The Body Ministry

by Phil Tweed


In Revelation chapter 2 the Lord speaks to the church at Ephesus, and prophetically to us today. In verse 6 these words are written:
"You have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate".
The word Nicolaitans comes from two root words which together mean to conquer the people. Conquering the people can be seen in any practice that creates a distinction between clergy and laity, ie between those who do the work of the ministry, and those who are simply part of a congregation.

This system of church life is unbiblical, (see 1Pet 2:5,9) and yet so often tolerated. It should never be confused with good, proper and God-ordained leadership, which is one of the greatest needs in the global church today, but all too often authority held by leadership is abused, and most are unaware of it.


Just consider some of the mindsets we may have. In these ways of thinking, we set ourselves up to be conquered, in fact, some people actually want to be! Leadership also can perpetuate the practices of the Nicolaitans by:


The role of good leadership is to fulfill the function described in Ephesians 4:12-13,
" ... to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Leadership's function is to train and equip the body for the work of the ministry! The focus of good leadership is nothing short of aiming for the whole body to attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ!


In 1Cor 14:26 Paul describes what he sees as orderly corporate meetings:
"When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All these things must be done for the strengthening of the church".
What this means is just what it says. Everyone is ready to contribute in some form or other to the meeting, and the focus is for the strengthening of the church, not to draw focus to ourselves. Whenever we step out to minister under the direction of the Holy Spirit and in submission to good leadership, we should seek to "strengthen" and "build up" the church.


We need to try and create as much opportunity as possible for the body to exercise itself! In the larger meetings, sometimes this is difficult, but if the opportunity is there, GO FOR IT! If you believe what you have is from the Lord and ties in with what is currently happening, don't hold back. The challenge is there, let's do it together, always maintaining an attitude of servanthood and humility.


Copyright © 1996 Phil Tweed. All rights reserved. May be freely used and reproduced except for profit and provided all copyright and contact information is intact.

Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these articles are from the New International Version of the Bible, © New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.

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