And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.-Ephesians 4:11-12
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about these two verses in Ephesians. Paul tells the Ephesian church that God gave the people who teach the word--apostles, prophets, teachers, etc.--to do what? Equip the saints for ministry. Two things stand out immediately. First, we must get rid of the mindset that says that ministers, pastors, teachers are the ones doing ministry. Paul clearly implies here that it is the saints who are doing ministry, not just those public teachers. Who are the saints? The people in the church. In other words, anyone who is called a believer is to be involved in the work of ministry. The New Testament knows of no passive church attendance. You are not there to be entertained; you are there to be equipped.
The second thing that stands out is that saints are equipped by teachers. Paul assumes here that there are no lone-gun Christians. In the same way that the New Testament knows nothing of passive church attenders, it also knows of no Christians who are not connected with a church. There is no evidence of "its just me and Jesus" Christians. The bottom line is that Christians are to be connected with a body of believers. You cannot do it alone. You must be fed by a teacher who can equip you for the work of ministry.
So, if you are not currently in a church, get to a church. If you are in a church, but you are just a pew warmer, get moving! Saint, you are called to ministry.