Equipping the saints
One of the functions in the church that Paul wrote about was the five-fold ministry and the intention was about equipping the saints.
In Ephesians 4:11, 12 Apostle Paul wrote,
Eph 4:11, Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.
Eph 4:12, Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
These five gifts he mentioned here were not to do all the ministering, but to equip the saints to minister to the rest of the saints, and to others outside the church, so that the body of Christ was built up.
The Early Church vs. Modern Day Church Practice
The early church in the New Testament looked very different from the modern day church.
This may surprise the average modern day Christian. To gain a full understanding of the modern day expression of Christianity, you are well advised to read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna, which explores the roots of our current church practices.
When I first came across the book and read it, it was difficult to accept what they write, but the depth of research, references and bibliographies makes it impossible to not accept their propositions and how far we have gone off track compared to the early church practices we read about in the New Testament.
A Great Awakening
Many prophets have confirmed that there is a great awakening coming and it is imminent.
I believe as do many of the prophets that there will be a major paradigm shift in current church practices. The great commission that Jesus gave to His disciples will be placed back in the hands of ordinary Christians doing extraordinary things just like the early New Testament church did.
The Church Leader’s Role
Many claim that the pastor is the one to do the equipping, but in reality that is not the job of just a pastor. The apostle Paul clearly wrote that Jesus Christ gave five gifts to equip the all saints to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
Jesus Christ’s Example
The model that Jesus used was an interactive model. “Now the works you have seen me do, go and do the same by putting it into practice.” (My interpretation of His commands to His disciples.) He equipped His disciples by giving practical examples and then have them do the same.
Very few churches are equipping the saints to do His work, yet with a coming harvest like we have never seen before, it is paramount that believers of Jesus Christ are being equipped to catch, retain and disciple the harvest.
God Given Gifts
According to Romans 12: 6-8, God the Father has built into each one of us motivational or functional gifts that are meant to be used for the benefit of others and His glory. They provide the motivating force behind all that we do or desire to do for Him.
Equipping the Saints and Motivational Gifts
The role of church leaders should be helping Christians discover their motivational gifts and then helping them to outwork this in a practical manner in their circle of influence.
One of the best and most accurate training materials on this subject is the book and discovery course written by Don and Katie Fortune, “Discover Your God Given Gifts”. It is available at most Christian bookshops and teaching seminars are available on their website https://www.discoveryourgifts.org/
©Growing Deep and Strong and Motivational Gifts Assessment
Permission was granted to us to use the Gifts Assessment as part of Module Three, “The War is Real,” in the ©Growing Deep and Strong series. We felt it was vitally important for new disciples of Jesus Christ discover their motivational gifts and then be equipped to use those gifts.
Equipping the Saints, Evangelism
As part of the ©Growing Deep and Strong series, in Module Three, The War is Real, we teach and implement a strategy to evangelise within the disciple’s circle of influence.
It is a complete package on prayer warfare, with the aim of seeing these people come into the kingdom of God.
We also created a video called, “Behind the Scenes” designed as an evangelism tool.
It is applicable to all disciples of Jesus Christ, but to those with the gift of evangelism it is a great resource for evangelism. It is a free evangelism video on our website and now available as a FREE downloadable App on Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store.
Equipping the Saints, Discipling Others
Module Four of the ©Growing Deep and Strong series, Discipling Others, is specifically designed to teach and help disciples of Jesus Christ develop leadership skills to coach and disciple new believers in Biblical foundational truths and how to live life according to Biblical principles.
Discipling Others now FREE to download
We have now made the Module four “Discipling Others” Coach’s manual available as a free download to assist you in equipping the saints and how best to use the ©Growing Deep and Strong Series.
This comprehensive coach’s manual shows you how we teach ordinary Christians the ability to disciple new believers. — to download your FREE copy, click on this link.
Equipping the Saints—©Growing Deep and Strong Mandate
When we sat down to write the ©Growing Deep and Strong series, one of our primary mandates was to write the series in a manner that almost anyone with leadership or management skills could pick up the Coach’s manuals and begin to evangelise and disciple new Christians, who within 12 months could repeat the process and begin to disciple others.
In other words, the material has been intentionally designed to equip the saints to disciple the coming harvest as quickly as possible.
We have endeavoured to empower new believers with the ability to disciple others with Biblically sound and easy to teach materials with minimal supervision.
Carl is a follower of Jesus Christ; co-author of the Christian Discipleship and Leadership program called the ©Growing Deep and Strong Series. Founder and Director of Internet Secrets Made Easy. His life passion is to be a catalyst and facilitator in developing people who will become leaders and disciplers of others. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube