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What is the ministry of the word?

There are problems when a church grows. The early church grew so quickly that many of its poorest members, like widows, weren't getting enough food. This problem caused other parts of the church to be neglected, so the twelve apostles called everyone together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, pick seven men who are known to be wise and full of the Spirit. We will give them this job and focus on prayer and spreading the word (Acts 6:2–4).

The ministry of the word means to preach and teach God's message and be witnesses for Christ on earth. Jesus gave the twelve disciples their mission (Acts 1:8), and they knew that spreading the Word was their most important job and highest calling.

In Acts 6:2–4, the Greek word diakonia is used three times. It is translated twice as "ministry" and once as "care for." The apostles don't say that spreading the Word is more important than meeting people's physical needs. They don't look down on or criticise the difference between practical ministry and spiritual ministry in the church. Instead, they assign tasks based on calling and ability.

God has put it on the shoulders of every believer to do ministry, which is another word for service. But God calls different people to different kinds of ministries based on their gifts and qualifications (Romans 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 7:17).

The apostles were told to preach and teach God's Word, and they wouldn't let anything get in the way of that. For the health and growth of their churches, Christian leaders of today should learn from what they did. It's not that the apostles were too busy to do ministry in the real world. No, they were worried that the spiritual health of the body would suffer if they got stuck in areas of ministry that weren't right for them.

When pastors and elders stay away from the distractions of running the church and focus only on teaching the Bible and praying, the church can grow and become spiritually mature. Also, this right alignment makes sure that every member has the chance to find his or her gifts and create unique ministries to serve and build up the body of Christ to the glory of God (1 Peter 4:10–11; Ephesians 4:1, 7–8, 11–16).

In a way, every Christian is responsible for spreading the Word. All Christians must say they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:10) and "always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks... the reason for the hope" they have (1 Peter 3:15). We are all called to "the ministry of reconciliation," which means that we are to help others get back on good terms with God by sharing the "message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18–19). We should use every chance we get to share the message of truth with our families and loved ones who are not saved. We should also use the Bible to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).


Spread God's Words

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