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Stage 5: Equipping

Build disciples and develop leaders 

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

  • Outcome: Leadership team is functioning

  • Key Person: Team Member

  • How to Give: Give toward projects initiated by the team for others, toward the pastor’s expenses, and initiatives around discipleship and leadership development

  • How to Pray: Pray for a spirit of humility as the leadership is spread out, and for revelation and repentance as the new believers grow up in Christ

  • How to Go: Go work under the new leadership team to disciple the church

  • How to Partner: Partner by working with the leadership team in how to make disciples

Description:

Churches where everything revolves around one leader don’t last. This stage is about helping the leader develop a core team of people who are disciples who make disciples. This stage is complete when this new leadership team is formed, leading in the church and living missionally in the community.

  1. Mobilize – We work with and for the local leadership team.

  2. Connect – One of the keep aspects of this new core team is working out their existing relationships in light of this new community.

  3. Witness – Equipping the core team to preach the gospel to their friends.

  4. Gather – Sometimes the first appointed leader is not the best one to continue with preaching, teaching or even overall leadership of the group.

  5. Equip – The leadership team is healthy, and each one is actively engaged in relationships outside the church.

Biblical Foundation:

The call to make disciples is the responsibility of every one of Jesus’ disciples, not a select few (Matt. 28:18). The local church is made up of many members who have different functions, yet are unified by one Spirit (Rom. 12:4). As an expression of God’s grace, each member of the body of Christ is gifted by the Spirit, as he chooses, to participate and contribute to the ministry of the church (1 Cor. 12:7, 11). Christ also gives the church a five-fold set of gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors) that are designed to equip the rest of the members to engage in ministry (Eph. 4:11-12). Equipping the church involves discerning and affirming the Spirit’s gifting within the congregation, inviting each member to participate as co-workers, thus enabling the body to work together effectively, and caring for one another by sharing in each other’s joys and struggles (1 Cor. 12:25-26). 

Jesus modeled servant leadership and calls on leaders in the church to do the same (Matt. 20:25-28) by looking to the interests of others rather than being motivated by selfish ambition or personal power (Phil. 2:3-4). Gifted leaders, who reflect exemplary character, serve as overseers of the church, on behalf of Christ who is the Head (1 Tim. 3:1-13), while also recognizing the authority of the Spirit in the gathered community. This functional model of leadership expresses the priesthood of all believers where there is no inherent distinction between clergy and laity. A group of multiple leaders rather than a single person, best reflects the example of church governance in the New Testament.

The equipping of the church also involves establishing people’s faith by holding to sound teaching, which includes both knowledge of the truth and the basic foundations of the faith (Heb. 6:1-2) as well as learning how to put away one’s former way of life to live as those who are being transformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:20-24). Leaders must pay attention to both their teaching and their own lives (1 Tim. 4:16) as examples for the church to imitate (Heb. 13:7). Warnings about the danger of falling away or turning to “another gospel” are prevalent throughout the New Testament and challenge churches to stand firm in the truth (2 Cor. 11:2-4; 2 Tim. 3:1-7).

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 6: Growing>>

Stage 5: Equipping

Build disciples and develop leaders 

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

  • Outcome: Leadership team is functioning

  • Key Person: Team Member

  • How to Give: Give toward projects initiated by the team for others, toward the pastor’s expenses, and initiatives around discipleship and leadership development

  • How to Pray: Pray for a spirit of humility as the leadership is spread out, and for revelation and repentance as the new believers grow up in Christ

  • How to Go: Go work under the new leadership team to disciple the church

  • How to Partner: Partner by working with the leadership team in how to make disciples

Description:

Churches where everything revolves around one leader don’t last. This stage is about helping the leader develop a core team of people who are disciples who make disciples. This stage is complete when this new leadership team is formed, leading in the church and living missionally in the community.

  1. Mobilize – We work with and for the local leadership team.

  2. Connect – One of the keep aspects of this new core team is working out their existing relationships in light of this new community.

  3. Witness – Equipping the core team to preach the gospel to their friends.

  4. Gather – Sometimes the first appointed leader is not the best one to continue with preaching, teaching or even overall leadership of the group.

  5. Equip – The leadership team is healthy, and each one is actively engaged in relationships outside the church.

Biblical Foundation:

The call to make disciples is the responsibility of every one of Jesus’ disciples, not a select few (Matt. 28:18). The local church is made up of many members who have different functions, yet are unified by one Spirit (Rom. 12:4). As an expression of God’s grace, each member of the body of Christ is gifted by the Spirit, as he chooses, to participate and contribute to the ministry of the church (1 Cor. 12:7, 11). Christ also gives the church a five-fold set of gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors) that are designed to equip the rest of the members to engage in ministry (Eph. 4:11-12). Equipping the church involves discerning and affirming the Spirit’s gifting within the congregation, inviting each member to participate as co-workers, thus enabling the body to work together effectively, and caring for one another by sharing in each other’s joys and struggles (1 Cor. 12:25-26). 

Jesus modeled servant leadership and calls on leaders in the church to do the same (Matt. 20:25-28) by looking to the interests of others rather than being motivated by selfish ambition or personal power (Phil. 2:3-4). Gifted leaders, who reflect exemplary character, serve as overseers of the church, on behalf of Christ who is the Head (1 Tim. 3:1-13), while also recognizing the authority of the Spirit in the gathered community. This functional model of leadership expresses the priesthood of all believers where there is no inherent distinction between clergy and laity. A group of multiple leaders rather than a single person, best reflects the example of church governance in the New Testament.

The equipping of the church also involves establishing people’s faith by holding to sound teaching, which includes both knowledge of the truth and the basic foundations of the faith (Heb. 6:1-2) as well as learning how to put away one’s former way of life to live as those who are being transformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:20-24). Leaders must pay attention to both their teaching and their own lives (1 Tim. 4:16) as examples for the church to imitate (Heb. 13:7). Warnings about the danger of falling away or turning to “another gospel” are prevalent throughout the New Testament and challenge churches to stand firm in the truth (2 Cor. 11:2-4; 2 Tim. 3:1-7).

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 6: Growing>>