What does it take for a church to function well? And what is the job of the staff and pastors in a church? These are the questions we are going to explore in this blog post. As we look at our church is key value of Equip.
We all start as consumers. We are inherently self-seeking and self-serving; it takes the Spirit of God to transform us into contributors. As we accept God‘s love into our hearts, we are slowly transformed. This transformation grows us into givers, motivated by gratitude not guilt, as we become more and more like Christ. At Covenant Grove, we are community of spiritual contributors. We all contribute and help out the whole. This is how God‘s family is made to work.
Sometimes people are waiting for “the church“ to do something that is important. But the church is not the pastors; the church is the people. We are the church and we are made to make a difference. The nudge in the heart is God‘s prompting a person into action. The staff of the church has a job to encourage and equip each person to live out the calling God has on your life.
Jesus called and equipped His disciples. He didn’t do everything for them but taught them how to access the power of God: the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:7-16 describe the gifts that Jesus has given every single one of His followers. According to the Bible, the job of church leaders is to equip God's people and build up the church. As each does its work, speaking the truth in love, the whole church grows, is strengthened, and is unified. The goal is maturity and becoming more and more like Jesus.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.
8 That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
At Covenant Grove the pastors will not, and cannot, do all of the work that God has asked our church to do. We equip people to serve and lead together. Our job is to help people identify the gifts that God has given them, encourage them to become contributors, and empower them to serve the Lord with their gifts. The job of the pastors is not to do all the work, but to create opportunities for each person to use the gifts God has given them.
In serving there is JOY. We are made to make a difference with Jesus. When we use the gifts He has given us, we experience the power of purpose and the fulfillment of contribution. There is nothing like knowing--in God--that your life has been truly significant. In our church, people belong and they are needed. Together we can live out the mission that God has for us.