At some point in my early life, I had decided that I could do some things myself that many people hire a professional to do for them. I am not sure when, or how, but somewhere along the journey I determined that I could do it just as good, better, or sometimes just good enough. I can fix plumbing, electrical, structural, finish work, computer repair, minor car repairs and many other things that I have been faced with over the years. I do these things myself, instead of leaving it up to the professionals. There is a metaphor here that relates directly to the teaching of the Word of God and bringing others to Christ.
We go to church, we “do” church and we absorb the teachings in the one hour sermon that we sit through each week. We pray and read our devotionals. We read the Bible and reflect on the Word contained therein. But we leave the discipleship and real Christianity up to the professionals. That is not what God intended I’m afraid.
“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” Ephesians 4:11
Jesus appointed people to be the leaders of the Word, the people responsible for the gospel and the teaching of man. These were the heroes, the professionals, they were not me. I am just a man. But as we read on, we see that the true intent of these appointments is to prepare man to be the ministers, and to be God’s people through works of service.
“…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13
Sure, the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who were appointed to these positions were intended to teach and to lead us to Christ, but it was meant for US to be the priests, to minister to OUR people, our children, our families, so that we would unite in our faith.
When we think of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, we think of someone with business savvy, educated and on top of the financial food chain. But this is not the case for our faith. Jesus chose people who were ordinary and uneducated, regular people to serve God’s will. Sure they are biblical heroes today, but they were ordinary people, chosen by Jesus to lead the people to God, so that they would all be His people.
Take for example the story of Peter and John as they spoke to the Sanhedrin people about the resurrection and teachings of Christ in the book of Acts. These were two guys who were passionately teaching the people about Jesus and that He had risen from the dead. They weren’t superhuman, they were simple, like me. Peter and John were jailed overnight until they could be brought before a group of elders, rulers and teachers of the law, and…
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
These were regular guys, who had been with Jesus, and were spreading the Word. And the people listened. No one could deny the miracle that they had seen.
We are all being called into service. Think of it like the Holy draft of the Heavenly Father. Some of us are rookies, and some of us have been in the game for quite a while. What we all have in common is a love for Jesus. We are on the field, the backfield is in motion, We are the professionals, all of us, and we have much work to do.
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
A great movie quote from Chariots of Fire that I remember to this day: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Whatever it is that you do, that is yours, do it with Jesus in your heart and in your work, and you too will feel His pleasure. Whether you run, you teach and mentor children, you fix something for a neighbor who cannot or you just extend a hand to someone who needs you to show them God’s love, you are the face of our faith. For you and I are the priests, we are the living stones that make up the spiritual house. We are the professionals.