“So, how many ministers do you have at Ingleside?” the person asked. I understand that this question is typically intended as an inquiry about the number of people on our church staff.
But if answered in a biblical way, the number of ministers at Ingleside is more than 1,000!
Think biblically. A key passage of Scripture that informs our answer to this question and should shape our thinking about a healthy church says:
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV)
According to this passage, who is to do “the work of ministry”? The biblical answer is, “the saints.” Or, as other versions translate, “God’s people” (NIV, NLT, GNT).
Pastors and ministers. And what is the role of the pastors? The ESV translates, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Or, as NIV puts it, “to prepare God’s people for works of service.” Or, as The Message paraphrase says, “to train Christians in skilled servant work.”
So, while not all are pastors, God intends for all of his people to be ministers – serving one another in the body of Christ.
In this way, “when each part is working properly,” it “make the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16, ESV).
Every member a minister. For years, we have said it this way: “God intends for every member to be a minister.”
Or, put yet another way: “On the gospel ship called Ingleside there are no passengers; we are all crew!”
This is a principle from Scripture that we have long embraced and put into practice. In fact, it’s such an important principle that we have included it in our Church Bylaws, which state:
Ministry Teams shall be developed by the pastoral and program staff to more effectively mobilize members for ministry. The pastoral and program staff will have primary responsibility for identifying, recruiting, equipping, deploying, and leading all members to be in ministry (cf. Eph 4:11-13).
Today when we look across our congregation, we find that more than 1,000 of our members have clearly identified roles of ministry or places of service at Ingleside. It’s a good start, but we are not done. Our goal is “every member a minister.”
So, have you found your place of ministry and service yet? If so, thank you. If not, please connect with one of our pastors soon. We will help you find your place to serve.
And when you do, the body of Christ will be edified and God will be greatly glorified!