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Is everyone called into ministry?

Submitted: 11/27/2010
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Question: After reading a few of your Q & A posts, it seems you teach that everyone is called into ministry (i.e, apostles, prophets, etc.). But if that is true, then there will be no sheep to shepherd. And what about Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 12:27-29? 'Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?' It's clear to me in these scriptures that Paul is saying not every individual member of the body is called or appointed to be an apostle, prophet, teacher, work miracles, etc. Can you clarify your teachings on this? God Bless!

Answer: When we say that every born again believer is called into ministry, we are saying that God expects everyone He saves to serve Him. Obviously not everyone is called to be an apostle or a prophet, but everyone is called to serve in some capacity. Similarly, everyone is not called to serve in a leadership role; therefore, there will always be plenty of sheep in need of shepherding.

Actually, we do not think it is biblically correct to speak of being 'called' to a specific ministry. Since all ministry is based on divine gifting, we believe it is better to say that so and so has been 'gifted' for a certain ministry. As a person's gifts become apparent, that person should be trained, equipped, and set free to minister in the body. In this sense, every Spirit-filled person has been anointed for ministry. There is no 'anointing for ministry' apart from the gift of the Holy Spirit.