But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all… 1 Corinthians 12.7
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)“In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them.”
I like that phrase: “unemployed members.”
This should be an oxymoron where the Church is concerned; alas, it tends to describe the status quo in too many congregations, where 20% of the people do the work of ministry while 80% regard themselves as recipients of ministry, rather than ministers. Churches grow as Spirit-gifted saints do the work of ministry (Eph. 4.11, 12). But they will only do that work when pastors and teachers equip them for it. If our preaching and teaching are not pointed directly at preparing and moving church members into ministry, then we are not fulfilling what they need of us, and our churches will not grow.
Does it make a difference to preach this way? How do you incorporate this kind of focus in your own preaching and teaching?
Mission Partners Outreach
Is your church ready to equip its members for ministry?
Our assessment tool, Twelve Questions that Could Change Your Church, can allow you and your leaders to examine the state of your church against Paul’s template in Ephesians 4.11-16. It’s easy to use and can help you to bring more focus and consistency into the ministries of your church. Download Twelve Questions by clicking here.
I’m often asked how The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported. Our heavenly Father supports us through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.