“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 esv
Forgive me for not posting yesterday. Anytime I take off work on a Monday, it makes for a crazy Tuesday. I’m sure you can relate. I do have some thoughts I would like to share today.
A while back I was having a conversation with an individual that serves full-time on staff at a church. We were discussing our different ministries and the leaders that we get to serve with. This person communicated to me that when they are out of town, away from their church, that their ministry is usually a train wreck. Sarcastically they said to me “I guess that means I have good job security at my church.”
I understand that my friend was being completely sarcastic. So I am not writing this post to call them out or make them appear to be wrong. However, I do want to use the statement to make a point to those who oversee ministries and to those who serve in ministries at their local church.
To the overseer, leader, pastor, or director. Your job is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. At Oasis Church (where I serve on staff full time) our lead pastor makes a statement to the staff often. “If you can’t equip others for the work of the ministry and delegate your responsibilities effectively, then I do not need you on my staff.” I do not interpret this statement as harsh. I see it as biblical leadership.
If you serve as an overseer, pastor, or director of a ministry, the best way to biblically ensure your job security is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry! If you’re not equipping others to lead and training them to do the work of the ministry, then you are not doing your job. Not only are you not doing your job, but you are cheating others out of an opportunity to exercise their spiritual gifts and possibly discover a calling in their lives.
To those of you that serve under a ministry leader… Be teachable. Be consistent. Show up to serve on time. Show up to meetings early. Be eager to serve. Respond to emails. Serve with a good attitude. Be an individual that makes your ministry leader excited to equip for the work of the ministry. Don’t be an individual that makes your ministry leader want to run away from you.
To all involved in ministry… Don’t be a ball hog! Share the load. Spread around the work. Give others an opportunity to use their gifts. The Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to maximize the spiritual gifts placed within all of us. Effective ministry is accomplished as a team. Teams that do well over the course of time are not just about one person. They are about the whole team.
Ministry leaders do not misinterpret me. I am not saying that you should carelessly delegate and pass responsibility on to anyone. Equipping takes time. Equipping takes patience. Equipping requires wisdom. Equipping means you have to get to know people. Equipping means you need to have a vision of where your team or ministry is heading. Be ready to equip, but do it wisely.
Overseer’s, you have a biblical responsibility to equip the saints around you. Saint’s, be willing to be equipped.
It will be one of the most rewarding parts of your ministry.