2016 was an incredible year at Gateway Church! God has done amazing and mighty works in and through you, the Gateway Church family, and I have loved watching you pour into the lives of others through ministry. People’s lives are being changed every day, and it’s because of you! Because of the way you are doing the job of ministry by loving people, caring for people, and reaching out to people.
If you’re new to Gateway, you may be thinking, “Ministry is a pastor’s job.” The truth is, that’s my job as a Christian, but my job as a pastor is to equip you to do ministry. Ephesians 4:11–12 tells us, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Jesus gave pastors to the church, and as a pastor, my purpose is to equip you for the work of the ministry. If we are going to change the world, we need every saint to be equipped for the ministry.
So, how do you get equipped to do the work of the ministry?
1. You must be available.
God is not looking for people of ability. He is looking for people of availability. God doesn’t need your ability, because He has all the ability. He wants to use His ability through you. He is just looking for people with availability.
2. You must be a servant.
Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). In Mark 9:35, Jesus says, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must become a servant. If you want to be equipped for ministry, start serving somewhere. Become an usher, a greeter, a part of the children’s ministry—just start serving!
3. You are a minister.
According to the Bible, you are a minister. You are in full-time ministry. God wants you to be a minister when you are at work, when you are in your neighborhood, when you are at the grocery store—He wants you to be ready to minister to anyone at any time.
As we move into 2017, I’m asking you, “Are you available? Are you willing to be a servant?” If you’ll make yourself available and become a servant, then we can equip you for the work of the ministry. It’s time to jump in and be a minister wherever you are.
Again, thank you so much for all you’ve done and will do for the Lord and for the church. I am very, very proud of you and am so excited to see all the new things God is going to do in our lives at Gateway and around the world this year!
I love you, and I am grateful to be your pastor.