Minister’s letter – Starting out as a Minister of the Word
Q: Who are the Ministers of the Word in our church? A: We all are!
Peter says we’re a “royal priesthood” who “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2.9). We each echo an aspect of the role of Old Testament priests who taught the Israelites the Word of God (Lev 10:11).
How this plays out among us involves some important nuances. In his book Preaching, Tim Keller distinguishes 3 levels of ‘Word Ministry’. Level 3 equates to delivering a formal sermon in church. Level 1 is person-to-person, akin to what’s described in Colossians 3:16, where Paul encourages us to have the word dwell in us richly as we “teach and admonish one another”. In between is Level 2, where some prepare lessons, seminars, and Bible studies.
Could we be a church where everyone is developing as a Level 1 minister? Even those engaged on Levels 2 and 3 might revise what it means to work on this level. Read a short book of the Bible then pray for an opportunity to share something you’ve learnt with a Christian friend. You don’t have to be an expert, just willing to trust that the Holy Spirit has been at work as your teacher. If you’re a member of a Growth Group, do some prep beforehand, participate in the discussion, and share your thoughts. Together, we can be a great encouragement to one another!