A friend recently shared this quote from Rick Joyner with me:
“One of the most important things that we can do to be positioned to catch the wave that is coming is to come to know the gifts and ministries of the Spirit that we are called to walk in, and begin to walk in them. The Ephesians 4 mandate of all true New Testament ministry is to equip others to do the work of the ministry, not just do it ourselves. Those who do not obey this mandate will soon disappear from leadership in the church, and those who train and equip their people will be the future leaders of the body of Christ. These are the ones who are not burying the talents they’ve been entrusted with but are investing and multiplying them. We cannot accomplish what we must in these times without every part of the body doing its part.”
I want to be honest in saying that I don’t know the context from which the quote came and I don’t know much about Rick Joyner. But I do know that he makes some very good points in that statement.
- If you want to know what the Spirit is doing, then understand how he works in you and in every believer through the administration of spiritual gifts.
- Embrace the biblical directive that you–as well as every other believer–are called to use those gifts to do the work of ministry. (Ephesians 2:10) Lead from this position.
- If, for the purpose of this conversation, we interpret “talents” to mean people, what talents has God entrusted to you? What are you doing with them?
- As Tony Evans points out, Jesus already died for the church; you don’t have to. So, as a leader, regularly ask yourself, “Who have I equipped and released to serve in ministry this week?”
If you haven’t engaged any of these steps, you are in danger of disappearing! Don’t want to disappear? Then begin now to train and equip your people. Discover your own gifts and graces for ministry. Then draw a few others into that discovery process. Let them become as yeast in your community, spreading the delight and freedom that comes from knowing how God has uniquely designed each of his children to serve in a ministry he has called and prepared them to accomplish. A few will find that they are called to train and equip, too, and they will join you in leading this discovery ministry.
This is what it means to be faithful to the Ephesians 4 mandate. In doing so, you will grow as a leader. Moreover, the body of Christ will grow “until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13, The Message) Amen and amen!
**If you are wondering how to get started or how to equip others leaders in your community to carry on the ministry of gifts discovery, I would like to help you. Please visit my MERGE website to learn more.