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A Midweek Devotional - Equipping the Saints

Perhaps you have heard that on December 8th we will be having our Ministry Teams Fair. We find ourselves in a season of stewardship. On Nov 17th we presented our pledges for how we would worship the Lord through giving our resources. Now we turn to focus on how we will be good stewards of our time and gifting through ministry teams. As we consider that I invite you to consider God's Word...

Wednesday, November 27th

Larger Portion of Scripture - Ephesians 4:1-16

Focused Passage for Reflection - Ephesians 4:11-13

Reflecting on the Text:

Studies tell us that the age of adolescence is an ever widening range that can now extend on into our late 20s. People are staying in school longer, and delaying careers and other life events that tend to mark adulthood. I am not about to try to answer the question of why this might be, but I mention it to make a do we define maturity? I won't attempt to answer that question myself, but rather turn our attention to God's Word and how he defines maturity. The word is mentioned in verse 13 of our passage as it speaks of the people of God growing into "mature manhood." The word there for "mature" could also be translated "perfect" or "complete." It seems that God's measure of maturity is completeness or wholeness. As I consider my own life, I am far from complete! Perhaps you are like me as you consider your own life. What could God's Word be getting at here then?

As we take a further look into the text we see that this measure of maturity is the measure of the fullness of Christ. What a beautiful picture of maturity. And here is the amazing thing about it...God's people are a part of this measure. It is Christ's body (the church) that is being built up into the fullness of Christ. We must take note of something that may already be obvious, but must be said...maturity according to God is not an individual reality. When we stand alone we are lacking. When we stand among the body of Christ we are complete! We need each other. When the body is functioning together we will do far more than could be dreamed of individually.

I once read about the mechanics of hitting a major league fastball. According to the physics it sounds impossible. It is said to take 400 milliseconds (ms) for a fastball to reach home plate. It takes 100ms for the brain to process the image of the ball, 25ms for the brain to send the signal to the body to swing, 150ms to get the bat around to the ball, leaving only 125ms to gauge the pitch! Just to give you perspective it takes 300-400ms to blink! So how is it possible to hit a MLB fastball? By incredible brain-hand-eye coordination. This goes for the church as well. It is as we serve together that the Lord does amazing things through the variety of gifts He has given to His people.

If we must work together, then where do we begin? Well, if we back up to verses 11 & 12 we see that our Lord gives leaders to His people to equip them for the work. That means the leaders are not the ones who are to do all the work, they are to train and equip the body to do the work together. So all leaders are to be equipping. So much of equipping is better caught than taught. So, leaders, bring someone along with you as you go about the work of ministry. To the congregation, be seeking out someone to equip you. Be a willing learner. Have a teachable spirit.

There are many opportunities to be equipped and to participate in the work of ministry here at Christ Church, but one important way is through our ministry teams. These teams were set up by the leadership so that the work of ministry would be spread out broadly among the membership of Christ Church. Ministry is better caught than taught. So, as we approach our ministry teams fair, consider how you will steward your time and gifting. How will you offer those things to the Lord and submit yourself to being equipped? Let us function together as the whole body of Christ in order that we may grow into Him who is our Head.

Questions for personal reflection:

  • Have you ever contemplated the fact that every born-again Christian has the Spirit of Christ within, and because of that has gifts from Him? Have you considered the fact that ever believer is vital to the body of Christ because of this reality?

  • Do you find it easier to give your money or your time? Why are both important things to steward for the Kingdom?

  • If you were to focus your time into one ministry team, which would it be? Why?

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