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An Equipping Model of Ministry

  
  
  

A post by guest blogger, Todd Daningburg, adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary.

Churches face the difficult, but not impossible, task of nurturing and developing people at all levels of spiritual maturity. Congregations likely include new Christians, others with more experience and training in following Christ, and still others who have lived long and committed lives of faith. Hopefully, there are also people who would not yet identify themselves as Christians, but who are present to learn from Christ-followers, encounter God’s truth, and discover God’s grace.

equipping model of ministry

Based on Ephesians 4:11-13, an equipping model of ministry enables a local church to successfully foster the spiritual growth of all its members regardless of their starting point.

PREPARE AND EMPOWER OTHERS

The primary task of pastoral leadership is to equip people for ministry. Rather than do the entire ministry, this frees the clergy to encourage and facilitate the ministry of others. When one person tries to meet the needs of 100 people, the task can be overwhelming. However, if a pastor equips 10 others to share in ministry, his or her capabilities and effectiveness are multiplied exponentially.

KINDLE GIFTEDNESS AND CALLING

Every Christian is called and gifted for some type of ministry. Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 are two passages indicating that every member of Christ’s body has a ministry. The fact that the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers gathered at Pentecost (Acts 2) verifies that every Christian has been provided the necessary resources to help carry out the mission of God in the world.

ADVOCATE AND DEMONSTRATE “THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS”

The culture of the local church encourages everyone’s ministry potential. Rather than having a “dependency” model, in which the pastors “do ministry” and everyone else is a passive recipient, the mindset that “every member is a minister and every member has a ministry” is promoted and celebrated. People move from being consumers of ministry to becoming active participants in ministry. Pastors develop the perspective and habit of “giving ministry away.”

CREATE A FRAMEWORK

Systems that help people understand and use their spiritual gifts are developed and implemented. People are encouraged to experience ministry first-hand with opportunities for reflection and evaluation.

Ministry leaders are among the spiritual outfitters who prepare others to serve. In the church, with the right outfitting for ministry, spiritual hunger can be satisfied and lives nurtured toward maturity in Christ. How do you encourage the spiritual growth among the variety of people who are all at different places in their spiritual journey?

Todd Daningburg
Adjunct Professor
Northeastern Seminary 

Todd Daningburg will be teaching Equipping the Laity on Monday evenings from February 27-March 26, 2012. Information about auditing this class can be found here.

Comments

I really like the contrast between the dependency model and the equipping model. I've heard people say that, "If it's going to happen or get done well, I have to do it." 
 
 
 
On the other hand, Todd could you speak to (maybe in another post) of what happens when everyone claims they are too busy to participate? That is, when churches and pastors cannot find gifted people for the nursery or Sunday school or to be on the board because of the "I am too busy" claim. In some cases their claim is true since it is well-known or at least popularly thought that 10% of the people do 90% or is it (20%/80%?) of the work/volunteering for the various ministries. But there are many others who are not participating and using their gifts. How do pastors equip the rest or encourage the rest?
Posted @ Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:44 AM by Marlena
I really like the contrast between the dependency model and the equipping model. I've heard people say that, "If it's going to happen or get done well, I have to do it." 
 
 
 
On the other hand, Todd could you speak to (maybe in another post) of what happens when everyone claims they are too busy to participate? That is, when churches and pastors cannot find gifted people for the nursery or Sunday school or to be on the board because of the "I am too busy" claim. In some cases their claim is true since it is well-known or at least popularly thought that 10% of the people do 90% or is it (20%/80%?) of the work/volunteering for the various ministries. But there are many others who are not participating and using their gifts. How do pastors equip the rest or encourage the rest?
Posted @ Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:44 AM by Marlena
In today's Catholic Church, I see signs of this. Who once was a "Reader of the Gospel" is now a participating Deacon. There are lay-people participating in communion. There's a level of participating suited to ones spiritual level.
Posted @ Sunday, April 01, 2012 1:47 PM by Chip
I read your blog and it inspire me. It reflect the spiritual maturity. Thanks for sharing with us.
Posted @ Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:41 AM by http://www.pakgiftmarkaz.com/
This is the great work you are doing to make the christians closer and even help them to succeed their life.
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 8:57 AM by law firms nevada
I completely agree with you that it is a quite hard for the Churches to nurture the people. I am quite sure that the church will certainly render this responsibility with great dedication and sincerity.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:13 AM by home remedies for warts
Aw, this was a really quality article. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a very good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done. Best wishes.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 4:09 AM by kids indoor playhouse
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