August 16 – Unstoppable – Tools for Building an Unstoppable Church (Part 1)

Read Ephesians 4:1-16

You have probably done it too . . . you have used a tool for something other than its intended purpose.  The other day, I found myself in need of a hammer, but I only had a wrench within reaching distance.  So, guess what I did?  That’s right, I pounded with a wrench.  Sometimes, you can “get by” with such improvisation, but it isn’t nearly as easy.  Things seem to go much better when you use tools for their intended purpose.

Christ, the architect and builder of the unstoppable church, also has tools at His disposal.  His tools are people.  Rather than “getting by” and using people for purposes other than He intended, He has given us insight to the proper function of His people within His church.  Today, let’s consider the leadership of the church.  Ephesians 4:11 tells us that Christ uses five different types of gifted leaders in the building of His church.  By the way, it is important to note that these may or may not be paid “staff members” in a local church.  These include:

  • Apostles – Initially these were the 12 who were specially selected.  Their present-day parallel is best observed in those who establish churches.
  • Prophets – These proclaimers boldly speak timely and sometimes uncomfortable words of Truth to God’s people.
  • Evangelists – These are gifted individuals who share the gospel without fear and often with great fruitfulness.
  • Pastors – Shepherding the flock of God with gentle care is their forte.
  • Teachers – The Spirit of God uses these people to clearly convey the meaning and the application of God’s word.

While these gifted individuals are like tools with diverse functions, they have one thing in common.  They contribute to the building up of the body of Christ.  And they do this by equipping God’s people for works of service (v. 12).  Did you catch that?  In other words, they do not do everything, but they do call the rest of the church from the stadium out onto the field.  They delegate, point to opportunities, model, and train so that everyone in the church contributes and grows.

Are you in the stadium or out on the field?

Steve Kern

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