Understanding Purpose in Christian Ministry (Part 3)

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By Pastor Raphael Adegoke

To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. (Matthew 25:15)

Glory be to God it’s boxing day! Compliments of the season! Last week, on this series, we examined the place of communication and communion in discovering the purpose of God for our lives and ministries, but today, the focus shall be on our talents and skills.

Oftentimes, ministers of the Gospel focus their attention on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, grace, anointing, power, e.t.c., and show little or no concern for their talents and skills. That is why many are spiritually relevant but secularly irrelevant, and supernaturally relevant, but naturally irrelevant. By design, we are meant to be heavenly conscious and earthly relevant. In fact, nobody in the ministry will be able to fully express all the Lord has designed him for in the ministry by ignoring his talents and skills.

There is nothing like coincidence in the programme of God for any individual. There is a curriculum and programme designed for every individual. This is pre-arranged by God as long as it will bring pleasure to him at the end. “I declare the end from the beginning, and ancient times from what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and all My good pleasure I will accomplish.” (Isaiah 46:10). Whatever a man will not need now or in the future, God will not include in his curriculum.

God runs a system that moves man from known to the unknown, from apparent to abstract. This is also reflected in His dispensational relationship and dealing with man. The gifts, grace, anointing of the Holy Spirit are not independent of our God-given talents and skills. So, it will be self-denial of the Kingdom agenda and blessings to operate our gifts independent of our talents and skills.

What is talent? Talent is a mental strength that is useful to a pursuit, art, profession, activity or task. Talents include innate abilities that come naturally to an individual and abilities that have resulted from learning, development and disciplined practice. Talents can include writing, self-managing, researching, brainstorming, inspiring, networking, innovating, listening, e.t.c.

When Jesus called His disciples, He called people from different backgrounds, and of different talents, skills and professions upon which He built His ministry. Andrew, Peter, James and John were professional fishermen. Matthew called Levi who was a professional tax collector for the Roman Government. Jesus was  as well a son of a carpenter (contractor). These professionals must have required some education and reputation. Simon was a Zealot who engaged in politics and anarchy, e.t.c. Their professional experiences weren’t a waste after receiving call to be with the Lord and to serve him. remember that Jesus didn’t send Levi to go get money from the mouth of a fish, but Peter.

It must be noted that Jesus operated an itinerant ministry that had 12 men on full time employment and often fed thousands of people. This must have required a lot of human and material management with people well skilled enough to do these.

There are two dimensions to the Christian ministry. These are (1) reception and (2) delivery. These, we shall consider next week.


Pastor Raphael Adegoke is a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (Nigeria & Overseas) and a Lecturer in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary.

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