If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
Investing in God’s people from life to life
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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Ministry extends the love of God. This love does not come naturally to us. We need training or equipping to develop its expression. For those who are more experienced in ministry this is the opportunity to develop others and give them the opportunity to take on ministry roles. The fact that others will take on these roles will ultimately lead to your ministry being multiplied. There is of course a cost at the beginning, but the outcome is that God’s work goes on beyond you.
The helps on this page concern the practicallities of helping someone into ministry. They assume an understanding of the Biblical principles involved. These you will find in The Bible base for this form of ministry will be found in Principles of discipleship.
The practicalities -
Discipleship has been developed in stages (Enthuse, Establish, Mentor). These same stages apply to equipping for ministry. The stages reflect where the leader is in their ministry. At early stages there is basic instruction and much encouragement. As the leader develops the lack of understanding of leadership produces frustration. This is a good time to start establishing through teaching approaches to leadership. Finally there comes a time when there is a need for a peer level support where a mentor can draw along side.
The areas of ministry in which a believer needs to develop can be far ranging. A leader can equip anywhere they have been before, or indeed they can go together with a less able leader into an area of ministry. The most normal areas of ministry might be -
A start point of any equipping is to look at the Biblical base for what you are doing. This gives clarity to the aims and helps people to engage with what God has in mind for how it is done. There are many resources available for studying the Bible. This site has a whole section of materials available.
It is vital that the ministry is practiced as soon as practically possible, even if people are not properly trained. It is quite possible to go along as an observer, doing some small task to try out. The boundary between passively receiving and actively serving needs to be broken.
If ministry is extending the love of God, then ministry only happens when someone has been actually loved. The constant temptation in ministry is to put things off till one more training session, or until the appropriate moment that for some reason never happens.
Most ministry, though tied to Bible principles usually consists of some form of best practice. This practice has been developed in the light of the cultural realities of the place of ministry. These practices are often taught in group seminars by an experienced practitioner.
Spiritual leadership involves being spiritual and leading. The spiritual side involves helping those led to keep their eyes on Jesus as they minister. Leading involves - Show them how, Tell them why and get them started.
At the beginning the equipper creates an environment where the new leader is safe in their leadership. In this safety the new leader has freedom to practice. So the Equipper starts off by setting the vision, planning the events and encouraging people to move forward. When confidence has been gained, then more can be delegated.
As soon as the ministry is moving it is good to begin developing further leadership in the ministry. Note the Jethro Plan and Overview of Disciple Making Ministry. It often seems too soon to involve others in leadership. If one waits till one is ready it will never happen. There is a sense in this kind of ministry of being always on the edge of out of control. That is fine. It is to God whom we look to.
This giving away of ministry and leadership will help develop people further. It will also help to develop the next generation to take your place and free you for God to take you further.
One of the great resources that God has given you in equipping is your experience of ministry. I am sure it is far from perfect, that is fine, it is hard to follow people who are perfect, even more so to follow people who are hiding their faults. When they see the reality of your ministry they have a perspective of what God can do and it is an encouragement to move out in faith. Paul demonstrated this.
EQUIP FOR MINISTRY