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Empowering Leadership

Growing the Church God's Way  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Empowering leadership unlocks our God-given potential to serve.

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Introduction: Growing the Church God’s Way.

We are in a series entitled “Growing the Church God’s Way.” The topic may seem like a no-brainer. Is anyone so bold as to say, “Hey everyone, we’ve got a great plan for growing our church but it isn’t God’s way. He has His ideas and they work for some but we have better ideas. What God does is old school, He isn’t keeping up with the times. We’ve got a new plan.”
We are in a series entitled “Growing the Church God’s Way.” The topic may seem like a no-brainer. Is anyone so bold as to say, “Hey everyone, we’ve got a great plan for growing our church, but it isn’t God’s way. He has His ideas and they work for some, but we have better ideas. What God does is old school, He isn’t keeping up with the times. We’ve got a new plan.”
That is the height of absurdity. We would never say that. But is it possible we might act that way even if we don’t talk that way?
That is the height of absurdity. So we would never say that.
That is the height of absurdity. So we would never say that. But is it possible we might act that way even if we don’t talk that way?
One would think that growing the church is important to God and it be easy to figure out how to do it. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s an email I received right as I was working on this message:
One would think that growing the church is important to God and it be easy to figure out how to do it. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s an email I received right as I was working on this message:

EMAIL: Can online church help grow your church?

I got an email as I was working on this message:
What do you think, was this a message from God? Is THIS the way to grow a church? There are many people with different ideas about how to grow the church. Some say you need to be seeker-centered, others seeker-friendly, others seeker-suspicious.

EMAIL: Can online church help grow your church?

What do you think, was this a message from God? Is THIS the way to grow a church?
There are many people with different ideas about how to grow the church. Some say you need to be seeker-centered, others seeker-friendly, others seeker-suspicious.
Which one is right? Which one is God’s way? Let me suggest that God’s way is going to be the approach that works every time for everyone. That’s a problem. None of those who teach methods for church growth say their model works every time. Think about that, there is no one church model that works every time.
Some say you need to broadcast your church online,
Which one is right? Which one is God’s way? Let me suggest that God’s way is going to be the approach that works every time for everyone. That’s a problem. None of those who teach methods for church growth say their model works every time. Think about that, there is no one church model that works every time.
But none of those who teach church growth would ever suggest that their model works every time.
A different approach is to look at growing churches and see what common principles they share. By doing that we can focus on principles rather than methods. Christian Schwartz, the founder of Natural Church Development did just that. He surveyed over 70,000 churches all over the world and discovered that every growing church has eight characteristics present. The characteristics are in these eight areas of ministry.
Christian Schwartz, the founder of Natural Church Development has surveyed over 70,000 churches all over the world and discovered that every growing church has eight characteristics present. The characteristics are in these eight areas of ministry.
Leadership
Ministry
Spirituality
Structures
Worship
Small groups
Evangelism
Relationships
The key isn’t to just have these ministry elements present in the church. Most churches haves these areas of ministry. What Christian discovered wasn’t just that churches had leadership, but a particular kind of leadership. Healthy churches don’t just have worship but a certain quality of ministry. He found a different, unique quality for each of these eight areas of ministry present in every growing church he surveyed. The quality is an adjective. Here is the list with the qualities identified.
These are described with a noun and an adjective. The characteristics are the following:
The “what” for church growth:
Empowering leadership
Gift-based ministry
Passionate spirituality
Effective structures
Inspiring worship
Holistic small groups
Need-oriented evangelism
Loving relationships
A different approach is to look at growing churches and see what common principles they share. By doing that we can focus on principles rather than methods. Christian Schwartz, the founder of Natural Church Development did just that. He surveyed over 70,000 churches all over the world and discovered that every growing church has eight characteristics present. The characteristics are in these eight areas of ministry.
Christian discovered that every church that has these qualities present as a measurable strength is a healthy, growing church.
What is so cool about this is that these are all biblical principles. Christian didn’t created this list. They are all from the Bible. I have been in church all my life. I went to Bible college and seminary. I have studies church growth, read books on church growth and tried to figure it out. When I read Christian’s book, Natural Church Development, everything I’ve ever studied made sense. It is a balanced biblical approach.
It’s possible that there is someone else out there teaching this, but if so, I haven’t found them. What I can tell you is that there are lot’s of people who will emphasize one or a few of these as the key to church growth. I have been to conferences on several of these topics where the leader of the conference said, “If you learn to do this, have holistic small groups - or having inspiring worship - or become effective in evangelism - your church will grow!” They are all right and wrong. They’re right in that they’ve identified a key principle of church growth but they’re wrong in saying it is the key to church growth.
Last week we began this series by saying that our goal is to do what God wants us to do and when we do, the church will grow all-by-itself. We can’t cause the church to grow.
So what we’re going to do is over they next few weeks look at what the Bible says about each of these principles. We want to learn what they are so we can follow them. If we do, we will see that Longmeadow will grow. The Lord will bring the growth of this church, all-by-itself.
We’re going to follow the list that Christian has in his book. They aren’t in an order of priority. Each one is equally important. If anyone one of these is missing, or if a church is weak in any one of these areas, it will affect the church’s ability to grow with the all-by-itself growth that God produces. Our topic for today is

Empowering Leadership

• Leadership
Bottom Line: Empowering leadership unlocks our God-given potential to serve.
• Ministry
Interaction:
What are some adjectives that can be used, that you have heard used, not necessarily here but anywhere, about leadership? Good, strong, poor, weak, servant, democratic, autocratic, strategic, team, visionary, charismatic.
• Spirituality
• Structures
Goal: to unlock your potential.
If you need training you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need motivation you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need permission you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need motivation you aren’t fully empowered
If you need a direction you aren’t fully empowered.
A key passage in understanding this principle of empowering leadership is Ephesians 4:11-13.
Ephesians 4:11–13 NIV
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians

1. Empowering leadership is a God-given task. Ephesians 4:11-13

A. God empowers people to lead. Hebrews 2:3-4

God is an empowering leader. Christ, himself, is the one who gives the gifts of leadership listed in these verses.
What are you good at doing? What do you like doing? Where did you get your artistic ability, musical ability or knack for fixing things? These may not be all spiritual gifts but the source is the same, God. Leaders don’t give us abilities but God does. He uniquely makes each of us and there is a perfect place of ministry for each of us. God hasn’t left anyone out.
The Spirit of God has a role in giving spiritual gifts.
Hebrews 2:3–4 NIV
how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

B. God empowers people to lead in different ways.

Different leaders are needed in different places and times. At times we like things the same and at times we like them different. Sometimes we are in need of rest, relaxation and encouragement. Other times we’re in need of a challenge.
God gives some leaders the ability to build, some to encourage, some to teach and some to preach.
Apostle: special messengers of God.

one who fulfills the role of being a special messenger (generally restricted to the immediate followers of Jesus Christ, but also extended, as in the case of Paul, to other early Christians active in proclaiming the message of the gospel)

These special messengers, the apostles, were emissaries, ambassadors, sent out by the Lord Jesus to carry His message to the world. They were official representatives. (http://truthandtidings.com/2011/01/things-that-differ-apostles-prophets-evangelists-and-pastor-teachers/)
These special messengers, the apostles, were emissaries, ambassadors, sent out by the Lord Jesus to carry His message to the world. They were official representatives. (http://truthandtidings.com/2011/01/things-that-differ-apostles-prophets-evangelists-and-pastor-teachers/)
Prophet: one who proclaims inspired utterances on behalf of God. Ephesians 2:19-20
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 542). New York: United Bible Societies.

one who proclaims inspired utterances on behalf of God—‘prophet, inspired preacher.’

They spoke under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Their Bible would have been only the parts of the Old Testament Scriptures to which they and the apostles had access. Essentially, a prophet was a preacher without a Bible
They spoke under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Their Bible would have been only the parts of the Old Testament Scriptures to which they and the apostles had access. Essentially, a prophet was a preacher without a Bible
A Prophet informs or directs fellow believers (or a group of believers) to the Will of God, faithfully following the Way of God, Jesus, and helps others discover the Gifts and Ministry of God upon their lives which will bless many others. (https://laymanointing.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/prophets-evangelists-pastors-teachers-whats-the-purpose-of-these-ministries/)
Ephesians 2:19–20 NIV
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Evangelist: one who announces the gospel.

one who announces the gospel

The evangelists were those called of God to carry the message of the gospel to the unconverted world. The word is from the same root word as gospel, meaning “good news” or “glad tidings.”
The evangelists were those called of God to carry the message of the gospel to the unconverted world. The word is from the same root word as gospel, meaning “good news” or “glad tidings.”
An Evangelist leads pre-believers to encounter the Salvation of God, Jesus.  An Evangelist inspires fellow believers to love, intercede & share with others who have yet to know Jesus personally, to encounter the Salvation of God, Jesus.
Pastor: One who is responsible for the care and guidance of a Christian congregation
Teacher: One who provides instruction.

(a figurative extension of meaning of ποιμήνa ‘shepherd,’ 44.4) one who is responsible for the care and guidance of a Christian congregation—‘pastor, minister.

A Pastor shepherds fellow believers into the practical, tangible, faithful Love of God, Jesus in all His fullness.  Through a pastor’s ministry to the flock, the sheep experience the true Shepherd, Jesus. 

one who provides instruction—‘teacher, instructor.’

A Teacher brings alive the wondrous insightful Truth in the Word of God, Jesus, in a simple, memorable, and life-changing way to fellow believers.   A teacher stirs up a love and hunger for God’s Word in fellow believers to desire to encounter God’s word and the word of God, Jesus, for themselves daily
A Teacher brings alive the wondrous insightful Truth in the Word of God, Jesus, in a simple, memorable, and life-changing way to fellow believers.   A teacher stirs up a love and hunger for God’s Word in fellow believers to desire to encounter God’s word and the word of God, Jesus, for themselves daily
The evangelists were those called of God to carry the message of the gospel to the unconverted world. The word is from the same root word as gospel, meaning “good news” or “glad tidings.”
A Pastor shepherds fellow believers into the practical, tangible, faithful Love of God, Jesus in all His fullness.  Through a pastor’s ministry to the flock, the sheep experience the true Shepherd, Jesus. 
A Teacher brings alive the wondrous insightful Truth in the Word of God, Jesus, in a simple, memorable, and life-changing way to fellow believers.   A teacher stirs up a love and hunger for God’s Word in fellow believers to desire to encounter God’s word and the word of God, Jesus, for themselves daily
Ephesians 2:19–20 NIV
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:1920
Leadership involves working with people with different skills, priorities and world views, different stages of life. God places leaders where he wants them.

C. God empowers leaders to lead well. ; Timothy 5:17

This doesn’t mean that all leaders will lead well. It is a great responsibility.
Hebrews 13:17 NIV
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
1 Timothy 5:17 NIV
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

2. Empowering leadership is an equipping task.

75.5 καταρτισμός, οῦ m: to make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something—‘to make adequate, to furnish completely, to cause to be fully qualified, adequacy.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A.
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A.
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 679). New York: United Bible Societies.

A. To equip everyone in the body of Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Greek word for “His people” in is saints, holy ones. This is one of the common names for Christ-followers. On the one hand it limits the focus of leaders to born-again believers. On the other hand, that’s a pretty big group. Lots of work to do.
This is done by leaders the same way the Bible does this. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1) teaching

What God wants you to do - message. Every gift tells a story. Through our gifts others get the messages of God’s love, care, wisdom, guidance, protection.
How God wants you to do it - method.
Why you should do it - motivation. It is your calling and you will be rewarded for doing it!

2) rebuking

This is hard but at times it has to be done. God does this with us and calls it discipline.

3) correcting

2) training

This isn’t as hard as rebuking but just as important. It’s more of a course correction than a kick in the pants. This is guiding.

4) training

3) encouraging
This is hands on experience. Practicing what you have be taught. Doing it! Mentoring.

B. To equip everyone for the work of service/ministry. ; ;

B. To do the work of service/ministry.

Romans 14:19 NIV
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Romans
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
One important element of this is discovering your gift, what God has uniquely made you to do and wants you to do.
There is a purpose clause here. Equipping
One of my favorite verses is .
Romans 11:29 NIV
for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
This may be challenging if you don’t know what your gifts are but it is wonderfully liberating when you know!
It is liberating to know what you are and aren’t supposed to do! God doesn’t want you to do everything.
It is liberating to know because it leads you to where you are supposed to serve. Some of God’s gifts are to be used in the church but many are to be used in the community! Some used conventionally in the church but many can and should be used unconventionally! How can we do this better in the community? What is your personal vision? Is it
Leaders equip believers to equip each other to do good works! How long?

1) Until the church is unified in faith and knowledge of Christ

2)

2) To unify the church

2) Until the church is mature attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

These are lofty goals! We haven’t gotten there yet. Please notice it isn’t just the leaders job to get us there. It is all of our job.
You, however, have to catch the vision as to your place in this task!
Interaction: What is our vision here at Longmeadow?
To connect people with God and others. Are you contributing to that? Do you need help in learning how to do that?

3. Empowering Leadership is a godly task.

It is from God and to be done in a God-like or godly way. There is a character requirement for leaders that is quite a high bar to measure oneself again.

A. Empowering leaders lead with godly character. ;

1 Timothy 3:1–7 NIV
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
1 Timothy 3:1
Hebrews 13:7 NIV
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

B. Empowering leaders lead with godly motivation.

Hebrews 13:

B. Faithful to his wife

3. The motivation of a biblical leader.

C. Temperate

Hebrews 13:17 NIV
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Hebrews 13:17

D. Self-controlled

E. Respectable

F. Hospitable

G. Able to teach

H. Not given to drunkenness

I. Not violent but gentle

J. Not quarrelsome

K. Not a lover of money

L. Manage his own family well

M. Not a recent convert

N. Good reputation with outsiders

Explanation: What to do, what needs to be done, how to do it. Head knowledge.
Trained
Mentored
Guided
Motivation: A desires to do what needs to be done.
External motivation - rewards
Internal motivation - beliefs!
Liberation: The freedom to do what God leads us to do. Released to serve.
Conventional versus unconventional
Here or there
Personal vision versus the vision of a leader. e.g. to follow or to lead themselves
Discussion questions:
• Worship
We are all leaders. Who do you lead? How can you empower others?
• Small groups
Help us. Do you feel empowered at Longmeadow? How can I empower you? Help me help you. What do you need?
• Evangelism
• Relationships
I’m ready to work. Here’s what I’d like to do. . .
What can leadership do better to empower you?
The key isn’t to just have these ministry elements present in the church. Most churches haves these areas of ministry. What Christian discovered wasn’t just that churches had leadership, but a particular kind of leadership. Healthy churches don’t just have worship but a certain quality of ministry. He found a different, unique quality for each of these eight areas of ministry present in every growing church he surveyed. The quality is an adjective. Here is the list with the qualities identified.
• Empowering leadership
• Gift-based ministry
• Passionate spirituality
• Effective structures
• Inspiring worship
• Holistic small groups
• Need-oriented evangelism
• Loving relationships
Christian discovered that every church that has these qualities present as a measurable strength is a healthy, growing church.
What is so cool about this is that these are all biblical principles. Christian didn’t created this list. They are all from the Bible. I have been in church all my life. I went to Bible college and seminary. I have studies church growth, read books on church growth and tried to figure it out. When I read Christian’s book, Natural Church Development, everything I’ve ever studied made sense. It is a balanced biblical approach.
It’s possible that there is someone else out there teaching this, but if so, I haven’t found them. What I can tell you is that there are lot’s of people who will emphasize one or a few of these as the key to church growth. I have been to conferences on several of these topics where the leader of the conference said, “If you learn to do this, have holistic small groups - or having inspiring worship - or become effective in evangelism - your church will grow!” They are all right and wrong. They’re right in that they’ve identified a key principle of church growth but they’re wrong in saying it is the key to church growth.
Last week we began this series by saying that our goal is to do what God wants us to do and when we do, the church will grow all-by-itself. We can’t cause the church to grow.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at what the Bible says about each of these principles. We want to learn what they are so we can follow them. If we do, we will see that Longmeadow will grow. The Lord will bring the growth of this church, all-by-itself.
We’re going to follow the list that Christian has in his book. They aren’t in an order of priority. Each one is equally important. If anyone one of these is missing, or if a church is weak in any one of these areas, it will affect the church’s ability to grow with the all-by-itself growth that God produces. Our topic for today is
Bottom Line: Empowering leadership unlocks our God-given potential to serve.
Interaction:
What are some adjectives that can be used, that you have heard used, not necessarily here but anywhere, about leadership? Good, strong, poor, weak, servant, democratic, autocratic, strategic, team, visionary, charismatic.
Goal: to unlock your potential.
If you need training, you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need motivation, you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need permission, you aren’t fully empowered.
If you need a direction, you aren’t fully empowered.
A key passage in understanding this principle of empowering leadership is .
NIV So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

1. Empowering leadership is a God-given task.

A. God empowers peopleto lead.

God is an empowering leader. Christ, himself, is the one who gives the gifts of leadership listed in these verses.
What are you good at doing? What do you like doing? Where did you get your artistic ability, musical ability or knack for fixing things? These may not be all spiritual gifts but the source is the same, God. Leaders don’t give us abilities but God does. He uniquely makes each of us and there is a perfect place of ministry for each of us. God hasn’t left anyone out.
The Spirit of God has a role in giving spiritual gifts.
NIV how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

B. God empowers people to lead in different ways.

Different leaders are needed in different places and times. At times we like things the same and at times we like them different. Sometimes we are in need of rest, relaxation and encouragement. Other times we’re in need of a challenge.
God gives some leaders the ability to build, some to encourage, some to teach and some to preach.
Apostle: special messengers of God.
L & N ἀπόστολος one who fulfills the role of being a special messenger (generally restricted to the immediate followers of Jesus Christ, but also extended, as in the case of Paul, to other early Christians active in proclaiming the message of the gospel)
These special messengers, the apostles, were emissaries, ambassadors, sent out by the Lord Jesus to carry His message to the world. They were official representatives. (http://truthandtidings.com/2011/01/things-that-differ-apostles-prophets-evangelists-and-pastor-teachers/)
Prophet: one who proclaims inspired utterances on behalf of God.
L & N προφήτης one who proclaims inspired utterances on behalf of God—‘prophet, inspired preacher.’
They spoke under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Their Bible would have been only the parts of the Old Testament Scriptures to which they and the apostles had access. Essentially, a prophet was a preacher without a Bible
A Prophet informs or directs fellow believers (or a group of believers) to the Will of God, faithfully following the Way of God, Jesus, and helps others discover the Gifts and Ministry of God upon their lives which will bless many others. (https://laymanointing.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/prophets-evangelists-pastors-teachers-whats-the-purpose-of-these-ministries/)
NIV Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Evangelist: one who announces the gospel.
L & N εὐαγγελιστής one who announces the gospel
The evangelists were those called of God to carry the message of the gospel to the unconverted world. The word is from the same root word as gospel, meaning “good news” or “glad tidings.”
An Evangelist leads pre-believers to encounter the Salvation of God, Jesus. An Evangelist inspires fellow believers to love, intercede & share with others who have yet to know Jesus personally, to encounter the Salvation of God, Jesus.
Pastor: One who is responsible for the care and guidance of a Christian congregation
Teacher: One who provides instruction.
L & N ποιμήν (a figurative extension of meaning of ποιμήνa ‘shepherd,’ 44.4) one who is responsible for the care and guidance of a Christian congregation—‘pastor, minister.
A Pastor shepherds fellow believers into the practical, tangible, faithful Love of God, Jesus in all His fullness. Through a pastor’s ministry to the flock, the sheep experience the true Shepherd, Jesus.
L & N διδάσκαλος one who provides instruction—‘teacher, instructor.’
A Teacher brings alive the wondrous insightful Truth in the Word of God, Jesus, in a simple, memorable, and life-changing way to fellow believers. A teacher stirs up a love and hunger for God’s Word in fellow believers to desire to encounter God’s word and the word of God, Jesus, for themselves daily
Leadership involves working with people with different skills, priorities and world views, different stages of life. God places leaders where he wants them.

C. God empowers leaders to lead well. ;

This doesn’t mean that all leaders will lead well. It is a great responsibility.
NIV Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
NIV The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

2. Empowering leadership is an equipping task.

L & N καταρτισμός to make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something—‘to make adequate, to furnish completely, to cause to be fully qualified, adequacy.’

A. To equip everyone in the body of Christ.

The Greek word for “His people” in is saints, holy ones. This is one of the common names for Christ-followers. On the one hand it limits the focus of leaders to born-again believers. On the other hand, that’s a pretty big group. Lots of work to do.
This is done by leaders the same way the Bible does this. .
NIV All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1) teaching: What God wants you to do - message. Every spiritual gift tells a story. Through our gifts others get the messages of God’s love, care, wisdom, guidance, protection.

How God wants you to do it - method. Why you should do it - motivation. It is your calling and you will be rewarded for doing it!

2) rebuking: This is hard but at times it has to be done. God does this with us and calls it discipline.

3) correcting: This isn’t as hard as rebuking but just as important. It’s more of a course correction than a kick in the pants. This is guiding.

4) training: This is hands on experience. Practicing what you have be taught. Doing it! Mentoring.

B. To equip everyone for the work of service/ministry. ; ;

NIV Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
NIV For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
One important element of this is discovering your gift, what God has uniquely made you to do and wants you to do.
One of my favorite verses is .
NIV for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
This may be challenging if you don’t know what your gifts are but it is wonderfully liberating when you know! It is liberating to know what you are and aren’t supposed to do! God doesn’t want you to do everything.
It is liberating to know because it leads you to where you are supposed to serve. Some of God’s gifts are to be used in the church but many are to be used in the community! Some used conventionally in the church but many can and should be used unconventionally! How can we do this better in the community? What is your personal vision? Is it
Leaders equip believers to equip each other to do good works! How long?

1) Until the church is unified in faith and knowledge of Christ

2) Until the church is mature attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

These are lofty goals! We haven’t gotten there yet. Please notice it isn’t just the leaders job to get us there. It is all of our job. You, however, have to catch the vision as to your place in this task!
› Interaction: What is our vision here at Longmeadow?
To connect people with God and others. Are you contributing to that? Do you need help in learning how to do that?

3. Empowering leadership is a godly task.

It is from God and to be done in a God-like or godly way. There is a character requirement for leaders that is quite a high bar to measure oneself again.

A. Empowering leaders lead with godly character. ;

NIV Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
NIV Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

B. Empowering leaders lead with godly motivation.

NIV Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Discussion questions:
1. We are all equippers. How can you equip others?
2. Do you feel empowered to serve? What do you need to be empowered? Email Pastor Ward or Chris.
3. I’m ready to work. Here’s what I’d like to do. . .
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