Author: Ron Graham
The Other Ministry
—Giving and Helping
You have a gift or ministry. (The word ministry means service). God gives some gift or some ministry to every Christian.
Part of maturing as a Christian, is coming to recognise one's gifts and ministries, and using them for the glory of God (1Peter 4:10-11).
Most people think of ministry as referring to the work of elders or preachers. However these are not the only ministries. There is another ministry.
1 The Variety of Ministries
Various gifts and ministries are listed in the scriptures. For example: apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, servants, exhortation, giving, helping, miracles, healings, administrations, tongues, etc. (Romans 12:3-8, 1Corinthians 12:28-31, Ephesians 4:11, 1Peter 4:10-11).
As our lesson progresses, we will revisit these passages and their lists of ministries. But for now we can see that there are at least three main kinds of gifts and ministries...
- the miraculous signs and wonders;
- preaching the gospel, teaching, shepherding;
- giving and helping.
We are familiar with the first two. The third one does not have such a high profile. Let's think about this other ministry.
2 Giving and Helping —The Other Ministry
The gifts and ministries of giving and helping are just as important as other kinds of ministries and gifts.
The members of the body have different functions and each relies on the other for the proper functioning of the body (Romans 12:4-5, 1Corinthians 12:12-25, Ephesians 4:15-16)
You do not need miraculous powers, to be a helper and giver. You don't even need the ability to teach or preach. God blesses you with some useful gift which you can employ for the glory of God (1Pet 4:10-11)
Treasure, Time, and Talent
There are three things that some people are blessed with, namely treasure, time, and talent. People can be good stewards of these blessings in the giving and helping ministry. Givers and helpers have at least one of these blessings which they can devote to the Lord...
Treasure Some in the church earn much more money than they need. Their liberal giving supplies the needs of other members. Their ministry is called an "indescribable gift" (2Corinthians 9:7,12,15).
Giving, sharing, and helping with our "treasure on earth" is a very important and appropriate ministry Matthew 6:19-21, Acts 2:44-45, Ephesians 4:28).
Supporting the teachers and preachers is one of the essential functions of the givers (Galatians 6:6). The ministry of teaching is no greater than the ministry of supporting those who teach.
Time Some in the church have time to spare. They can dedicate some of this time to the Lord (Ephesians 5:16, 1Tim 5:5).
Talent Some in the church have special skills that could be so useful if they were offered. These too are from God and for his glory (1Pet 4:11)
3 An Unrestricted Ministry
The "other ministry" of giving and helping is an unrestricted ministry. The ministry of miraculous gifts, was restricted to revealing and confirming the word (Mark 16:15-20, Hebrews 2:3-4).
The ministry of leadership and teaching, is subject to appointment by the church, and the rule is "let not there be many" (Acts 6:3, Titus 1:5, James 3:1).
But for the "other ministry of giving and helping, I can find no limitation. The more abundant this "other ministry" the better!
According to vour particular gifts and blessings, you can be a minister. It will not only give more meaning and purpose to your life, but will further the cause of Christ, bless his saints, and glorify God.