And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV
If we’re ever going to reach the unreached people in our local communities, we’re going to have to quit hiding in our holy huddles and go to where the people who need to experience the love and freedom of Jesus are.
We’re called to go, not stay. Instead of trying to gather an audience to listen to one person speak, we should be equipping the saints to go and seek out and save the lost souls of our countrymen.
The purpose of shepherds and teachers isn’t to do all the preaching and teaching. They should be equipping the saints to preach and teach in the streets, in the marketplaces, in their communities and places of influence.
The purpose of the evangelist isn’t to do all the evangelism. It’s to equip people to become competent and confident in presenting the Gospel whenever the opportunity arises. If I train 100 people to share the Gospel effectively, they can reach way more people than I ever could.
Similarly, apostles and prophets aren’t meant to do all the Kingdom building and prophesying. We’re the same as everyone else, we’re meant to equip people to do what comes naturally to us.
The entertainment model of big box Christianity is a disservice to believers and unbelievers alike. We’re not called to build church buildings, we’re called to make disciples and build up the Body of Christ, the living souls of believers, in love.
How did Jesus do ministry? He was a carpenter before His public ministry started. Did He build the biggest synagogue in town and wait for people to come listen to His teachings every weekend? No. He traveled around and made disciples.
The religious leaders hated Him because He was actually on assignment from God the Father. They were merely playing religious games and pretending to be important. Some of them eventually got saved. There’s hope for all of us.
What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Are we following Jesus or the traditions of our elders?
It’s time for a paradigm shift in Western Christianity. Get back to doing what Jesus did. Get back to doing what disciples do. Equip others for ministry. Multiply your impact. Be faithful to do what God commands us to do.
Equip the saints. There is no other way to fulfill the Great Commission.
And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders. The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”Isaiah 29:13-14 NLT