We all have seen it: when talking about pastors, deacons, and the ministry of the church, there are many applications on a local church level. In my own research on deacon ministry, for example, I found as many varieties of deacon ministries as I did churches!
However, there’s a couple of questions for ministry that should always be asked:
- Is it biblical?
- When applied, is it sustainable?
Here’s a brief summary of the various duties of church members as seen in Scripture (these references are not an exhaustive list):
- Ministry of the Pastors– the pastors primarily preach, teach, oversee, and minister to the spiritual needs of the church (1 Tim 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-16, Acts 20:28, 1 Pt 5:2).
- Ministry of the Deacons– the deacons primarily care, visit, serve the poor, and ministering to the physical needs of the church (Acts 6:1-7, 1 Tim 3:8-13).
- Ministry of Teams– the ministry teams primarily reach, teach, fellowship, worship, serve, and pray for the work of the gospel (Eph 4:11-16, Ex 18:17-26).
The model might look a little like this:
So how does this work together? First, all ministries at First Baptist Church submit to the Scriptures for all guidance and practice. Second, all ministry leaders abide by the decisions of the church, knowing that the church is the Bride of Christ. Third, the support for one another in various ways will assist each another in their ministry functions and gifts. But last, these three areas (pastors, deacons, ministry teams) will help the church as a whole get healthy and be able to attend to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each other and of unbelievers.
Balanced ministry, biblical ministry, led by pastors, served by deacons, ministry in the teams. In a quick summary, this is how we do it.