At my final worship service from the church I planted, pastored and grew for over twenty years, two of the staff members I had discipled since they started attending, walked on to the platform each carrying a five foot tall, three feet wide cardboard poster of my head. From behind these giant facial facades, they like ventriloquists, mimicked me and recited the most notable quotes I had spoken over the years.
They jokingly imitated the countless times I said while teaching, “Let’s read this passage of scripture together, lets read it out loud.” Then while turning the Fatheads of me from side to side as if to say to the newcomers gathered, “Look around and greet someone you don’t know. Your best friends are in this congregation, you just haven’t met them yet.”
The quote that got the greatest response from the crowd, was their impersonating the words I had said hundreds of times to these people who I had known and loved and served for all those years. “How many ministers do we have with us here today?” And with that, I would bait and wait and eventually motion to them all to raise their hand until every single one of those assembled had their hand in the air. My motives were simple, consistent, and biblically based, to get everyone in agreement that if they were a Christian, then they were a minister.
You see at the core, I have always believed in what the Bible has taught the church, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10.
We, all of us, are created to do good works. The mission of equipping us all to be ministers and to do the work of ministry within the church are the pastors and teachers.
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11–12
In your church, you have gifted, talented people sitting right there in your congregation, and as a pastor/teacher you are the one whose responsibility it is to help your people identify, develop and deploy, their giftedness. You are commissioned to prepare them so they may be equipped to do the work of the ministry and build up Christ’s church. Go make disciples.
In my latest book, I have devoted an entire chapter to the topic of, Turning Your Members into Ministers. You can find Church Turnaround A to Z on Amazon.com
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