Pastor's Blog: "Equipping the Saints for Ministry"

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

A while back I read the book titled Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples by Robby Gallaty. There is a good chance you read it if you participated in one of our Growth Groups a couple of years ago. In the book, Gallaty writes about the importance of followers of Jesus becoming disciples who disciple other people who will go into the world and repeat the process. 

I remember being particularly struck by one point of emphasis in the book. Gallaty notes that it is expensive and time consuming for people to earn a seminary degree. He is not against people attending seminary, but he does call church leaders to acknowledge we will not be effective in fulfilling the Great Commission if we utilize only seminary trained ministers. Drawing on wisdom from Ephesians 4:11-12, Gallaty challenges pastors and other church leaders to remember that God has called them to equip the saints for the work of ministry instead of completing all the tasks of ministry on their own.

I witnessed the importance of this approach to discipleship the last few weeks. With the help of Sharon Howard, I started a Bible study for 4th-6th grade boys a couple of years ago. We meet before school on Wednesday mornings for breakfast, fun, and a short Bible study. In addition to Sharon and me, Andy Wharton and Carter Goodson have provided leadership for the Bible study. Three weeks ago, I had a conflict and could not attend the meeting, so Andy led the study. This past Wednesday, Sharon and I were both out of town for a ministerial retreat. Andy agreed to pick up the biscuits and Carter led the study. Through their faithful participation in the morning Bible study over the last couple of years, Andy and Carter have been equipped to continue the ministry in the absence of Sharon and me.

This is a pattern of ministry we must replicate if we hope to touch more lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of you are already living out this pattern of discipleship. You are leading a Growth Group or teaching a Sunday School class or serving in any number of ministries of our church. I thank you for all you do.

Others of you may still be on the sidelines. If that is you, I hope you will visit the In-house Ministry Fair in Hudson Hall this coming Sunday morning. Over the course of the morning people will be in Hudson Hall to tell you about areas where we need more volunteers to serve. From providing childcare on Sunday mornings to running sound for our worship services to helping run the livestream to a host of other opportunities, you will be able to indicate your willingness to use your time and talents to make ministry possible at MBBC. My hopes and prayers are that God will call more of our members to engage in ministry here in our church so that we might fulfill God’s mission for our church more faithfully.