Welcome to my leaders blog. I have been presenting a testimony of one of my non-negotiable values concerning the equipping of the Church. That non-negotiable is that of activating, facilitating, and releasing the characteristics of the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, and teaching testimonies in the saints. I believe that the body of Christ is filled with diverse members that exhibit the actions and testimonies of these attributes found in Christ. God has given equipping gifts in Christ that are sent to release and facilitate a culture where the maturation these attributes can come about in the body. As those characteristics and attributes are made manifest the members of the body will be edified and will edify one another. There will be an increasing unity of faith, knowledge of the Son of God, increasing perfection, and continued maturation among the members of the body.
Today I want to look further into some of the things I presented as part of the list that the equipping gifts fulfill. As I have stated the five-fold equipping nouns don’t do the work of ministry, they equip the members of the body to do the work of ministry. Because those men and women with equipping gifts are part of the body as well they will also do the work of ministry, but they will do it as part of the body and not as the equipping gifts given to the body. That work of ministry is to manifest the likeness and image of the Father to the world and thereby propagate the works of God and destroy the works of the devil. Those works are unique and diverse in that it takes all together to express the fullness of Him.
The equipping gifts are given to cause the body members to come to the unity of the faith. Faith comes by hearing and that hearing is by the personally spoken words of God to every human heart. Faith is a natural response to a supernatural relationship. The equipping gifts cannot be a substitute for faith. Their responsibility is not to teach people what to do, but who to believe. They do this by example and by the power of God’s grace given to them for the equipping of the Church. That believing is a believing of God in the life of each and every member of the body of Christ. It is not a matter of task, but a matter of relationship. Works will testify of it, but works cannot attain it. It is attained by revelation. The equipping gifts of Christ are meant to set an example and to facilitate a culture and atmosphere where people hear God and faith thus happens.
A huge part of equipping is creating a culture of relationship in the Church. The culture of relationship is God centered and not man centered. It is a culture dependant upon grace that comes at a revelation of Jesus Christ. The equipping gifts are to serve God by the power of His grace in establishing a place where Jesus can be increasingly manifest in the lives of people. That place is not merely a geographical location, but a spiritual reality for a group of peoples in a seven day per week reality.
God desires for all people to become expressions of Him in the flesh. Like Jesus, the body of Christ is destined to be an expression of God the Father in the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3). That is to be the weight of the Father’s influence and a manifestation of His character, nature, way, power, and authority. The equipping gifts have the responsibility of leading in a way that causes the members of the body to become a testimony of Christ in the flesh. This is the testimony of the stature of Christ in His fullness.
The government of God in the Church is the design of the body and the power of God’s grace made known within it. The equipping gifts are merely part of the governing of the body. They are part of a directional grace given by God to assure there is a proper focus to the operation of the body of Christ. It is part of God’s design that causes the body to accomplish its greatest purpose. With this in mind, the equipping gifts are part of the leadership given to the body that sets a boundary of direction for the body members that assures the members do not remain as little children, but continue to progressively mature in their walk with God exhibiting the testimony of Christ. The equipping gifts are given so that body members will not just function by the power of the Spirit, but will grow in recognizing the leading of the Spirit. This provides a protection to the body from being tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. The equipping gifts should create a source of stability so that the body will not fall for the traps of the trickery of men. This means that the primary responsibility of the equipping gifts is not found in just teaching good doctrine, but in establishing a culture where a proper relationship with God is maintained whereby members know what God has been like, so they will recognize what God is like. It is a relational reality and not a matter of teaching ways of right and wrong. It is based upon the Tree of Life and not the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is based upon a relationship with God whereby they can properly understand His word. It is not a relationship with His written word, but with Him as the expresser of life. A witness is His written word, but His written word is not the rule of life. A proper relationship with God and understanding Him correctly is the basis of His Lordship.
Consider the culture of equipping and being equipped. We are the body of Christ and therefore we are the testimony of Him in this world.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson