Read Romans 12:6-8, 11. Paul explains that “we have gifts differing according to the undeserved kindness given to us.” Some of the gifts Paul mentions—exhorting, presiding—especially concern Christian elders, who are admonished to preside “in real earnest.”
That same earnestness should be evident, states Paul, in the way overseers serve as teachers and carry out “a ministry.” The context seems to indicate that Paul here refers to “a ministry” carried out within the congregation, or the “one body.” (Rom. 12:4, 5)
That ministry is similar to the one mentioned at Acts 6:4, where the apostles declare: “We shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” What does such a ministry involve? Christian elders use their gifts to build up the members of the congregation.
They show themselves to “be at this ministry” when they earnestly provide guidance and instruction to the congregation from God’s Word by their prayerful study, research, teaching, and shepherding. Overseers should use their gifts conscientiously and care for the sheep “with cheerfulness.”—Rom. 12:7, 8; 1 Pet. 5:1-3.
Paul further states: “Do not loiter at your business. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah.” If we detect a tendency to be sluggish in our ministry, we may need to revise our study habits and to pray more intensely and more often for Jehovah’s spirit, which can help us to combat any lukewarmness and to renew our zeal. (Luke 11:9, 13; Rev. 2:4; 3:14, 15, 19)
The holy spirit energized the early Christians to speak about “the magnificent things of God.” (Acts 2:4, 11) Likewise, it can move us to be zealous in the ministry, to “be aglow with the spirit.”