Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ephesians 4:1-16 Leaders Are Equippers

KEY TEXT: Eph 4:11-13 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. 

KEY THOT: Having “descended into the lower parts of the earth” (variously interpreted as a reference to Hades, to Jesus’ burial and to the incarnation), He ascended to heaven to give gifts to the Church. Unlike spiritual gifts (charismata) listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:4-7 which are given to the individuals, the gifts (dorea) mentioned here are given to the Church at large: viz., apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These gifts are gifted leaders whose main task is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” In other words, they are equippers—trainers, coaches and mentors for the “saints” (believers) so that the saints can do the work of the ministry. 

Ministry is not just the work of the paid “professionals” (clergy and pastoral staff). Ministry belongs to the saints and the clergy and staff who are those who have been gifted with any of the five-fold ministry not only to be doers but to be disciplers: they are gifted to mentor and multiply more disciples able to do what they are doing.

My main responsibility in the church is not “doing the work of the ministry” but “equipping the saints”. I must constantly work myself out of job so that more people can do what I am doing—whether in preaching, teaching, leading or evangelizing. I’m primarily a mentor and a coach for God’s people, to enable and empower them to reach their fullest potential in Christ. I must not hoard the ministry but release it to those gifted individuals who have been equipped to do it.

I thank God for the opportunity to serve in QLC and in particular the Alpha ministry, for I see Alpha as a “hands-on” disciple-making environment to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Ministry under the anointing of the Spirit is not a burden but a privilege and a joy. Jesus calls us to take up his yoke of ministry, for “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt. 11:30). Taking on Jesus’ yoke means doing the things Jesus is doing, not doing the things I want to do. I believe my main task is to “equip the saints to evangelize”. Only then can they experience God and find spiritual renewal in their own walk with God.

Father, thank You for giving us this ministry of equipping the saints. May You pour out Your grace upon Your people at QLC, that they will experience Your power in seeking and saving the lost. Amen.

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