A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to a basic training graduation ceremony at Fort Benning for one of our church’s newest soldiers. It was an impressive scene to watch these young men march in formation around the parade field. They looked sharp in their uniform and their standard issue haircut. They caught my attention early however as they showed off some of the firepower that these men were now trained to use. They showed off their guns and their grenade launchers. They talked about the high-tech gear that they wore and the body armor that protected them. It was encouraging to see that these guys were well-trained and well-equipped to handle the enemy in whatever shape or size he might arrive.
As I considered the task with which these young men are charged, I realized very quickly that they could only be effective at combatting terrorism if they were well-equipped. I am very thankful that our military is the best-equipped military in the world. Those who are the most effective at doing their job are those who are the best equipped
This is true for any organization. If the task of a factory is making widgets, the factory that will be the most effective will be the factory that has the best trained widget-makers and the best equipment for making widgets. No one else can compete with those who are the best equipped.
The church must be well equipped too if we are to be effective at making-disciples. This is not about having the best equipment. This is not about having the best facility. Disciples are not made by equipment or buildings, but by other disciples. If we are to be effective at doing this great task, then our disciple-makers must be equipped.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ…” This is the job of equipping disciples to make disciples. There is responsibility for those in leadership, but there is also responsibility for those who are not. The job of the leader is to equip the saints; the job of the saints is the task of disciple-making. Are you well-equipped at disciple-making?
Guys going through basic training don’t have much of a choice when it comes to being equipped. They will do the training necessary or it will not go well for them. Unfortunately, Christians have more flexibility in their training. No one is forcing them to go to Sunday School or to take advantage of special training opportunities. And as a result, the Saints are much less equipped than they could be and the church’s effectiveness is hindered.
If we are to be effective at the task of making disciples, then leaders must never give up on equipping the saints, and the saints must never give up on being equipped. Laziness on either side results in the church being highly ineffective at doing her job. I will do my best to be the pastor-teacher that is all about equipping and training. Will you do your best to be a well-equipped soldier in the army of the Lord?