God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers, “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph 4:12).” Did you know that it is your job to do ministry? I can equip you for it; but I can’t do it for you. This is where our Western church has gone terribly wrong. We relegate everything to pastors and staff and those whom we recognize as elders, deacons, and trustees. At large, we’ve bought into the idea that we hire someone to do ministry for us. And I commend those of you who have not bought into that and spend yourself in selfless ministry. You know you don’t need my permission to minister to people; you already have God’s. Do we see that our whole life belongs to God and that whatever we do, we do all to His glory (1 Cor 10:31)?
And the ministry you do is for building up the body of Christ. All of us have gifts; all are integral to the success of the church, because Christ has made it that way. And so He calls you to a high calling, to grow up in every way into Christ—to be equipped to build up the body of Christ. That can happen in one of two ways: (1) You can edify and serve and do ministry to those already that are already inside the body of Christ. And if you don’t know how you might do that, pray about it; ask me about it, and I’ll help you find something, based on your giftedness. (2) You can evangelize and serve and show the love of Christ to those outside of the body of Christ.
We’re being built up together into a dwelling place for God (Eph 2:22). That job is not done yet; if God had His complete dwelling built, He would come back and occupy it. And so, we have work to do. Believe it or not, you are the evangelists, he’s talking about in v. 11, in whatever context God has put you. People have the mistaken notion that they’re not gifted in evangelism, so therefore, they don’t have to do it. There is no basis in Scripture for that. In fact, evangelism is never spoken of in the Bible as a gift; it’s a command. All of us are called to evangelize—to make disciples—Matthew 28. Trust the Spirit within you, and do it. You don’t have to do it in your own power. God will work in and through you.