Here the ordained pastor is given his marching orders. He is to sink himself into equipping those God has given him to love as their shepherd to do the work of ministry. This is counter to the prevailing idea of ministry in many churches. Since the mid-20th Century, ministry has become the exclusive domain of those who have been professionally trained, and most parishioners are content with the arrangement. This is a far cry from the biblical model.
God has not raised up chaplains, but those who are to be trained in how to handle the word of God and to train up others in handling the word of God. The work of the ministry is not done by the pastors, but by all believers.
We mustn’t say, “That’s the pastor’s job,” or “I’m not qualified.” If we do, the blame must be laid at the feet of the pastor who has not done what God has called them to do. The work of the ministry is for the people of God in order that the body of Christ might be built up.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of thy faithful people is governed and sanctified: receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all members of thy holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.