desired future (Proverbs 29:18)
- Mission: shared understanding of our calling and therefore our purpose, intentions, aims and unity across the denominations (James 4:15)
- Values: our shared commitment to what is desirable and worthy under God
- Strategy: the process of how to get there and be true witness
- Core values of each church in the city:
- Statement of Faith
- Prayer and Mission
- Relationship between Prophet, Priest and Civic Leadership
- All churches must complement each other and not Compete
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13)
Lord, I pray for the church which is your body in this place. Make it a “city set on a hill that cannot be hidden,” salt and light in our community that preserves and safeguards us from evil and heralds the gospel of your kingdom to all who have ears to hear, thereby ushering in your end time purposes. Amen.
Connecting the Church and the Marketplace
Your local church is the lighthouse of your city and region, therefore you need to equip your people to be witness wherever they are and also allow the Holy Spirit to move to bring transformation in your region. The thing is Transformation is not only having pastors’ meeting once a month to pray or having prayer breakfasts once every three months.
Your church plays a vital and important role in your city, the church must engage with all spheres of influence:
- Church (Ecclesia)
- Government and the Military
- Trade and Finance (Business)
- Law and Justice
- Religion and Philosophy
- Charity and Not for Profit Welfare
- Health and Science
- Media and Entertainment
- Sport and Recreation
Praying for the Church
Let’s join together as one body, pick up the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit as we take our place on the front lines and stand in the gap to pray for the Church and all the leaders:
- That God will build His House and have His way
- That God will keep, guard, and protect the Church
- That You Oh Lord God give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You: The eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of Your calling, and what the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of Your power graced to us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power, which You wrought in Christ.
- That you would grant us, according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with might by Your Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.
- We also pray and desire that we might be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto You Father, Who has made us partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
- Pray for the Pastor/Minister/Priest – Lord, we lift up our church pastor to You. Thank You for his servant’s heart. Keep them from losing heart when ministry gets tough. Help them prove faithful with the things you have entrusted to them. Teach them Your ways so that they know You and find favour with You as they lead us. Keep them open and honest before You and help them to represent the truth plainly. (2 Corinthians 4:1)
- Pray for the Elders – Lord, we lift up the elders (church board) to You. Help us respect and honour them as they direct the affairs of our church. May they wholeheartedly give their attention to prayer and ministry of the Word. Keep them above reproach, devoted to their families, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable and able to teach. (Titus 1:7)
- Pray for the Deacons – Lord, we lift up our deacons and servers to You. May they walk worthy of respect with sincere hearts. Help them keep hold of truth. Fill them with Your Spirit and let them operate in wisdom as they carry out their responsibilities. (1 Timothy 3:8-9)
- Pray for the congregation – Lord, we lift up the people in our congregation to You. We want to walk with You, Jesus, let us serve you with humble hearts and listen to your words. (Ephesians 4:1; 2)
- Pray for the Children/Youth in the church – Lord, we lift up the children and youth in my congregation to You. Let their conduct always be pure and right with reputations that show that they remember You, Creator God. Open their hearts to receive you. protect them from the evil one and plant righteousness, faith, love and peace in their hearts to know you more. (Matthew 18:3-4)
- Pray for Seniors in the church – Lord, we lift up the senior members of our congregation. We are blessed by their example and ability to train us. Help us to be humbly submissive as we benefit from their wisdom and understanding. May they put their hope in You and be renewed in the process. (Proverbs 16:31)
- Pray for the Lost among us – Lord, we lift up the lost members of our congregation. Let the Holy Spirit give them deep conviction. Teach us to make the most of every opportunity to share Your salvation with them. We stand against the enemy and his attempts to keep them blinded to Your truth. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
- Pray for Worship Leaders – Lord, we lift up our worship leaders. Help them lead us faithfully in thanks for Your enduring love. Use their praise to defeat the enemy. May they be the true worshipers You are looking for who worship in spirit and in truth (2 Chronicles 20:21-22)
- Pray for Speakers/Evangelists – Lord, we lift up the speakers and evangelists in our church. May everyone who holds that position—pastors, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, guest speakers speak your word and wisdom. Let them speak with a spirit of faith that springs from their relationship with You. (2 Timothy 2:15).
- Pray for Women’s Ministry – Lord, we lift up our Women’s Ministry. Teach our women to be virtuous women with gentle and open hearts. Let this ministry produce women who feel Your passion for them and who choose to spend time at Your feet. Teach them to share their experience to bring good influence as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters (Titus 2:4)
- Pray for Men’s Ministry – Lord, we lift up our Men’s Ministry to You. Encourage them to hold each other accountable as they carry each other’s burdens. May they speak the truth in love to each other even when it’s hard. (Jude 1:20)
- Pray for Youth Workers – Lord, we lift up our Youth Workers. Let these young men and women set an example in their speech, life, love, faith and purity. Help them to grow in your word and deliver the right judgment on others. Pour out Your Spirit on them. (1 Timothy 4:12)
- Pray for other members of the congregation who are serving the Lord in humility– Lord, we lift up the people who work behind the scenes at our church. Thank You for each one of them. who have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. Bless them for the obedience and generosity they have displayed. Protect them and protect their families from the evil one. (1 Corinthians 16:15).
- Pray for Children’s Ministries – Lord, we lift up our children’s ministries to You. Create an atmosphere here that encourages our children to find You. Let the teachers be careful to remind each child of the marvellous things You have done. Keep them walking in the truth. (Mark 10:14).
- Pray for Finances – Lord, we lift up our church finances. May we sow generously into our church without reluctance . Pour out your grace upon all our needs and make us rich in ways that result in generosity on our part so You will be praised. We need your provision Lord (2 Corinthians 9:6-11).
- Pray for Outreach/Missions Projects – Lord, I lift up our outreach programs. Help us teach one another to be faithful ministers of Your Son. Enable us to meet people wherever they have a need. Give us the humility to do our mission without complaints (Hebrews 13:16).
- Finally we ask you Lord to energize your church with your continuous outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that we can see more spirit filled man and woman who have the fire to evangelize and bring many to your kingdom.
We pray You, almighty and eternal God, Who through Jesus Christ has revealed Your glory to all nations; to preserve the works of Your mercy. That Your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Your name.