Victor Choudrie unpacks the levels of ministry modelled by Paul and Barnabas and asks each of us, "Where are you stuck?"
They went…they preached the gospel and taught many disciples, …that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom. They ordained elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord…and gathered the church, they reported all that God had done with them…Paul said to Barnabas let us go back and visit…
Acts 14:20-23, 27; 15:36
Levels of ministry
- Go: Paul and Barnabas went. Going does not mean far away but going with the gospel wherever God has placed you; your workplace (Matt 28:19; Rom. 10:14-17).
- Preach: Preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, not just with words but with healing and deliverance. Mark 16:15-18; Acts 26:18; Rom. 15:19-20
- Make disciples: Being a believer is not enough, they must be trained into next levels of disciplers, baptisers, equippers and senders. Being a follower of Christ is not enough, become fishers of men and birth generational multipliers (Matt 4:19; 28:18-20; 2 Tim 2:2).
- Teach obedience. “Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you.” The onus is on the teacher to oversee that all that they teach must be immediately implemented. Any delay will make all teaching useless (Matt 28:19-20; Heb. 5:12).
- Persecution proofing: Do not promise new believers that Christianity is a cake walk but “remind them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom.” Yeshua said, “that if they have hated me, they will hate you also…” (John 15:18; Mark 13:13).
- Appoint elders (plural): Appoint elders (not on how much they know but on their fruitfulness); not in every congregation but in every city church.” Their role is to set right everything that is wrong and be accountable for every soul in the city, so as to make them worthy of double honour (Titus 1:5; Heb 13:17).
- Pray and fast: Do not build prayer towers and stay there but must go weeping (liquid prayer) and come back rejoicing with sheaves of harvest. Your prayers to the Lord of the harvest must send forth labourers into the harvest field (Ps 126:5,6; Luke 10:1-2; Ps 2:8).
- Leave: Do not hang on and become a pastor but pass on the baton to the local believers and “Turn them over to the care of the Lord.”
- Report: Paul and Barnabas “Gathered the church (that sent them) and they rehearsed all that God had done with them…” (Acts 14:27).
- Revisit: Later, Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's go back and visit the brethren in every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they're doing." Follow up is extremely important (Acts 15:36).
At what level of ministry are you stuck? What do you need to do to move to the next level?