Will the Real Church Stand Up? – Equipping the Body


Peninsula Community Church

Will the Real Church Please Stand Up?

The Equipping of the Church

October 9, 2011

 

Ephesians 4:11-14 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, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, 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 of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

When Christ initiated the idea of the church, He also set in motion the means by which the church would be equipped and trained for the work of the ministry. His desire is to equip the church for ministry and has given the church leadership to make this happen. This by no means takes away from the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God but in fact it is the work of these through man that makes this a possibility.

 

One of the myths that have been propagated throughout the history of the church is that the pastor of the church is to do everything in the church. For many churches, there is a belief that the pastor is hired to do everything. They are to be the teachers, the preachers, the evangelists and clean the church and so on and so forth. But the problem in this regard is that the pastor is only one person and cannot do it all. That is why he will be more effective if he trains and leads others to accomplish the tasks of the ministry. He must fulfill his role as an equipper in order to see the church grow.

 

The pastor and the leadership team must take on the role of equippers so that everyone in the body can find their place to serve so they function according to what God has called them to be. You see God desires that each person within the body will find their place and their role so that the ministry of the church will be effective and accomplish what God has called the church to be. If every person were to do their part in the ministry, as God has called them, PCC be a huge success. This success will not be solely measured by numbers and activities but the fact that each person has found their niche and are serving according to what God has called them to do and be within the church. Someone has said that when God initiates a church he places within the church all they need to accomplish the work of the ministry.

 

One way to look at the church is look at what makes a football team effective. First of all, effective football teams are good at the fundamentals. They know why they are there to play football and they work hard on the keys to success. They work on blocking and tackling more than they do almost anything else. Secondly, every player on the team knows their role and does all that they can do to accomplish the purpose for which they have been placed on the team. In fact, there are some folks on the team that do not get any recognition unless they commit a foul. This is the offensive frontline. They block and keep the defense at bay play after play. The quarterback knows his job. He is to direct the team on the field. The running back is there to block for his teammates, run the ball or be in the position to catch the ball. Even those who sit on the bench have a role to play because during the week they are scrimmaging and helping the starters get better. Not only do you have players on the field but you have a coaching staff that is specific to various positions on the team.

 

When those within the church develop themselves and they begin to recognize their place within the body the following results occur:

  1. First, those within the body will be equipped or as the KJV says they will be perfected. The root word here for equip means to mend. The idea here is two-fold. For one, it carries with it the idea of mending the nets of a fisherman so that no fish escape. Secondly, it carries the idea of setting a bone when it has been broken. The idea is that one is equipped or mended so that they become useful in the kingdom of God.
  2. Secondly, the body of Christ is built up. When everyone is working effectively within the body, the church will be built up and those within the body will be encouraged. The word here for built up is the word “to edify.”
  3. There is a unity of both faith and the knowledge of God. When the body is running smoothly there will be a full recognition that God is the center of all that is accomplished. The unity of the body will not be around the ministry of the church but rather it will be around the person of Christ and an understanding of who God is. The ministry will in essence become second nature to what Christ is doing.
  4. The church grows into maturity. The desire of God is that we grow into people of maturity. We must live like adults and not like children. We need to have child like faith but a mental growth that we treat each others like we would want to be treated.
  5. God will be able to work fully within the body. While God is able to do anything and He does work in spite of us but how great it is when the body is in unity as it paves the way for Him to fully work.
    1. Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments; Like the dew of Hermon, That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: For there Jehovah commanded the blessing, Even life for evermore.
    2. Ephesians 2:19-22 – So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
  6. When these things are accomplished appropriately, the body will not be easily deceived by:
    1. False doctrine – throughout the history of the church there have been false doctrine that has permeated by within the church. The scripture tells us that in the last days that this will be a greater test for the church but when the church is functioning properly it will be protected from false doctrines that can so easily be spread through the church. Some are very content to remain babes in Christ but they can be susceptible to false teachings and charlatans that want to take advantage of those who are weak.
    2. Human cunning – we cannot depend on the strength of human thinking that is apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. When man’s ways are enlisting, they will attempt to do things by way of one’s mindset. The original Greek word here carries the idea of being tricked.
    3. Deceitful schemes – When the body is unified they will less likely succumb to schemes that seek to divide the body and the church.

 

1 Comment

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One response to “Will the Real Church Stand Up? – Equipping the Body

  1. Debbie Adams

    AMEN Wow great sermon and I am so glad i was able to listen to it.I am really excited for what God is doing in His house; it is awesome and i am so happy to be a part of it. Thank you.

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