EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY

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EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY

I had the privilege of speaking on Equipping The Saints For The Work Of The Ministry to a group of sound minded people from Zimbabwe, South Africa and other African countries.

When asked to speak on this, I almost turned it down but decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did because in the process of studying, I got to learn a lot which I am going to share with you. 

I have come to realize that no one called of God to live a purposeful life can actually do it alone. You can't live your dream or purpose in life without people in it.   

These people are not the kind of people that would mock you, criticize you, talk you down or discourage you  from living the life God has called you to live.

But people who would help build your dreams and help you live the purpose God has called you to live. These people would be with you through thick and thin, come rain, come shine.

A perfect example is Bishop David Oyedepo and Bishop David Abioye. You can't talk of the success of Living Faith Church being where it is today without mentioning Bishop Abioye.

Bishop Abioye was with bishop Oedepo through thick and thin from the start of the ministry to where it is today because he was like minded and believed in the vision of Bishop Oyedepo.

God knows how to bring the right people our way if only we wait and trust Him to help us live that purpose He has called us to live.

So then, who are saints? Saints are people who follow the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ and every saint has a role to play to keep the work of the ministry moving.

The ministry in the Bible or christian context simply means what we do for God (Acts 6). We are all called into ministry in one way or the other. Either to do ministry or to minister. It is not reserved for pastors or clergy men alone.

We all have roles to play to keep the work of God going. That's why there are different kinds of workers in every church all working together with different roles to play in order to keep the work of the ministry going.

There is more than enough work for each of us to do in the work of the ministry. We are all to use our gifts, talents and ideas given to us by God to carry the ministry forward. God has a job for everyone of us. 

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

We have all been ordained saints and equipped  in diverse ways to keep the work of the ministry going.

We can do this by making ourselves available with our time, finances, words of knowledge, wisdom and every other input we can make to keep the word of God and the church going on until it reaches the ends of the earth.

God has equipped each one he created with great skills, talents, visions and purpose to fulfill here on earth and as ministers, we have been called to help by God's special grace to identify, encourage and equip the saints (the people God has brought our way) for the work of the ministry.

They may not run same race as you but in their own capacity, they can keep the work of the ministry going on.

SO THEN, HOW CAN MINISTERS EQUIP THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY?

1. PRAYERS : One major way to equip the saints for the work of the ministry is through prayers. Teaching the saints how to pray or praying for the saints to get into the ministry in their various capacities.

Its not every time the saints are to be prayed for concerning a request from God or being healed but teaching them how to pray get actively involved in the ministry.

There are services you do for God that automatically grants your heart requests through God. So instead of praying hard day in day out to get answers to your prayers, you can just simply serve your way into into it and this the saints ought to know.

Rather than always praying God give me this and give me that, the saints should rather pray God shows them how they can serve and keep His work going.

"equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:21

2. THE WORD :  Another way to equip the saints is through the word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says "All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work ."

Every word we hear from God either from the Bible, from His servants or the whispers from Him are meant to equip us for the work of the ministry.  

That is why we must on daily basis study God's word, read other related books for the work of the ministry, not forsaking the gathering of fellow brethren in fellowship with God.

Jesus while on earth prayed that the Father would sanctify (equip) the disciples by the truth (the word). John 17:17.

TRAINING : Another tool in equipping the saints is training the saints for the work of the ministry. Who are those under you or who are those under your discipleship? Who are the people God has brought your way to help you live the purpose God has called you to live?

They seriously need you training them for the work of the ministry. 

You train them by equipping them with the word, teaching them how to pray to be part of the work, letting them see and know how you go about the works of the ministry and so on and not simply to use them to achieve your aim.

Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2 "And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also”

A great leader never hides anything from his followers. He reveals the secrets of His success to his subjects and wishes they in fact become greater than Him. 

No wonder Jesus said in John 14:12 that greater works than these would anyone that believes in His name would do.

A pastor or a leader is not to do it all but share the responsibility, the ideas and the vision so that everyone runs with it. Just as Habakkuk 2:2 says write the vision and make it plain so that he who reads it will run with it.

The saints are not to sit down and be passive in church or any other form of ministry and be used but to be actively involved in the growth of the church and the ministry through training.

3. CONNECTING THEM WITH OTHER SAINTS : Another way is by connecting the saints with other saints from our locality and then to the world at large just as I (a Nigerian) have been connected with those from Zimbabwe and other African countries.

We as saints are suppose to work together in unity uplifting each other so the works of the ministry can go on smoothly and not to live in rivalry or competition.

Denominations can come together and work together all to the glory of God and not to castigate each other.

1 Corinthians 1:10 says "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

We ought to serve each other, pray for each and admonish each other to grow in faith and in our works for the ministry. A perfect example of all these is found in Ephesians 4:12-16

"To equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind and doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."

Quote for the day - "You may be healing the sick and performing all sorts of miracles but if you are not equipping the saints, you are forgetting your fundamental purpose as a minister." - Pastor Emmanuel Iren

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