Music that Ministers

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on February 1, 2010

Three Ministries

All of us Christians, whether we are songwriters, singers, preachers, teachers, or just disciples, are, in the truest sense, supposed to be ministers.

Maybe you haven’t thought of yourself as a minister, but if you’re a Christian, that’s what the scripture says you are. Ephesians 4:11-12  (New King James Version) says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints (that’s us—all of us Christians) for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” As ministers we have three scriptural ministries to perform. And as songwriters, these are the things we write about:

• First, our ministry to the Lord, in our fellowship with Him, in praise, worship, prayer and obedience. We write songs for the church to use in this ministry.

• Second, our ministry to one another, as brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re told to exhort, edify and encourage one another: “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”(Colossians 3:16). Remember the time A.A. Milne’s Pooh Bear ate too much and got stuck in a rabbit hole? He knew he would have to wait there, perhaps for a long time, until he grew thin enough to get out. So his friends all gathered around and sang him “sustaining songs.”That’s music ministry.

• Third, our ministry to the world —that’s evangelism. We’re entrusted with the greatest message in the world, the Good News that God sent His Son to die for our sins and now offers the free gift of eternal life to all who receive Him.

In these three ministries—each with a separate purpose—we find ample subject matter for all the songs we might ever want to write. But it’s amazing to see how their purposes flow together. As the church again learns to worship the Lord and minister to one another in love, more and more people are coming to Christ in church services. We still need evangelistic songs to preach the gospel out in the world where most of the lost are, but it’s interesting that the songs we write for God’s people to use in their ministries to the Lord and to
another often turn out to be our most powerful instruments of evangelism.

Pastor Jack Hayford
Pastor Jack started The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California with eighteen people. Early on he started the practice of leading the congregation in worship. He also taught the people to pray with each other in small groups. On Sunday morning he almost always gave the invitation to receive Christ before the sermon, so the sermon could be directed toward teaching, “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.” As he closed the worship time, he would give a two-minute explanation of how to receive Christ, inviting people to respond in their seats, then come into the prayer room after the sermon for counselling. After eighteen years they found that 25,000 people had come forward to receive Christ. By then the church had grown into thousands and had launched a number of daughter churches. All this with the invitation given at the close of the worship segment, before the sermon!