The Call for Equiiping the Saints – “For the work of ministry” (Ephesian 4:11-12)
When Jesus walked this earth, He preached the gospel of the Kingdom performing miracles in the power of the Spirit. The fact is, Jesus is still doing great works today: only He is doing it through His people empowered by the Spirit. Before His crucifixion, He declared the works that He did we shall do also with the command,
As you go, preach saying the “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils: freely you have received; freely give” (Mathew 10:7-8).
Jesus equipped His disciples to do the works that He did. His model was to “Bothto do and to teach” (Acts 1:1). In doing so, He demonstratedthemodel for New Testament discipleship. He not only taught the good news of the Kingdom; He trained His disciples to minister in the power of the Spirit. He quickly released them into doing ministry while watching them and bringing correction as needed. THIS TOO IS OUR CALL.
Jesus continues to disciple the Church. He does this through Church leadership that has received a measure of the gift of Christ the Apostle, Christ the Prophet, Christ the Evangelist and Christ the Pastor and teacher. As the apostle Paul declared, their expressed purpose is to perfect the saints “For the work of ministry.” The Bible is clear. To be like Christ, is to equip believers to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and minister in their gifts in the power of the Spirit.
Most Churches are not equipping, but devoted to preaching and teaching. Thus, there is little training for the people to walk in their own ministries and gifts. If the teaching is not followed with training, there will be little transformational change, regardless of the sermon’s depth and power. Even if the people are well equipped, they will atrophy quickly if they are not deployed to use their gifts in ministry.
Failure to equip the saints for ministry is possibly the main reason they remain in a state of immaturity. Demonstration of the Spirit with training must follow teaching. Proper training is where the people walk in the spiritual reality of God’s Word. More than telling people what they should do, it is showing them how to do it.
Hearing His Voice
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). One of the greatest needs today is training believers to hear the voice of the Lord. This isn’t just something for prophets, but is basic for all Christians It is written that we must obey both His voice and His commandments. The Living Word is a person who has a voice. We thus must learn to listen in order to hear.
Jesus also said, “Take Care what you listen to” (Mark 4:24).In order to obey His Word, we must intentionally hear His voice and respond immediately. To know Him is to follow Him. He is our shepherd, our love and our abiding place.
When I first learned to hear the Lord’s voice; I was caught between a rock and a hard place (Pun intended). It was hearing the voice of men and the expected response versus hearing and responding to the voice of the Holy Spirit. When they were in conflict, I learn to love, honor and respect Church leadership, while receiving only that which I heard the Lord speaking to me through them.
My trust is not in a person, but in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who know His voice do not follow men – they follow the anointing, the revelation of Christ manifested through them. Jesus promised to those who learn to hear, shall be given more.
Spiritual abundance is determined by our ability to hear and obey His voice.
Schools of the Spirit
I am a firm believer that every Church should conduct a School of the Spirit. Everyone is called and everyone is needed. It is vital to provide a safe place for the participants to try their wings in ministry. Schools of the Spirit provide a safe place for people to make mistakes and learn from them. As believers step out to practice in their gifts, the atmosphere brightens with the Lord’s presence.
To release people in their gifts is to release Christ in our midst.
It is in this liberating atmosphere that people will step out in faith. We should commend people, even when they make mistakes, for having the kind of faith that is required to minister. People may do some incredible things followed by some embarrassing blunders. But as we see in the gospels and the Book of Acts, the Lord never seemed bothered by people’s mistakes, nor should we. There is no blunder that is beyond His ability to fix. God loves real life.
It is the passion of Eastgate’s Ministry to help meet the need for training. Many who have gone through our Schools of the Spirit, webinars and equipping conferences are impacting their business, Churches and ministries.
A great harvest is now upon us. Now is the time to prepare. Whether people come to us or we go to them, God has given to us the passion to empower, equip and deploy believers for the work of ministry. Our heart is for the body of Christ. In all that we do, we seek to reveal the Father’s heart to strengthen and build up the household of faith – His Church, in love.
In His heart with joy,