I have spent my life primarily ministering to the Church. In spite of some work in evangelism, I’ve mainly served in church music, Bible teaching, and devotional writing. Often I’ve suppressed a feeling that I’ve shamefully avoided God’s “real work” of reaching the world for Christ, and instead have contented myself with an easier, less-valuable ministry to those already believers.
But God recently brought a few scriptural truths across my path that helped me root out these misguided feelings of inferiority.
God is enabling me to fulfill a life-long goal of learning to read Biblical Hebrew. I recently finished reading the entire Pentateuch in Hebrew. I read Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy, then came back to Leviticus and Numbers. What a joy! Difficult at times, but O so rewarding!
In Numbers 3 and 4, I was struck by how God set aside the entire tribe of Levi to help Aaron and his sons take care of the tabernacle. Israel was in a barren wilderness with so many needs and struggles, yet God devoted one full tribe out of twelve simply to service the tabernacle. What’s more, God arranged the Israelite encampment so that the Levites were right in the center, at the heart of His people and the best protected from any attack.
At the same time that my Old Testament reading was the above passage from Numbers, my New Testament reading was from Ephesians 4. There I was reminded that Christ distributed a diversity of spiritual gifts in order to strengthen the overall unity of the Church.
He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13, NASB)
Christ in His wisdom appointed some in the church to devote themselves primarily to ministering to believers. Their work would play just as vital a role as any other toward Christ’s timeless purpose of building His Body and beautifying His Bride.
Evangelism is critically important, but so is nurturing the minds and hearts of God’s people. Thank You, Lord, for honoring each of us with a unique place in Your service! Whatever our ministry might be, help us to do it joyfully, with our heart, soul, mind, and strength!