to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, – Ephesians 4:12
According to this verse and the one that comes before it, God did not give missionaries, preachers, evangelists, pastors and teachers to the church for the purpose of being the sole ministers in the congregation, while everyone merely gets served by them. Instead He gave those gifts for this purpose: to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. One of the main functions of being a minister is to train people for the work of ministry.
What this implies is that the saints, the church, clergy and layman alike, are all to be engaged in ministry. All Christians are to build up the body of Christ. In other words, we are not to relegate the duty of ministry to pastors, etc. We are to embrace the tasks ourselves. Now, yes, pastors have the duty to equip the saints to do so, but we mustn’t be passive about being equipped. We should strive to be equipped for the work of the ministry and for building up the body of Christ.
Lord, help us as a church to this end, for Your glory!