If you have been to London and had a chance to ride the tubes, you are familiar with the phrase “mind the gap.” The gap is the space between the platform and the train. Mind the gap means to pay attention to it and don’t trip or get your foot stuck in it. If you see and hear the warning before you get a chance to see the gap, you get the idea that it’s a man-eating canyon between the train and platform and real danger is imminent.
The gap is really pretty small, but the perception is, it’s big.
The other place this gap phenomenon occurs is in church. By phenomenon I mean that there is the perception of a big gap between the work of the preachers, pastors and missionaries and what everyone else gets to do.
The Bible says that God has made all Christians able ministers of the New Testament (II Corinthians 3:6), given to us the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18) and committed the Word of Reconciliation to us (II Corinthians 5:19). This is not reserved to preachers, pastors and missionaries but has been given to all Christians. No ministry gap.
The highest of church offices and their qualifications are described in I Timothy chapter 3, where the office of pastor and deacon are detailed. The office of a bishop or pastor is without a doubt a preacher position, while a deacon is usually served by non-preachers, but can be both. The list of the qualifications of each of these offices is basically the same, and all men in the church should reach for one or the other of these.
So no ministry gap and no qualification gap (ok, a little one) so where is the gap? Unfortunately its all perception that has been engrained in us that ministers (preachers) do the ministering and the rest of us show up, sing, pray, write a check and go home. That gap does not exist in the Bible, just in our heads.
You have been authorized, empowered and commissioned to minister.
So, never mind the gap and get on with the work.
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