- "If people's lives are going to be transformed, biblical information must be conveyed in a structure designed to facilitate the implementation of that knowledge in their daily lives and to hold them accountable to a process of change after they've heard it." Brad Bigney of Grace Fellowship (Florence, KY) (2007)
ROANOKE BAPTIST TEMPLE (Roanoke, Virginia)
- I remember (its getting harder these days) some 43 years ago in my home church, Roanoke Baptist Temple, in Roanoke Virginia. I was appointed as Youth Pastor when I was 16.3 years old. As a 10th grader at Jefferson Senior High School commenced upon the ministry as a Youth Pastor. For the next twenty-seven months I experienced one of the best times of ministry that I have ever experienced.
- During those 27 months of ministry (Dec 1963 - Feb 1966) with those teenagers and young adults we developed and trained and taught how to produce a life long meaning of Ephesians 4:11-12. "The perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry." Without really knowing what I was doing, and without any other person helping me (except my dad/mom) we developed an Ephesians 4:12 ministry. I have used this biblical idea from the start of ministry.
- To see a transformed life produced in young kids, teens or young adult and even adults has been a ministry that Charity and I have had for our entire married life.
- To produce an Ephesians 4:12 saint has been the ministry objective in every ministry that Charity and I have had.To produce this Ephesians 4:12 transformed lives, does take information, application, implementation and accountability.
DEFINITION OF THE PURPOSE OR PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY
When we speak of ministry, we are referring to how the church conducts itself both within itself and with the world while we wait for the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
When we begin asking questions about ministry (What is it? How is it done?) we must agree that our answers our bound to Scripture. Here is the bad news. There is no place in the Bible where the particulars of youth ministry or of a youth pastor’s job are taught. But here is the good news: the existence of ministry for believers by believers for God’s glory is taught in Scripture, and the general calling of a pastor is clear.
Youth Ministry is simply a practical, contemporary extension of this ministry mindset. The same would be true of Children’s Ministry, Special Ministry, Young Married Ministry, etc.
All these modern terms are simply an attempt by local churches to extend the ministry of the local church beyond that of corporate worship to the people that make up the church body. Scripture has plenty to say about this.
As a general principle, what we do is based on what we believe. What we should believe is based on a faithful study of Scripture and the organization of the teaching contained therein. This is also known as theology. Therefore, theology is the foundation on which our ministries should be built and conducted.
PYRAMID OF MINISTRY
As under-shepherds of the church of Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to be good caretakers of the spiritual gifts given to us, the people commissioned to our care, and the resources that the Lord has provided to do ministry. This can be accomplished only with an accurate view of the following theological pillars, upon which the church is built:
- Authentic concept of God
- Actual account of His Word
- Exact belief of the Gospel
- Factual panorama of the Church
A particular theology to consider is that of the church what is known as ecclesiology.
Wayne Gruden, in his Systematic Theology, defines the church as
- "the community of all true believers for all time."
- Being more specific and referring to a local church gathering of believers, it is referred to as a local church.
- The local church’s primary means for public congregating is to participate in corporate worship.
- It is up to the leadership (elders/pastors) in that church to determine, based on the church’s culture, resources, and particular needs, what to provide for its members beyond corporate worship to help facilitate fellowship, additional teaching and the means to practice the "one another’s."
Another important theological consideration is that of the family, and its relationship to the church.
There are people today who would advocate a high view of the family, to the detriment of the church. On the other side of the spectrum, there are parents who abstain from all parental responsibilities and see the church as an after-school program to teach their children and teenagers some manners, discipline, and spirituality. The Bible gives us a balanced perspective.
Let me say from the outset that the Bible teaches us that parents have the obligation to raise their children and as a result, should be the primary means of discipleship of their children. But let me also be clear that parents sometimes have limitations in raising their children. These liabilities, or limitations would include a severed relationship due to divorce, challenges in communicating with a child or teenage son or daughter, or if nothing else, the simple fact that parents do not have all the spiritual gifts and therefore need others to help.
With these theological considerations in mind, we ask ourselves,
"HOW DO WE ‘DO’ MINISTRY?’
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Read By Charity Whisnant