by Rayola Kelley
Q: What does the term "front line" mean? What does it mean to be in front-line ministry?
A: Front-line ministry comes from the same concept as the front lines of a war. There are many different positions in the military, but the soldiers on the front lines are those who end up in the trenches actually fighting the battle in hand–to- hand combat.
You can find various types of ministry. Some ministry involves deeds and works. Other ministry may entail administration or meeting the needs of others. In some ministry, people may be seen and heard. However, front-line ministry is where, as in a military battle, you get into the trenches with people. In this type of ministry you never know what you are going to encounter; however, it can prove to be interesting, unpredictable and intense. You may encounter aggression as well as the kingdom of darkness.
For me front-line ministry has caused me to discard much of the theology I have been taught, caused me to cling to the Word of God, and to stand in the authority of my Lord and Savior. Front line-ministry will often expose your character, challenge your devotion, refine your faith, and define your place in the kingdom of God, as well as prove to be a test of endurance in regard to your devotion to God
It is important to point out, ministry that is clearly ordained by God is necessary. There is no distinction as to the importance of the different ministries. Not everyone is being called to front-line ministry, but it must not be overlooked, minimized or ignored because it does not shine as brightly as other forms of ministry.
For us, front-line ministry entails working with struggling Christians, encouraging healing for wounded believers and embattled families, as well as battle-weary ministers. It does not assume all is well because people have put on the cloak of religion to cover up their struggles as many do when they walk into church buildings. Front-line ministry seeks to be Spirit led as it discerns where the real sheep of God are spiritually in order to make the necessary investment to see that there is cleansing, healing, reconciliation, and restoration.
Ultimately, it is pouring out the life of Christ for others.
I hope this answers your question.