In recent weeks I’ve been re-reading Paul Tripp’s book “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands“. It’s an excellent book on how we help others by pointing them away from themselves and to the Lord Jesus. There are lots of great things about the book but one thing that comes through time and again is the high view of the ministry of all of God’s people in the church…

Christ has given his church leaders, not to bear the full ministry load of the body of Christ, but to equip each member to join in God’s work of personal transformation. Remember: no local church could hire enough staff to meet all the ministry needs of a given week! In the biblical model, much more informal, personal ministry goes on that formal ministry. The times of formal, public ministry are meant to train God’s people for the personal ministry that is the lifestyle of the body of Christ…

We are too easily captivated by our self-centred little worlds. But Ephesians 4 propels us beyond a life consumed by personal happiness and achievement. Your life is much bigger than a good job, an understanding spouse, and non-delinquent kids. It is bigger than beautiful gardens, nice vacations, and fashionable clothes. In reality, you are part of something immense, something that began before you were born and will continue after you die. God is rescuing fallen humanity, transporting them into his kingdom, and progressively shaping them into his likeness – and he wants you to be part of it.

(page 20)

This is such an inspiring vision of local church life and one that means my own growth in understanding and godliness is important not just for myself but for the benefit of others.  What am I going to say when my fellow church member tells me they’ve lost their job? Or explains to me that they’re struggling with addiction or unwanted desires?  Well, I could say the first thing that comes to mind (yikes!) or I could decide that this high calling deserves some training and investment of time and energy so I can be the biggest blessing I can to those around me.  And if that’s what you’re thinking you could do worse than to read this book!