Church leaders are called to equip believers for the work of ministry (Eph 4:12). The sense of equipping in that verse, according to one New Testament scholar, is that "people are prepared for a purpose."
Not every church is an equipping church, however. Review the list below, and determine if your church is an equipping congregation.
In an equipping church:
1. All members of the body are expected to serve in some capacity, and the church provides a process of training for that to happen.
2. Pastors mentor a few leaders at a time, equip them and release them to do ministry.
3. Members are equipped and challenged to see their neighborhood and their workplace as a place of gospel witness.
4. Members are trained and expected to witness.
5. The church has a clear discipleship pipeline that takes new believers to Christian maturity.
6. New believers receive a mentor to walk with them as they begin their Christian journey.
7. Teachers are trained to teach, and then they are placed in teaching roles.
8. Leaders intentionally teach biblical doctrine, but they also emphasize practical ways to live out Christian beliefs.
9. Potential group leaders receive training and are rotated into group leadership—when their training becomes ongoing.
10. Choir and praise team members are challenged to learn and grow musically, even as they sing God's praises.
11. Worshippers learn about true worship and are led to worship well.
12. Members are taught spiritual disciplines, challenged to do them and led to do so.
13. Deacons are trained in caring skills and then held accountable to do servant ministry.
14. Pastors have others who hold them accountable to their own spiritual, practical and ministerial growth.
15. Evaluation of the church's equipping strategy is an ongoing process.
I have no doubt you can add characteristics to this list.
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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