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City Changers: Lesson 3


Culture of Equipping

(Ephesians 4:12)  City-Changers develop different levels of leadership in the church.  They seek to develop top leadership while also training the entire congregation.  They create different development experiences for multiple maturity levels.  They think of leadership like the layers of an onion.  Every level is important.

Words are powerful.  God used words to create the world.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  “Then God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light.’”  (Genesis 1:1, 3)  Words paint pictures.  Words can hinder us from creating a culture of equipping.  The word “staff member” denotes someone who is a professional who is paid for what they do.  The word “volunteer” describes someone who is untrained and unpaid for what they do.  City-Changers never use the word “volunteer” to describe the church workers.  They choose better words which have better meaning.  They use words like team member, team-mate, worker, or leader.  The words they use empower people.

The church doesn’t consist of a class of people who serve and a class of people who are served.  As Christians we serve at times and other times we are served.  Our measurement for spiritual maturity is how well do we serve?  Our leadership isn’t measured by how well we perform individually, but how well we train others.  Great churches are measured by their capacity to send not by their ability to attract.

Developing a Culture of Equipping

Service roles are made simple.  Service in the church can precede salvation.  Servants produce more servants.

Roles are made visible which increases their value.  Roles make simple tasks into something enjoyable.  Roles are modeled more than taught.

  1. Think army, athlete, and apprentice. Begin training with the basics of the task. Without practical training knowledge isn’t useful.  Use mentoring relation-ships to help train. Role-modeling is one of the best ways of teaching.  As a teacher, the apostle Paul loved to use word pictures.  He liked to use examples of soldiers, farmers, or athletes.  It’s best to use examples the student understands.  Build upon what they already know.  Think of training as steps.  The first step is they watch us as we perform the task, the second step is they help us perform the task, and the third step is they perform the task while we applaud them.
  2. Build a sweet spirit of respect. Take care of little things before they grow into something big. Large scale conflict doesn’t happen overnight.  As leaders we must not ignore little things such as courtesy and respect. 
  3. Deploy those seeking to know Christ and the baby Christians. City-Changers ask people to serve before they ask them to join the church. How many service roles have we created for “day-old” Christians?
  4. Encourage inter-generational servanthood. We should make serving exciting and enjoyable. Great ministry teams not only enjoy their work, they like each other.  They love working together.

Building a Culture of Equipping

Everyone involved develops a servant-heart.  Every leader becomes an equipper.  If we are doing ministry alone, we are doing it wrong.  We begin viewing everyone in the church as a potential leader.  We should start young people serving as quickly as possible, but at the same time not forget to involve those who are mature.

Modeling doesn’t depend on the size of the church.  Modeling focuses on learning.  Modeling works best when it becomes a part of a discovery process.  Those being taught need more than words, they learn best from good examples.  We need to provide opportunities for them to discuss what they heard and experienced.  Modeling cost almost nothing but it pays huge dividends.

Why don’t more churches become equipping churches?

It is difficult for us to change the way we think of priesthood and laity.  We continue to think that the pastor is paid to perform ministry.   This mental picture is difficult to change because it is rooted in hundreds of years of religious thinking.

Another problem is when we equip others it is impossible to control them.  We have to learn a more difficult skill of working together with those we equipped, rather than them simply doing what they were told.  If we teach people how to think, they may have different thoughts than us.

In all change, it’s easier to start with new people                                than those who cling to their old ways of doing things.

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