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  • Writer's pictureTrace Pirtle

5 Biblical Ministries for Newbies

The purpose of this post is to discuss the process of starting Biblical ministries from a "newbie" perspective. It is for those who, like me, have a passion for getting Off the Bench and doing something in the name of Jesus but who have no earthly idea what to do. Yes, we are all speed and no compass heading.

The Search for a Ministry Begins

Perhaps your search for a ministry will begin like mine. You are conversing with God and telling Him how much you would like to start a Biblical ministry. You don't want it to be about your will but God's will for your ministry. If it's about YOUR will, you (and me) will think and process...think and process...and think and process some more until we come up with a plan that NEVER gets put into action. You rationalize sitting on the bench because the world taught you that hitting your target follows three clearly defined steps: Ready, Aim, then Fire.

But NOT God! Noooo. Here's how God deals with on-fire newbies like us who ask Him for help establishing a new ministry:

How New Biblical Ministries Begin!

God likes to have a little fun with us as He teaches us to DO SOMETHING. Ready or not, we need to take the leap of faith, knowing God has the ultimate safety net.

Ministerial Chaos Before Order

I remember that conversation I had with God. When He (God) responded with "Off The Bench Ministries," I knew He was speaking in the plural--"ministries," not ministry. What? I had images of an old Far Side comic. The deputy is outside the Sheriff's office. Behind him is a heap of men and horses all piled together. The caption reads,

"And so you just threw everything together?... Matthews, a posse is something you have to organize." The Far Side

I was suffering from feelings of inferiority. God said I needed to organize multiple ministries, and I didn't even understand the first one. I could see my heap of ministerial chaos piled higher and deeper like many of our college Ph.D.s.

And then I relaxed. I said, "This is in Your hands, Lord. I trust You." Once I indeed saw it as God's ministry, not mine, that's when I received a clear message from Him. He said to start a "water ministry." I thought, "even I can do that!" So he led me in organizing the water ministry and the right people to help with it.

There Is Order in the Biblical Ministerial Universe

Once I got Off the Bench, I started delivering water and serving others in different ways. The Doyle Center asked me to help (more on that in a separate post), and I started writing what God put in my mind and heart (this website/blog).

I stumbled upon a YouTube video by Pastor Mike Mazzalongo discussing The 5 Biblical Ministries. Like early man discovering Fire, I saw the light of order in Biblical ministries. Pastor Mike discussed each as they relate to the organized church. Still, his discussion applies equally well to newbies seeking structure for their God-directed ministries. Here is a snapshot of each of the ministries.

Evangelism Ministry (reference Acts 2:14-41)

Evangelism ministry is all about preaching the Gospel to the lost, encouraging response, and baptizing repentant believers. There are many approaches or styles, including:

--Confrontational Approach includes direct preaching to a target audience. It may be delivered in person, in electronic format, in print media, online, on radio, or any other means of getting the message to the lost. (see Acts 2).

--Intellectual Approach involves explaining the Gospel through books, scholarly articles, journals, and magazines. It's about making a rational appeal to those who are skeptics. However, biblical scholars and writers can bring many to the faith. (see Acts 17).

--Testimonial Approach is robust. It comes from people who have profoundly changed their lives, like the demon-possessed man that Jesus healed in Luke 8:39.

--Interpersonal Approach is simply friendship; that is, taking a genuine concern for the salvation of another human being. Again, Luke 5 provides good examples.

--Invitational Approach is seen in the Samaritan woman at the well. Once she believed, she invited others to see for themselves (see John 4).

Education Ministry

Education Ministry is another ministry that allows for much variability in terms of approach. The times, location, and presentation method can differ depending on the group's needs; however, the "non-negotiables" include 1. Teachings of The Word, 2. Obedience to the Word (put the Word into practice), and 3. Train others to teach as well (ref. Acts 2:42).

Fellowship Ministry

Fellowship Ministry is all about sharing time with fellow believers. Fellowship and friendship are similar, but for fellowship to occur, all people must share the belief in Christ. Simple friendship without the bond of Jesus is not fellowship. Therefore, all believers must create fellowship opportunities (ref. Acts 2:42).

Worship Ministry

People can worship privately, for example, by running or walking on the beach. Just being in a state of gratitude for that particular time with God is a form of worship. Worship is also done publicly during communion, prayer, singing praises, teaching God's Word, and giving to support the church.

Service Ministry

Service Ministry is the natural outflow of love that comes from following Christ. It may involve pooling resources to accomplish a significant task (building renovation) or a single believer giving a cup of water to a stranger on the street. This ministry is about meeting the needs of other disciples or the community.

Concluding Thoughts

I thank God for shining a light on the YouTube video Pastor Mike Mazzalongo created in which he discussed the 5 Biblical Ministries. Like a person spinning five plates simultaneously, the five Biblical ministries must turn into an effective church.

Likewise, those who are starting a small ministry need to realize that it's NOT a single ministry. Like God lovingly (yet overwhelmingly) told me, it's ministries (plural). I think God intends for us to include Evangelism, Education, Fellowship, Worship, and Service in everything we do in His name. Once I realized this, I had a sense of peace and joy coming from the "order." What a relief from the anxiety I felt from "chaos."

But even if you are still pondering what God wants from you and your new ministry, remember that God makes it even more straightforward if we let Him. As always, Jesus said it best:

"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval. Then they asked Him, "What must we do to do the works God requires? Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent." John 6:27-29


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About Me

Image of Dr. Trace Pirtle sitting on park bench identified as Jesus.

Greetings, I'm Trace!
I'm a retired counselor education professor who spent 35 years in the "helping professions." I'm a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as a Missile Launch Officer with I.C.B.M's during the Cold War (1980's). Today, I'm an "all-in" believer working full-time for our Lord Jesus Christ. I've included my personal testimony if you are interested. 
May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

In His Service,

Trace Pirtle

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"I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me."

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