Ministry – Empower Equip in and for Ministry.
Ministry is the expression of the life of Christ in the context in which a believer is living. The moment people follow Christ they enter into ministry. Ministry is a stewardship of the gifts and direction God gives a believer. It is the responsibility of every believer to empower and equip one another for ministry.
Leaders of the flock are especially called to empower and equip others to use their gifts, to help them hear the voice of God and to understand and use the gifting that the Holy Spirit has given to them.
Empowering in the setting of a local church means to build up the body of Christ by giving encouragement for service, telling truth to counter lies, strengthening weaknesses and clarifying direction. As a result the believer comes to know and do God’s purpose and direction in their lives.
Equipping in the setting of a local church means developing the character, skills, and knowledge each saint needs to walk in the way God calls.
- Exercise your own spiritual gifting.
- Confess the areas you are not gifted in and where you need help.
- Encourage trusted others to speak to you about your faults.
- Allow others to teach and train you to help you improve your knowledge and skills.
Provide opportunities for service in the Body of Christ.
- Help people know their own story – develop their own testimony.
- Develop events that help people contact with non-believers they do not yet know.
- Encourage people to love and minister to the people close to them.
Provide training for how to do ministry in each of the settings that the believers find themselves in.
Work, Family, Friends, Community.
Train for each opportunity through the training steps (either personally or by assigning a coach).
- I do you watch
- I do you help
- You do I help
- You do I watch
- You do another watches
Identify gifts both natural and Spiritual – by observing what seems easy for a person to do and what shows evidence of being blessed by the Holy Spirit with spiritual fruit. That is that others are built up in their faith and service because of the activities that a person does. Also watch for areas that a person is not gifted in. Areas that the person seems to struggle, and others are not blessed or built up by them.
Identify natural talents by seeing what a person can do quickly – more than others and that gives them a sense of easy joy. The person will often say that what they are doing is easy even though others find it hard to do. This is evidence of a natural ability God has gifted the person with. Train them more in these areas.
Identify Spiritual gifts by seeing how God uses a person to help others grow spiritually. When a person exercises their spiritual gift others are encouraged to follow Christ even more closely. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural abilities. A natural ability can be sanctified and committed to God, but a Spiritual gift, like healing, helps, administration, or preaching (prophecy) come from God after a person has begun to follow Christ.
Include everyone. Make sure that no one is left out. Have a way of tracking who is doing what ministry. This way should work so that the pastor knows what ministry each of the believers in her/his congregation is doing and what spiritual gifts they are using.
Use Stan Toler’s method for encouraging people to do ministry. When Toler would have a person come to him saying that they saw a problem in the church that the pastor needed to deal with, Toler would say to them
- It is clear that God is giving you a burden for this area, and that you are being called to help in this area.
- I am giving you permission to start a ministry to help address this.
- We will begin by finding training for you in this area.
The person was then free to develop the ministry as God led them. Some would succeed and some would fail but many ministries were started this way in his churches.