When I first came to understand the truth about “hell” and death from the Scriptures (1999) I was with CR Stam’s “grace” movement. The President of the Berean Bible Society, Paul Sadler, solemnly warned me that if I taught the truth about hell I would “ruin my ministry.”
What did he mean by that? He meant that if I taught the truth I couldn’t find a job as a Pastor or in a Para-Church organization where I got paid a salary, neither would I be invited to speak at the “Grace” conferences, and I certainly wouldn’t move-up the ranks of celebrity “Pastors” and get a “prime time” speaker’s slot at the conferences. That’s the definition of “ministry” in the eyes of “church-men” – money, prestige, and position.
Not once did this man-of-the-cloth make a Scriptural appeal to me, instead he appealed to a higher authority, the true arbitrator of all doctrinal matters: Money, Influence, Position, and Prestige.
Guess what? I still have a ministry. I don’t have a 401k or a salary, no religious boards set their seal of approval on me, nobody calls me “Pastor” or “Reverend”, and nobody honors me with the chief place at banquets – but I still have a ministry.
The truth is anyone can have a ministry. Do you have a Bible? Do you love God? Do you want to tell others about God? Then study the book and teach it. There’s your ministry.
You don’t “go into” the ministry, it “comes out” of you! Paul described the ministry as follows:
“And even if I am being poured out upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”
That’s ministry! Christ and people are worth the sacrifice!