How Do You Define Ministry?


by Steve Cordle,

Ephesians 4:12 tells us that the role of the pastor is to equip the saints for ministry. The question is: what ministry?

One of the main differences between a cell church and other ministry philosophies is the way that question is answered.

In many churches staff and pastors work hard to develop volunteers and leaders who will help make the church function; for example, door greeters, sound board operators, teachers, or worship team members. The staff understand that their role is not to do all the ministry, but to recruit and develop the church members to do ministry.

One crucial way in which a cell church differs is that the primary goal of the pastor is to develop disciple-makers. The pastor wants to equip the saints for ministry; specifically, the ministry of evangelism, discipleship and of community building. That is a major difference.

Sure, there will be a need for worship team members in a cell church, but the staff of a cell church will prioritize equipping the saints for the central ministry of making disciples who make disciples. This will shape the way they spend their time and who they spend their time with.

Most pastors will say their role is to equip the saints for ministry. But the cell church has the potential to spark a disciple-making movement because they define ministry very clearly: win people to Christ and disciple them.


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¿Cómo defines el Ministerio?.

Por Steve Cordle,

Efesios 4:12 nos dice que el papel del pastor es equipar a los santos para el ministerio. La pregunta es: ¿Qué ministerio?

Una de las principales diferencias entre la iglesia celular y otras filosofas ministeriales es la manera en que esa pregunta es contestada.

En muchas iglesias los pastores y el personal trabajan duro para desarrollar voluntarios y lderes que ayudarán a que la iglesia funcione, por ejemplo, los recibidores de puerta, los operadores de mesa de sonido, maestros o miembros del equipo de adoración. El personal entiende que su papel no es hacer todo el ministerio, sino reclutar y desarrollar a los miembros de la iglesia para el ministerio.

Una manera importante en que una iglesia celular es diferente es que el objetivo principal del pastor es el desarrollo de los hacedores de discpulos. El pastor quiere equipar a los santos para el ministerio, especialmente, el ministerio de evangelismo, discipulado y la construcción de la comunidad. Esa es una diferencia importante.

Claro, habrá una necesidad para los miembros del equipo de adoración en una iglesia celular, pero el personal de la iglesia celular dará prioridad para equipar a los santos para el ministerio central de hacer discpulos que hagan discpulos. Esto determinará la manera en que gastan su tiempo y con quién pasan su tiempo.

La mayora de los pastores dicen que su papel es el de capacitar a los santos para el ministerio. Pero la iglesia celular tiene el potencial de provocar un movimiento de discpulos, porque ellos definen su ministerio muy claramente: ganar gente para Cristo y discipularlos.



2 thoughts on “How Do You Define Ministry?

  • Blessings:
    Great article, not to say awesome, but with all due respect, it’s the responsibility of all of the ministries (the list on verse 11) to equip the saints, not only pastors. I think that sometimes we have to get our minds off from the pastor’s mind and enter into a full five ministry mind, recognizing each roll in the church. But the responsibility to equip the saints is for all 5 ministries.
    Blessings and thanks for a chance to express myself about it.

  • I agree Jose- all 5 functions should be equipping the saints. I would say that the pastors/teachers need to do this in a little more on-going way, since apostles are often trans-local and evangelists often focus beyond the local church. That said, I agree that all 5 roles are to result in equipping the saints.

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