The purpose of the ministry of Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers is to support the rest of the ministries of church – for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Evangelists deal with the beginning of the Christian life while the Pastor-Teacher is involved with the development and growth of that life. Evangelists are much like obstetricians helping to bring new Christians into the world. Teaching Pastors are like pediatricians seeing that these Christians have a healthy spiritual diet so that they will be nourished, healthy, and grow.
The foundation is the most important structural element of a building. If the foundation is faulty, the rest of the building will be faulty as well. Jesus said that He would build His Church and the gates of Hades would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Jesus could make this claim because the Church that Jesus builds is built on a firm, solid foundation: the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. If a church is built on any other foundation, it will be a faulty church.
When a man is called to vocational pastoral ministry, there is both an inward call and an outward call. The inner call is the result of the continuing drawing or the eliciting power of the Holy Spirit which in time brings an individual closer to the church’s outward call to ministry. So there is both an inward call of the Holy Spirit and an outward call by the Church. My hope is that this message will help the man who is sensing God’s call and considering pastoral ministry as a vocation--as well as the church who is prayerfully considering calling a pastor.
This message is an architectural view of the “House that Jesus Builds,” His church. The Lord Jesus is the Divine Architect and Builder of the church. He has designed it to function perfectly to fulfill His intended purpose and plan. It is being fitted together and built together into a dwelling of God. It’s the actual place where God dwells—where God lives. It is the place where each one of us as believers is being fitted together as a “living stone” so that we might offer up spiritual sacrifices to God.
Each one of us a believer in Jesus Christ is a masterpiece in the making. We are being crafted and sculpted into the masterpiece God wants each one of us to be. But God doesn’t transform us into the image of Christ just to make us into a beautiful work of art to be displayed in a museum, or to put on a shelf, or placed in a vault. He shapes us into what He wants us to be for the work of service, as a tool, to the building up of the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts so that we might serve God and serve one another as a tool in the hand of the Master.