Why Does Theology Matter for Ministry?
The study of theology is a necessity in the area of Christian ministry. Theology is the task of seeking to know God as He has revealed Himself, in order to worship Him in holy service, and lead others to do the same. Pastors and church leaders point and lead people to who this God is, what He is like, and what He has done. As a result it is of utmost concern that these questions are answered in the truth that God has revealed. In this regard the study of theology becomes a necessity to be able to accomplish what God has asked of His followers to do in making His name known to all people in fulfilling the Great Commission. Therefore there are five main reasons that drive a person to the task of theology.
The first reason theology is necessary is because God has revealed himself. Just the fact that God has chosen to show mankind who He is through both general and special revelation drives man to seeking understanding about this God. Because God has shown himself, mankind needs to heed the words of his creator and listen to them carefully and make sure he understand what God has shown about himself.
A second reason theology is necessary is because it pushes worship to new depths. As knowledge of God increases, it in turn drives man to greater and more profound worship. As God’s attributes, His infinite power, His unblemished holiness, His unlimited knowledge, are understood, especially in contrast to the corrupt, depraved heart of man, this leads to an ever increasing exaltation in worship. Theology is necessary because it calls people to greater depths of worship to God for His renown and glory.
A third reason the task of theology is necessary is because it protects the church from false doctrine, teachings, and prophets. Theology in this sense becomes a safeguard, protecting the revealed truth of God from mankind’s constant desire to formulate gods of their own choosing. As Paul warned in 2 Timothy 4:3, people will continue to find teachers that satisfy the itching of their ears. Man will continue to devise cleverly disguised myths and seek false Gospels. In this way, theology proper, the doctrine of scripture, Christology, Soteriology, and other critical doctrines are bricks building the wall to protect mankind from his sinful nature, which continually desires to suppress the truth of God.
A fourth reason is so that mankind can enter into a personal relationship with God. Theology continually becomes not just an intellectual study, but a personal journey as man continues to attempt to exalt God to the highest place in our understanding, and think of himself in the way God views him. As the doctrine of sin reveals the depraved depths of a man’s heart, he is able to see through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit his personal need for a savior in the God-man Jesus Christ, his substitutionary sacrifice. Theology is always personal and it is this necessity that drives to a study of theology.
A fifth reason theology is necessary is for evangelism. In order for people to be able to obey and fulfill the Great Commission, theology must be studied. The Gospel must be clearly explained and understood so that Christian men and women can share their faith, and take the good news of God’s love found in Jesus Christ to all people in all places. Evangelism drives and gives necessity to the study of theology.
The study of theology matters in Christian ministry and practice because God cannot be followed and obeyed if knowledge of this God is not understood. Theology is that task of studying God’s revealed will and character in order to live a life of holiness, serving and worshiping him, and drawing others to the joy of worshiping the God of the universe. In this way, theology becomes vital to Christian ministry and does not become a sluggish, uninspired task, but one with great joy, excitement, and worship as God is glorified as people hear of His goodness and fall on their faces in worship over what God has done for Himself in preserving His glory, and what he has done for man, saving him from the depths of his miry soul.