Ephesians 4:11,12 (NLT).
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
One of the privileges we have as leaders are the opportunities we have to help shape people’s lives and ultimately their destiny. We are called to help others discover their God-given ministries, callings, and abilities. Now, if we are going to be able to do this effectively we must first know it for ourselves in our own lives. This is so vital for us as leaders in the church and we can’t be talked into it by people. It is so easy to be lead into a lot of confusion and wasted time and energy. Not to say people around us can’t speak into our lives but we must be looking for confirmation of what God has deposited in us not to determine it. We must know what God has put inside us for His purposes for ourselves. I would encourage you whether you’re a leader in the church or not to take part in a fairly quick survey on five-fold gifting. http://fivefoldsurvey.com Now scripture is clear that Jesus gave some to be in these five fold areas of equipping within the Church, but that doesn’t mean that others don’t have similar gifting and calling. It just means they have a different level of authority.
When I was newly saved, I discovered quickly that one of the things God had deposited in my life was a passion for communicating the Bible to people. Whether it was in larger meetings or over coffee with people I loved to share what God was teaching me and help others understand the scriptures. This wasn’t something somebody told me to do. It was a God-given passion and desire. Now, that being said we all have a responsibility to know what we believe, why we believe it and how to communicate it to others. But this is a defining characteristic of the gift that Gods has put into me, I have had to steward it and nature it but I didn’t manufacture it. I think that is the litmus test of what our gifting is. If it’s something that we have to manufacture, then it’s something we will have to maintain. But if it’s something that God has planted within us it will be something we have to nature but it will grow all on its own.
This idea of healthy things growing on their own is so important when we consider leading and shaping people to be what God has called them to be. It’s very easy to get caught up in the pressures to fit into a certain box of calling. We see someone operating in their gifting, we see the grace of God and what…we want it. So instead of trying to be who God has called us to be, we try to be who someone else is. We try to walk like them, talk like them, and hope that somehow it will lead to a security in our calling in Christ. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason we were attracted to a certain person operating in their gifting was the fact that they were in THEIR gifting. They were being true to who God had called them to be. When we do that, there is a grace released in our lives. That grace is attractive and guess what… it is available to all of us. As I look out into church culture right now there seems to be so much imitation of preachers, worship leaders, etc. To be honest it has affected my life. As someone who wants to minister the word, it’s a huge temptation to try to be like other people who have a larger influence. Now don’t get me wrong, we can learn from each other strengths and gifting. But God doesn’t need another Billy Graham. God does need another so and so. God desires us to rise up in our individual callings and graces to be who He has created us to be. So, as leaders how do we cultivate this in our church communities. Let’s look at that before we close.
One thought I have on this is that we need to break the box that we have put our God-given gifts into. What I mean is this. For far too long there’s been and die that if you want to be in ministry you will either be a pastor of a church or a missionary overseas. If you are not in either one of those positions you are called to just sit still and fund the people doing something. This is such a lie and I believe it’s what is keeping many in the church from walking in their calling and destiny. If we are going to interpret Ephesians 4:11-12 correctly, it shows us that there are those who’s calling and ministry will be based inside the walls of the church. However, what is their role or responsibility?… To equip the body of believers to do the work of ministry! There are vital graces and anointings on men and women that are meant to empower others to walk out of the four walls of the church and bring the character of Christ to their sphere of influence. What happens in the church is not supposed to stay in the church! It needs to get into the world around us. Yes, there is a world system that is fallen and broken but there are people within that system who need to see the Jesus that brings salvation in us. It is non-negotiable. So, I say this, there may be some within the churches we lead that are construction workers, business owners, stay at home moms and they need to know that they are ministers of Christ. They have a destiny, a calling from Him and for Him. Could it be that there are those with an apostolic gifting that will minister in the business world? Could it be that there are those who are prophetic in their gifting that will be a voice in the music industry for Christ? The answer is a resounding YES! It’s up to us as leaders to build bridges for those people to walk into their destinies!
Eph 2:10- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
-Pastor Bryan Pue