This message considers those spiritually gifted believers in Jesus Christ who are willing to pick up a corner of a stretcher in order to help someone do what he or she can’t do for themselves. It looks at those who are willing to take hold of someone and help them do what needs to be done. And it looks at those gifted believers who work quietly behind the scenes so that other believers can do what God called them to do. These are the believers who have been given the spiritual gifts of mercy, helps, and service. These are the gifted believers “Who Lend a Hand.”
As “Living Stones” in the building that Jesus builds, each one of us fit perfectly into a particular niche. How do we know where we fit and where we are to serve Christ and His Church? Stated as a formula, this is how we know:
Your Spiritual Gift + Your Area or Sphere of Ministry = Your Niche as a Living Stone
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.