Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Church That Equips

A Church that Equips is a daily demonstration of Ephesians 4: 11-16 in everyday life.

When we say that the leadership that is called by God is given the assignment to Equip the People of God (the church) What are we saying? What might it look like and what might the values of an Equipping Church be? How might it function?

From the English Standard Translation.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds
[2] and teachers, [3] 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, [4] 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.

Eph 4:11-16
The Amplified Translation
11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church),
13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.
14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

1. What might it (the church that Equips) look like and what might the values of an Equipping Church be? How might it function?

A. It has a plan to make disciples who are passionate for all that God has for them. This plan is based in all that Jesus began to do and teach.

B. It adapts to and connects with current culture, technology and ideas to reach people with the life that God freely gives us in Jesus to be released in every layer of society.

C. People are focused on being not just doing.

D. Their individual gifts are explored and developed so that they may fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16.

E. Leaders are Equippers not Performers, Controllers or Do it all themselves people.

F. Each person ministers within their gifting and skills and a pathway is provided for continual growth.

G. Every person including leadership seeks to grow into the maturity of Christ which is a life long joy and process.

H. Building up one another is participated in with passion, it is not just a truth to agree with.

I. Doing the work of the ministry is embraced by all in every day life not just in the gathering of believers.

J. It is open to either owning or renting facilities and decides which to do on how to best accomplish its vision.

God so values people, which He has chosen to, create us in His image with His DNA. His people (the ones who have decided to give themselves to Him) are the means by which He unfolds or reveals Himself and His ways to all people and all of creation.

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