August 8, 2013
General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew that winning (or losing) World War II hinged on the number of men and women who could be inspired with the desire and equipped with the skills to get the job done. This is just as true today in your workplace, community, and especially in church.
In your heart you know what Eisenhower and all good leaders know. You cannot do it all by yourself. You need effective people around you to get your job done! Only as you work together can you win together. Whether your assignment is on the home front like Rosie the Riveter or storming the gates of hell on far away mission fields, inspiring and equipping is your key.
Your orders from Ephesians 4:12 are clear: “Equip God’s people to do his work!” Taking these orders seriously leads to some big questions:
WHO do I equip?
Who among his people does God want equipped? 100%? 95%? 75%? The numbers we are actually seeing are surprisingly high, but in the wrong direction. In North America, 73% of church attendees never or very rarely to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to serve. And less than 9% devote one hour or more a week to ministry.
Before you start fuming about laziness, take a deep breath and listen. Most Believers do want to make a difference but don’t believe they’re needed or equipped to play any significant role in the mission of your church.
HOW do I equip them?
“What we have here is a failure to communicate!” We must find ways to let every Believer know they are needed and that God’s fields “are ripe for harvest.” Then we have to provide ministry tools and the biblical skills they need to use them, such as:
• Being quick to listen (James 1:19)
• Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)
• Renewing their minds (Romans 12:2)
• Teaching and equipping others (Colossians 1:28)
WHERE do I start?
The best answer I’ve found in 30 years of equipping is, “Start right where you are, and help your people start where they are. Don’t kick yourself for failures; get equipped to be a better equipper.”