Ephesians 4:7-16 (TLB)
7 However, Christ has given each of us special abilities-whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts. 8 The psalmist tells about this, for he says that when Christ returned triumphantly to heaven after his resurrection and victory over Satan, he gave generous gifts to men. 9 Notice that it says he returned to heaven. This means that he had first come down from the heights of heaven, far down to the lowest parts of the earth. 10 The same one who came down is the one who went back up, that he might fill all things everywhere with himself, from the very lowest to the very highest. 11Some of us have been given special ability as apostles; to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well; some have special ability in winning people to Christ, helping them to trust him as their Savior; still others have a gift for caring for God’s people as a shepherd does his sheep, leading and teaching them in the ways of God. 12 Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the Church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity; 13 until finally we all believe alike about our salvation and about our Savior, God’s Son, and all become full-grown in the Lord-yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. 15-16 Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times — speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly2284 — and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (TLB)
The immediate goal of the ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers is expressed in verse 12; “for the equipping of the saints.” The Greek word rendered ‘equipping’ is a very interesting term. It is used with the idea of equipping …of the fitting out of a ship … of the fitting out of an army … of developing certain parts of the body by exercise.
It is also used for restoring or putting something in order … of mending nets and preparing them for another day’s fishing (Matt. 4:21) … of pacifying a city torn by faction … of restoring a limb that was dislocated (cf. ‘be made complete,’ NASV, 1 Corinthians 1:10). 10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. NIV
The leader needs to be equipped so that he/she can do the work of service. This applies to any institution, home and in business, etc.
The word equip or equipping, it is interesting (katarismos). It means, ‘setting bones back into their proper place; or putting something into its correct position. This same Greek word is used for mending finishing nets. Matt. 4:21.
Successful leadership is more based on teamwork than on individuality.
Dr. John Maxwell said; “you can’t do it alone. If you really want to be a successful leader, you must develop other leaders around you. You see the big picture, but you need other leaders to help make your mental picture a reality.”
- “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey.
- “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” – Chinese Proverb.
- “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Albert Einstein.
- “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler.
- “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butter Yeats.
Keys to effective ministry – (Building your dream)
- Your vision determines the suffering and attacks you encounter.
- Your dream will attract opposition.
- Yesterday is not the future.
- Just because you failed at something, doesn’t mean you are a failure.
- You respect every relationship with anyone connected to your vision to guarantee its fulfillment.
- Avoid people who focus on your weakness (your past) instead of your dream.
Pinpoint problem – people
- The worth of any friendship can be measured by its contribution to your victories.
- People are different. Choose friends who make deposits into your life instead of withdrawals. Your warfare will reveal the true character of those around you.
- Romans 16: 17, 18 “17 And now there is one thing to say before I end this letter. Stay away from those who cause divisions and are upsetting people’s faith, teaching things about Christ that are contrary to what you have been taught. 18 Such teachers are not working for our Lord Jesus, but only want gain for themselves. They are good speakers, and simple-minded people are often fooled by them.”
Be faithful to your assignment
F. A. T.
- Faithfulness – to yourself
- Available – to every event or where you needed most.
- Teachable – be willing to be taught and learn to listen to others.
1 Corinthians 4:1, 2.
“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful”. NIV
“However, you are always in control of how intimate you want to be and how fast you reveal details about yourself.”
“It is time to start thinking more about other people and less about yourself, and that is the smartest thing you can do.” Carol A. Fleming, PhD