The Church’s Role In Releasing The Saints For The Work Of Service
What is the Church’s role corporately in “preparing”, “equipping”, and “releasing” the saints for the work of service?
Preparing: The Church needs to get away from its program and organizational way of thinking, developing programs and structures that then need to be filled by positions and bodies. Instead they need to begin to look at each individual member’s spiritual DNA, that which makes them up spiritually. What is their passion, their desire, their dream, their calling, their goal, their point of view? What spiritually makes them tick? How do they best function?
If they have a strong evangelistic strain in their spiritual DNA, what can the Church corporately do to prepare them to “live” and “give” the message of spiritual “birth” and “rebirth” that will be the core of their being? The Church will have to guide them in learning what it means to “lay down your life for your brethren” (IJohn 3:16) so that believer can “live out” as an example the principle of what Jesus did for those who do not know him: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) What safer place to learn this kingdom of God place, than in the midst of the Church? That’s preparing an evangelist to be an evangelist. The pastor/shepherd can nurture the practical life experiences of this dying and resurrecting principle, the teacher grounding it in the Word, the Bible, while the prophet can bring spiritual life to the principle, and the apostle coordinate is activity in the Christian believer’s life through the working of the Holy Spirit.
The same can be true for those strong with the pastoral/shepherding spiritual DNA strain, or teaching, prophetic, and apostolic DNA strains. The other four spiritual strains can exemplify, support, and strengthen the spiritual genetic make up of a believers growth in Jesus Christ toward maturity.
Equipping: While being prepared, the Church also needs to “equip” the believer toward his diverse unique calling in Jesus Christ. Corporately, the church can offer facilities, finances, mutual support from other believers and their giftings, callings, and DNA make up, as well as materials needed to support the effort of the individual calling of a believer. In the Church “no man is an island; no man can stand alone.” God has developed a body with different parts, different functions, different purposes that all work toward the health, stability, and function of the entire body. He has developed a priesthood of believers, a corporate function of all involved for one general purpose. When a person is about to be release into maturity, he knows he will not be sent alone, but with the blessing, the support, and the full backing of other believers which will serve him and whom he will serve. When this occurs, he is now equipped.
Releasing: Now that the Holy Spirit has prepared the believer, the body of Christ, the Church has surrounded the believer in equipping him, the mature Christian is now ready to be released. Even though released on his own, he still is, and always will be part of a corporate body of believers, the Church, who will surround him/her when needed to help fulfill their destiny and calling in Jesus Christ. If when in the heat of spiritual battle, if one falls, they will fall into the arms of another Christian believer, another priest in the priesthood, who can administrate immediately what is needed to bring back their healing, their preparation, their equipping, to stand again in the faith.
In Conclusion: That in summary is the calling, the purpose, the direction of the five fold ministry, to prepare the individual believer for his calling in the corporate Church, to equip the individual believer by and through the corporate Church, to be released to do “works of service” glorifying the corporate Church, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Jesus Christ today!