The Call for Equipping the Saints

 All across this nation, God is establishing Schools of the Spirit. These Schools are designed to unpack the spiritual gifts in others and to empower them to use them. 

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 through His people empowered by the Holy Spirit. Before His crucifixion, He declared that the works 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). 

In order to equip others to fulfill this command, Jesus gave gifts to the Church. These gifts, or mantles of Christ, are the ministry of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers. Their purpose, as shepherds of the Lord, is to specifically perfect the saints and to equip them for the work of ministry.

A New Model For Training – Discipleship

Jesus gave to us the model for training – discipleship. His model of discipleship was to “Both do and teach” (Acts 1:1).He taught the good news of the Kingdom, training His disciples to go and minister in the power of the Spirit bringing correction as needed. 

The discipleship model of Christ is threefold: First, to both do and teach preaching the gospel of the Kingdom in the power and demonstration of the Spirit. This is followed by equipping others to minister in their gifts and then, deploy them for the work of ministry, bringing correction as needed.  

 The Need for Equipping

Most Churches are devoted to preaching and teaching. Thus, there is little training for the people to walk in their own gifts and ministries. If the teaching is not followed with training, regardless of the sermon’s depth and power there will be little transformational change. Demonstration of the Spirit must follow teaching. More than telling people what they should do, we are to show them how to do it.

Everywhere, people are expressing their desire for more – for more of Christ and to be equipped in their gifts and deployed in ministry. Failure to equip the saints may be the main reason why people remain underdeveloped, displaying very little power. Even if the people are well equipped, they will regress quickly if they do not utilize their gifts. 

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. God is always speaking; we are just not always listening. Everyone has been given ears to hear, but not everyone understands how God communicates to His people. 

Schools of the Spirit                                           

Everyone is called to ministry and everyone is needed. It is vital that every church provides a safe place for the participants to try their wings in ministry.  Schools of the Spirit provide a place where people can make mistakes and learn from them. As believers 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.

In a liberating family atmosphere 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 are a “work in progress.” But as we see in the gospels and in the book of Acts, the Lord still worked in the midst of people’s mistakes. There is no blunder that is beyond His ability to fix. God loves real life.

A great harvest is now upon us. The harvest truly is plentiful. As Jesus admonished, we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth those who have the heart, vision and passion to labor in His harvest (Mathew 9:38). We need both laborers and those who will equip, train and deploy them for the work of ministry.  

We are just one of many ministries called to provide a School of the Spirit. Whether people come to us or we go to them, God has given us the passion to empower, equip and deploy believers for the work of ministry. Our heart is for the Kingdom of God and His people – 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. 

Perhaps you too are called to equip those within your sphere of influence. In Christ, you are more than able to accomplish your mandate. 

“Now unto Him that is able to do EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY, ABOVE ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”  (Ephesians 3:20). 

In His heart with joy, 

Roy Roden