Theology is of great importance in ministry and it is imperative to approach theological studies with this truth in mind. Many church members are content with being theologically ignorant. However, theology is practical and important in the life of ministry. There are three main reasons why theology matters in ministry:
1. Theology matters because the Bible contains certain themes that must be compiled and clearly stated.
2. Theology matters because ministry must be concerned with the pursuit of knowing God.
3. Theology matters for ministry because it is not only concerned with knowledge of God but also right living in light of this knowledge.
When the Bible is revered and accepted as God’s perfect revelation of Himself, those in ministry (every believer is a minister) must be able to claim the truths that are stated in Scripture. This means those truths must be compiled and accessible. While these truths may be available, that does not mean that the task is easy. The theological task is one that takes a great deal of effort and is continual. One never arrives at complete theological knowledge but, in the pursuit, it is of great necessity for the discoveries to be defined and explained, insofar as one is able to do so. Ministry is dependent upon being able to lay hold of the truths contained in Scripture and theology allows one to do this. The ability to produce these truths in a cohesive whole allows others to more fully understand the truths of the entire Bible. It also allows those truths to be evaluated throughout history and serves as a guide for future generations.
The second reason theology matters in ministry is that ministry is completely dependent on knowing who God is. God is the reason that ministry exists in the first place and to effectively minister one must know the creator of ministry. When one realizes that the God of the universe has revealed himself in human language, the task of ministry must be practiced in light of this knowledge. Ministers of the gospel must seek to tell others about God, His will, and His ways. To effectively do this, the minister must know God and be able to tell others about Him in a complete and systematic way. The task of the church is to make disciples and this can only be completed when the theological task is rightly practiced. God desperately desires to be known and theology allows this knowledge to be attained.
The third reason theology matters in ministry is that in the pursuit of combing the Scriptures to know God, man realizes how he must respond to God. When theology lacks the aspect of application the theological task is not complete. Theology matters for ministry because theology is living rightly before God in light of who He is. It is imperative to discover who God is through the Scriptures but this cannot be the end of the theological pursuit. Ministry must be concerned with taking this knowledge and leading others to respond to God rightly (worship). This was the reason God placed Adam and Eve in the garden and told them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). He desired that they fill the earth with people that rightly worship Him. His desire remains the same and ministry must be concerned with showing people who God is, as found in the Scriptures, and how they should rightly respond to Him.
Ministry and theology must be wed. The theological task should be forefront in ministry and the purpose of theology must be to seek to understand God and determine how to rightly respond to Him. When this takes place God’s purpose for ministry will be accomplished. In light of this, the church must realize the importance and necessity theology.