WHO CHOOSES, calls or appoints apostles, prophets, evangelists, bishops and teachers to feed and tend Christian churches throughout the world? Isn’t it Jesus Christ? The apostle Paul wrote, “And he (Jesus) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers…. (Ephesians 4: 11) And Jesus confirms this saying, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide… (John 15: 16).
Indeed, true ministers of the gospel do not assume pastoral responsibilities by their own volition; they are actually chosen, prepared and placed in ministry by Christ to do His will on the earth. And everyone God calls into ministry is given a specific, unique and clear job description.
This truth about pastoral calling did not start with today's ministers. It has always been the case since Adam. When we read the Bible carefully we will be informed about how God directly gives specific, unique and special jobs to people He calls to do for Him personally.
First, let us consider Noah; Noah's key job God gave him during his calling was to make an ark of gopher wood to house people and animals that were worthy and marked for God's salvation (Gen. 6: 11- 14a, 18- 19).
Abraham is another man God called into ministry, and the key job God expected him to perform was arguably to “command his children and household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. (Gen. 18: 17- 19). That was to fulfill God's purpose revealed in Genesis 12: 2- 3.
What about the man Moses who was called by God, prepared and placed in ministry? What was the main job God called him to do? When God called Moses, He said to him, “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3: 10).
You see, Moses' main assignment was to go to Egypt and rescue the congregation of Israel from the oppression of Pharaoh.
Shall we also consider the prophet Isaiah; he prophesied not because he personally liked to prophesy but because God called, prepared, wired and gifted him with the gift of prophesy to accomplish God's purpose. Isaiah's main job was to speak to the people of Judah who were dead and blind. He was to warn them about their sin and its judgment (Isa. 6: 10).
We have discussed a number of the Old Testament servants of God. Let us now look at the call of the 12 apostles also, and the unique assignment God gave them to perform. Now, we know that those men were called to serve as foundational apostles as they were used to establish doctrines for the Church of Jesus Christ.
However, their main job was clearly threefold; they were to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God to make disciples, baptise them and teach them the commands of Christ the Lord (Matt. 20: 18- 20). The apostles had no charge to bury the dead, officiate weddings or marriages and perform naming ceremonies for anyone as we see many do it today.
Thus, the apostles rarely buried the dead, performed naming ceremonies and officiated weddings. They knew that those things were good but they were not the things Christ died for and the work He appointed them to do.
Moreover, it is necessary that we pay a particular attention to the unique job Christ gave to Paul when He called him. Understand that Paul was also a foundational apostle as he was used to establish doctrines.
But the main job the Lord gave him was unique and clear. Like the other apostles such as Peter and John, Paul was to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
However, Paul's specific job was to reveal Jesus Christ primarily to the Gentile world. In other words, Paul’s purposeful job was to preach the crucified Christ and make Him known to the gentile world (nations apart from Israel), and by it open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from Satan to God….(Gal, 1: 15, Acts 26: 13- 18).
Now, what about me, the writer of this article? What is God’s assignment to me? It is to redirect straying Christians to the sound knowledge of Christ Jesus as I preach the gospel.
And what about you: apostle, prophet, evangelist, bishop and teacher reading this article? What is the specific and unique job Christ gave you personally when He called you?
And to you Christian reading this article, do you know your pastor’s key and unique assignment given to him by God to perform for Him even as he preaches the gospel?
It is not wise to follow a pastor or worship with a church when you have not learnt or been told, understood and scripturally be convinced about the shepherd’s key job given to Him by God to do on earth.
God does not call, train, prepare and set people in ministry when He has not spoken to them. And He does not speak to anyone He calls without giving them clear message of the assignment or job they must perform for Him in the world. A person called by God and placed in ministry will have strong innate desire to do the very job assigned him; he or she will do the will of God. What is your pastor’s unique God-given job? And is he or she doing exactly that?
By James Quansah