Antioch Baptist Church Ministry Focus

Learn the Bible Web is sponsored by Antioch Baptist Church of Knoxville. We are a conservative King James Bible believing  Independent Baptist Church located in Knoxville Tennessee (TN).

There is much confusion currently as to the ministry of the church. Is the church called to satisfy the felt needs of the community? Is it our primary calling to grow without end? Is it the church’s ministry to entertain and make church fun? Are we to provide for all the social and physical needs of our members? These functions and many others have been proposed as the ministries of the church of the 21st century.

But at Antioch, we believe that the ministries of the 21st century are the same as the ministries of the 1st century. And, in order to find these ministries, we are willing to go to the Bible as our ultimate source of authority. In doing so, we have found four ministries that are specifically mentioned in the New Testament as a part of the work of the church. Let me introduce you to these four ministries:

The Ministry of the Word: 

When problems in the church of Jerusalem threatened to take too much time and energy from the apostles, they appointed men to take care of these problems. The apostles were determined to give themselves “continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). In this statement we find the first ministry of the church: the ministry of the word.

No church is worth its salt in the eyes of God unless it is founded on and focused on the ministry of the word of God. This means that the leadership of the church should be spending time in God’s precious word and basing their preaching and teaching on the Bible and its truth. Modern churches continually water down the effects of the word and replace it with other elements: psychology, entertainment, socializing, etc.

The idea is that people will not come to hear the word of God any more, so we must give them something else. While it may be true that many will no longer tolerate the teaching and preaching of the word, there are many of God’s people who are starving for some true Bible teaching. At Antioch, we count the ministry of the word as one of our primary callings from God.

The Ministry of Reconciliation:

In 2Corinthians 5:18, Paul states, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” To reconcile means to bring to a friendly relationship with God; that is, to lead to salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe that a church cannot be biblical unless it actively seeks to win the lost to Christ. Too many church ministries today are feel-good ministries. They do nothing to reach the lost for Christ. Yet, the commission given to God’s people is to go to all the world and take them the gospel.

As such, we have numerous outreach ministries and multiple ways for people to become involved in reaching others. There are opportunities for the beginner and the shy. There are ways to grow in outreach. There is encouragement to go when we grow cold or discouraged. A church without an outreach into its community and around the world is really not a church at all. God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.

The Ministry of the Saints:

The ministry of the saints is found in a statement Paul makes about the household of Stephanas: “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” Here we find a third ministry for the church. The ministry of reconciliation reaches out to the lost. The ministry of the saints ministers to the saved.

It is true that we reject the modern philosophy that makes the church part country-club; part entertainment-center; and part psychology department. However, that is not to say that we ignore the biblical call to minister to one another.

At Antioch, we develop several ministries around this concept. Those who are called to minister to the saints will find a place to serve. In addition, we encourage and teach the need for spontaneous ministry to others. The saints of God are to be noted for their love to one another (John 13:34-35). We want this to be a part of who we are at Antioch Baptist Church.

The Ministry to the Lord:

Some of the leaders in the church of Antioch were seeking the will of the Lord. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). This records the calling of Paul and Barnabas to the mission field. But we see that it happened while they ministered to the Lord.

The ministry to the Lord is the fourth and final ministry of the New Testament church. Some may wonder how we can minister to the Lord but the saints in Antioch were obviously doing so. We minister to the Lord when we do those things that are specifically meant to honor and worship Him.

The church ministers to the Lord by praising Him in song and word. In fact, our song service is a large part of our ministry to the Lord. Although we have special music, the emphasis at Antioch is on congregational singing. We do this so that the people can learn to sing to Him with grace in their hearts. We minister to the Lord by giving to Him, by serving Him, and in many other ways. In one sense, all ministry, if it is biblical ministry, is ministry to the Lord.

Conclusion:

As you can see, the four ministries are taken directly from the New Testament and they cover the full range of the work that God has given to the churches. At Antioch, we take these four ministries seriously and attempt to make sure that all of our ministries fit into one or more of these four categories.

In fact, we take our call to minister seriously in every respect. In Colossians 4:17, Paul sent word to a man called Archippus: “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” We take this as our own calling. We desire to take heed to the ministries God has given us so that we can fulfill them in the life and activity of Antioch Baptist Church.

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:8

A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.