No, Not More “How To Do Books”!

 How Do You Prepare God’s People For Works of Service? Part III

- Question: How do you  “prepare God’s people for works of service”?

If you check out a Christian book store, you will find whole sections on “How To” books.  “Books for Dummies” have become popular in an effort to teach the “dumbest” how “to do” the simplest task.  Churches love to organize Bible Studies and Small Groups around reading these How-To books. You can probably find books entitled “12 Steps To A Successful Prayer Life”, “7 Ways to More Effective Evangelism”, etc. If the pastor detects a weakness in his congregation’s spiritual and moral life, it will call for more sermons about the topic, more discussions through organized Bible Studies and Small Discussion Groups. 

Nikki shoes has a slogan I think is effective: “Just Do It!”  Their commercials show athletes who are talented. Rather than talking about their sport, they are to “just do it!”  Enjoyment is in the “doing”, the competing, the experiencing the event. As a Church we should understand that it is not what you say that is important, but what you do.  It is in the “doing” that is effective, for the “doing” brings results.

Part of “preparing the saints for service” is “doing” it in front of them as an example, then releasing them to “do it”.  Leading by example was the most effective teaching approach for Jesus  He lead by example, often creating what I call “God Moments” of experience in his disciple’s life by being there with his disciples “doing it”.  Jesus taught his disciples to “walk the walk” rather than just “talk the walk”.  There was no “walk” that Jesus made his disciples do that he himself did not walk.  He wanted them to bear one another’s crosses, only after he bore his own because he led by example.  He tried to teach them about what was ahead for himself and them, the Cross, which proved ineffective because they did not understand until He lead by example dying on the cross and then they too had to experience for themselves in their lives. The had to “just do it”, experience it in order to be effective.  Showing by example “leads the way”, but “releasing them” will force them to “just do it”!  Paul soon learned not to think of the consequences, “just do it”!

I will take experience over theology any day.  It is important to “know” what you believe, but it is eve more import to “do” what you believe. As an experienced public school teacher of 40 years, I will take a field trip over book work in a sterile classroom any day.

So how do we apply this to the five fold?  Evangelism means “being there” (available) for the birth and knowing what to do and “doing it” when birthing a newborn into the kingdom of God.  Pastoral care means “being there for someone in need” and actually “meeting their need”.  Teaching means literally “walking beside someone” in everyday field trips through life while “doing” the kingdom of God principles that you are teaching.  Prophetic means “hearing from God” for yourself and teaching others how to hear from God for themselves and be obedient to what they have heard. Apostolic means seeing over someone’s personal spiritual development because you are physically there for them throughout their journey, then releasing them to “just do it”, to begin to fly as eagles (Isaiah 40).

How do you “prepare the saints for service”? You “just do it”, not just talk about it.