A person who serves. In the basic meaning of the term, there is no indication as to the arena or nature of the service. It might involve ministering as an assistant, as the young Samuel was to Eli (1Sam 3:1), as Joshua to Moses (Josh 1:1), or as John Mark to Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5). Priests at the altar were ministers (Ezek 45:4), but so was Onesimus when he cared for the needs of the imprisoned Paul (Philem. 1). Political leaders were viewed by Paul as ministers of God (Rom 13:4), but Peter’s mother-in-law, by attending to domestic chores, is also described as “ministering” (Mark 1:31; NRSV: “serve”). The NT contains lists of various types of ministers, including apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, and pastors (1Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11), and also of bishops, elders, and deacons (Phil 1:1; Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28; 1Tim 3:1; 1Tim 3:8; Titus 1:5; Titus 1:7). Precise definitions of these positions (i.e., their duties, or how they differed from one another) are not clear.

1Sam 3:1

Samuel's Calling and Prophetic Activity
1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not ... View more

Josh 1:1

God's Commission to Joshua
1After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying,

Acts 13:5

5When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them.

Ezek 45:4

4It shall be a holy portion of the land; it shall be for the priests, who minister in the sanctuary and approach the Lord to minister to him; and it shall be bo ... View more

Rom 13:4

4for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant ... View more

1Cor 12:28

28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of ... View more

Eph 4:11

11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

Phil 1:1

1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Acts 20:17

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
17From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him.

Acts 20:28

28Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the bl ... View more

1Tim 3:1

Qualifications of Bishops
1The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.

1Tim 3:8

Qualifications of Deacons
8Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not indulging in much wine, not greedy for money;

Titus 1:5

Titus in Crete
5I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, a ... View more

Titus 1:7

7For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain;

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