“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being–to help someone succeed,” wrote author Alan Loy McGinnis.
Leadership guru, John Maxwell, was even more emphatic when he said, “There is no success without a successor!”
The ability to mobilize members of Christ’s Body for ministry is an important task. It’s a necessary job if we are to achieve the potential for which we have been created. Paul said “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). The only way for this goal to be realized is to equip Christians for ministry.
Our work of the week is “equip.”
The Bible says that Christ “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12)
The word “equip” means to “make fit.” “To render sound or complete.” “To put in order, to arrange, to adjust.” Ethically the word means “to strengthen, to perfect, to make one what he ought to be.”
The Greek word was used in surgery for the setting of a broken limb or for putting a dislocated joint back in place. In politics it referred to bringing opposing factions together. And in the military it was used of outfitting a solider with the equipment necessary to go into battle.
In the New Testament the word was applied in a variety of ways to speak of something being put in order or made to function properly. For instance equipping referred to:
(1) Fisherman “mending their the nets” (Mk. 1:19).
(2) Disciples who are “perfectly trained” to be like Jesus. (Lk. 6:40).
(3) Spiritually minded Christians seeking to “restore” an fallen brother (Gal. 6:1).
(4) Churches being “perfectly joined together” in unity (1 Cor 1:10).
In the benediction of Hebrews the author prayed, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (13:20-21, NIV)
In our local churches, pastors, preachers, and teachers need to take a greater role in equipping the saints for ministry. This occurs by leaders modeling, mentoring and empowering others to discover their gifts and find their place in Christian service.
There is so many ways in which equipping can occur to help Christians “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” (Eph 4:13).
(1) Teachers Workshops than train teachers to share God’s Word.
(2) Men’s classes that equip men to lead in public worship.
(3) Ladies class that instruct women in their special role in the home and in the church.
(4) Song worship training that improves our singing and elevates the level of praise in our assemblies.
(5) Teen classes and devotionals that ground them in the truth, provide opportunities for fellowship and inspire teens to Christian service.
(6) Preacher training programs that guide, model and mentor young men to preach the gospel.
(7) Marriage classes that teach couples how to love one another as Christ loved the church and grow in their intimacy.
(8) Parenting classes that instruct mothers and fathers how to “train their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
(9) Leadership training to equip men to Shepherd the Church of God.
Equip. It’s a great word. A meaningful word. And a noble work as we grow the ministry of God’s church. Learn to be an equipper. And find someone you can mentor for service.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman