Greetings one and all :} I hope and pray all is well wherever you are.
The following post is something I have thought about a lot of late. I just wanted to share my thoughts with all of you. And, of course, I invite all of to share your own thoughts about this in the comments part or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). OK? Here we go.
In Acts 6 the apostles get into deep trouble when the Grecian widows come forward saying they were being passed over in the daily distribution of food. The apostles take ownership of the problem, but instead of doing it themselves they give the church the opportunity to take ownership of this ministry. The apostles recognize they have their own tasks they need to be doing, and ask the church to select leaders from amongst themselves to take on this very important task. The church selects a core group of leaders to whom the apostles delegate this very important ministry. Thus the church continued to grow.
Now turn your attention to Ephesians 4:11-16. Here the apostle Paul says it was God Himself who gave the churches gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers. To do what? To help the church grow and mature so that the whole Body of Christ can grow numerically and spiritually as each part does the tasks each part was given to do.
No one part can do everything. Especially not the church leaders. Their job is to EQUIP the whole Body of Christ to do the work. Of course I believe the church leaders need to be out there doing their share of the work too in order to set the right example. But the leaders’s job is to equip the whole body of Christ to find their place and fulfill their individual ministries in the Lord’s Body.
Let me try this application. Steve Nash is one of my personal favorite NBA basketball players. He is the point guard. His primary job is to get each of his teammates involved in the game. I remember some time ago he and his team played a team who decided their defensive strategy was going to be to guard everyone else on the Suns and leave Nash open. Nash scored the vast majority of the Suns points that particular night and the other team won the game. Nash couldn’t carry the team scoring wise all by himself. He wasn’t able to get any of his teammates involved in the flow of the game at all that night. When Nash has a low point output but he has a lot of assists, your team is in trouble. Why? Because he got his teammates involved in the game. That’s Steve’s job as a basketball player. Its a lot more than just getting points himself. It’s also to get his teammates involved in the game as much as he can.
Likewise for church leaders. The leader’s job is equip each church member with the necessary skills to do what (s)he needs to do to help the church grow. Please correct me if I’m mistaken here, the leader’s job is to mature the flock- to grow spiritually, everyone’s job is to help the church grow numerically.
Did you notice how the apostles equipped the church in Acts 6 to notice the problem they were facing? How they charged the church to select those who would take over that particular work? And how they handed the ministry over to them? It’s exactly how Paul told the Ephesians to do it. And it’s how we are too.
As i said previously, I invite any and all feedback on this post. Please respond if you so desire. Thanks! God bless you all. Grace and Peace.