Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Called to Equip (Part 3 of 3): Called to Results

Called to Equip (Part 3 of 3): Called to Results

He personally gave some to be . . .

for the training of the saints, to build up the body of Christ . . .  Called to Equip (Part 2 of 3): Called to Work

It's time now to measure the results of equipping as described in Ephesians 4:13-15.

. . . until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15,HCSB)

What kind of results are you looking for as you invest your time, energy, and life into training the saints and building the Body? I am as guilty as anyone of asking someone how large their church is, how much it has grown, how many baptisms, and many more similar questions. So many times we use our numbers for bragging rights when we get together with other church leaders. But how many times have you been asked the following questions?

4 Questions You Need to Answer About Your Church 

How unified is your church?
Ephesians 4:13 describes unity as one that is produced through faith and the knowledge of God’s Son. Is the training and building ministry of your church producing unity?

How mature is your church?
We have all types of measurements today.  We use measurements for spiritual giftedness, skills, knowledge, and many more tangible results. But, what about spiritual maturity; how should we measure it? Ephesians 4:13 provides the answer—it is measured “by Christ’s fullness.” Be sure and measure spiritual maturity using the correct comparison—Christ’s fullness!

How stable is your church?
Now this one could be very fun to answer. We all have stories about individuals who have been a part of our congregations who seemed not quite “all there.” Ephesians 4:14-15 describes a different stability we should be measuring—stability in what we believe and who we follow. It seems today that more and more believers are embracing doctrines and leaders without ever measuring the theological validity of either. Teach and equip for stability!

Is your church growing?
We already ask this question as it relates to numerical growth. Ephesians 4:15-16 paints a different picture of growth as it summarizes the results of training and building. It describes a complete and holistic growth: “let us grow in every way into Him.” It is purposeful growth—to become like Christ. It is a productive growth as it produces growth for the entire body.

The message is to those whom God has personally selected to participate with Him in training and building up His bride—the church! The measurement of our success is based on spiritual standards. Don’t ever give up as one who is called. It may seem difficult at times, but God is working in and through you.

There is a never-ending drive that reflects our calling as described in Ephesians 4:13—“until we all . . .”
Even on the tough days the Spirit is ever-present always nudging, reminding, encouraging, prodding us to continue until ALL reach the pinnacle of their spiritual maturity. He is the driving force within us to continue in the ministry of training and building His body.