What Should a Pastor Look Like? Part IV: Training and Equipping Leaders

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11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 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, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Did you realize that leaders are God’s gift to the church?  No, this does not give license for leaders to stroke their own egos.  Earlier in Ephesians 4, Paul quotes Psalm 68:18 in how when, upon his ascension into heaven, he gave gifts to men—these gives were the leaders of the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers.  The implication is that these men called into these offices and tasks did not pursue this of their own accord—it was a calling outside of them, a calling from God Himself through Christ. 

When Christ called the disciples, we see that Christ chose them: 

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons.

Why did God call these men and give these “gifts” to the church?  “To equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).  God gives leaders to help the saints get to work for the Kingdom, be unified in Christ, and to build them up for maturity!

How do we respond to this call to be trained in the faith? 

  • We can see it as a glorious opportunity to be of use to God and His work, equipped as “as you go,” Great Commission disciples;
  • We can settle into the notion that we know enough already to get by, so let the professionals handle the ministry stuff. 

When ministry is multiplied, much can be accomplished for the Kingdom. 

Questions for you:

  1. What opportunities are provided for you to grow and be equipped in the faith?  (Yes, Sunday morning sermons do indeed count more than you realize!)
  2. When opportunities are announced, what is your initial response?  (You’d be surprised at how many say, “I can’t do that!”  or worse, “Why should I do that?”  Oh for more who would say, “I will do that!”)

Pray for your pastors and be grateful at how they work to equip, unify, and mature the church.  They love their sheep (It’s all part of shepherding) and love their Savior!  How wonderful to have men of God wanting to see the church be all that God would have them to be.

 

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