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Pastor to Pastor

Every Member Equipped

For the work of ministry.

Pastoral Vision (15)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… Ephesians 4.11, 12

Paul describes pastors and teachers as equippers. Our calling is to equip the saints in our care to do those works of ministry that build up the local church in Christian unity and maturity. We can know that we’re fulfilling our calling as we see all the members of our church actively using their various gifts in ministry.

I doubt that most church members see their shepherds in this light. Do they refer to us as “Equipper” or do they call us “Preacher” or “Pastor”? John Calvin (1509-1564) agreed with Paul in this matter: “From [Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 14.30 ff.] it is clear that every member of the church is charged with the responsibility of public edification according to the measure of his grace, provided he perform it decently and in order” (Institutes of the Christian Religion).

The question this suggests relates directly to our vision for ministry: Do we see ourselves as equippers of the saints, and our calling as building the church in unity and maturity?

The goal of pastoral ministry is to build the church and thus to fulfill our part of Christ’s agenda (Matt. 16.18) within our own calling and context. Building the church, however, depends on equipping the saints with vision, understanding, heart, will, and the skills for ministering God’s grace in their everyday lives.

If the people aren’t ministering, the church won’t grow; but they won’t minister without being equipped, and this is the work of the shepherds of God’s flock. Pray that God’s shepherds will make equipping the saints for ministry the central component of their ministry. This is Paul’s—and Christ’s—vision for the church and how it grows.

Resources for Shepherds
Men, we invite you to join men from around the country to seek the Lord for revival every Tuesday morning at 10:00 Eastern via Zoom. Using a psalm to guide us and joining our voices together after each prayer, we have been seeking revival for nearly 20 years now. We invite you to join us for 30 minutes of heartfelt, encouraging, and visionary prayer. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll make sure you receive the link.

What is spiritual theology? This is the subject of Part 1, Number 6 of our feature, “The InVerse Theology Project Explained.” Learn more about spiritual theology and how we have treated it by clicking here.

From the Celtic Revival
“It could be said that until the fifth and sixth centuries there was a period of gradual consolidation and inner growth which culminated in the flourishing monastic culture of Columcille’s time (sixth century). From now on Ireland was thought of on the Continent as “the Island of the Saints.” The wealth of Christian culture in the seventh and eighth centuries created that spiritual inclination towards the northern part of the Continent which inspired Ireland to Christianize it. There was no rigidly defined doctrine or any desire to organize in any ecclesiastical sense, but a movement borne along by enthusiasm and religious zeal which boldly spread the news of the advent of the incarnate Logos as the ‘new testament’ and taught the forms of human relationship that accorded with that.”

 - Jakob Streit, Sun and Cross[1]

We could use some of that “enthusiasm and religious zeal which boldly spread the news of the advent of the incarnate Logos” in our day. Celtic Christian art arose as an expression of love for God and the Gospel. It became a valuable resource for encouraging multitudes to a closer walk with the Lord. The high crosses of Ireland are merely the greatest expression of that zeal and enthusiasm.

You can follow our study of Irish high crosses, every Tuesday and Thursday, by subscribing to Crosfigell. Update your subscriptions or start a new one by clicking here.

We have prepared several free resources to give you a look into the period of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) and to challenge your faith and ministry with the example of our Christian forebears. Click the links below to check out the following:

The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction
Living to Rule: An Introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality
Lives of Irish Saints: A Tribute
Columbanus: A Devotional History
Colum Cille: A Devotional History

T. M. Moore

Support for Pastor to Pastor comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Streit, p. 70

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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