SPECIAL TOPIC: EQUIPPING THE SAINTS (from Eph. 4:12)

Leaders are God's gifts given to train the Body of Christ for the work of ministry! The church needs to recapture the power, giftedness, and biblical assignment of all the members of the church (clergy – laity, old – young, male – female, cf. Joel 2:28 quoted in Peter's Pentecost sermon in Acts 2). Every Christian is a full-time, God-called, God-gifted minister.

The term "equip" means to cause something to be ready for its assigned purpose. It is used of:

1. broken limbs being healed and made useful again

2. torn fishing nets being mended and thereby usable to catch fish

3. ships being fitted with ropes and sails and tacked for sea

4. chicks who had grown large enough to be taken to market

Also, notice the goal is not that only some believers become mature, but all (cf. Eph. 4:13). For "saints" see Special Topic: Saints.

The gifts are given to every believer for the common good (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7,11). Every believer is a called, gifted, full-time minister of Christ. Not all are "vocational" ministers, but all are servants. The modern church is crippled by

1. a clergy/laity mentality

2. the concept of salvation as a product instead of a relational process of servanthood!!!

One of the best books for me on discipleship is Robert Coleman's The Master Plan of Discipleship.


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