Note: This is part two of a four part blog series on the mission of New Life Church.
Equip means to prepare someone for a particular task or situation or to supply them with what they need to be successful. This is the primary role for those of us who are pastors at New Life Church. Our focus should be teaching, praying, leading and equipping the people of New Life for ministry.
The best way to equip people is to simply get them out doing stuff. We spend too much time teaching, lecturing, and talking and not enough time experimenting and allowing people to make messes.
Before sophisticated missile guidance systems, naval battles were often won by cannon crews who could adjust the quickest after a missed shot. It was pure luck if the first shot hit its target. I believe the church has trained people to not try until there is a guarantee of success. So we stand on the ship and tell them “Ready, ready, aim, aim, aim”, but we are reluctant to yell, “Fire”.
I do believe in teaching sound theology, and I believe there are some great leadership tools like Strength Finders that can help people. But people are best taught when they have a “hands on” experience, especially if a mentor or coach is with them when they minister.
Its the same model Jesus used to equip his disciples:
Watch me do ministry
Do ministry while I am watching you.
Go minister by yourself and report back to me later.
That is equipping the saints for the work of ministry. It is not complicated.
February 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm
Yes and amen. I’m incredibly thankful for the people in my life that let go and allowed me to potentially make mistakes… and allowed me to grow and mature in the process. When we don’t allow for failure, we don’t allow for success, either. It’s one of the reasons I believe in decisions by guided delegation, as opposed to decisions by constant committee. =^)