Equality of the Ministry

Equality of the Ministry

“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

— Matthew 23:8-12

Even though there are differing gifts, calls, and administrations, there is an equality among the ministers. Jesus said, “All ye are brethren.” He was clearly speaking against titles and a hierarchical ministry. While recognizing the value of ordination and giving room for the exercise of the scriptural authority that comes with it, there is an equality among the ministers which is unique among the Church of God.
Jesus called His disciples to him and said: “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:42-44).

“While the greater gifts and qualifications of some of the apostles made them more useful than others and placed greater responsibilities upon them, still this humble standard of equality was maintained until the apostasy began to develop” (What the Bible Teaches,
F. G. Smith, 1914, p252).

The teaching and practice of ordination in no way negates this truth as godly ministers seek to have the mind of Christ and make themselves of no reputation (Philippians 2:5-7) after the example of the Lord.