Healthy things grow! As a believer in Jesus we are in this transformation process of understanding our identity in Him and obedience to Him. As pastor, my vision is that God would produce a gospel-centered culture where everyone connected with Emmanuel would be conformed to the image of Christ in an intentional disciple-making process.
This intentional disciple-making process is a disciple-making small group. In these groups, we want you to know and obey the Bible, practice the gospel “one another’s”, declare the gospel as a missionary, and finally, to reproduce leaders.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a leader? Have you ever wondered how a church produces new leadership? Where do we find our next elders, deacons, Bible study leaders, children’s workers, and every other leadership position in our church?
Also, leadership in our church is more than just the pastoral staff and elders. Leaders are those whom God has raised up to take responsibility for an area of ministry. And sometimes God places a new ministry upon a person’s’ heart and they start it from scratch. Also, what happens when a person moves out of the area that was responsibly for a ministry? How do we replace him or her with a qualified leader?
The health of the church rises and falls on leadership.
One of the most effective contexts and environments to train, equip, and raise up new leaders in all areas of our church is through a disciple-making small group.
In order for the disciple-making process to be fulfilled and new groups to be formed to reach more people, we will need called and qualified leaders who uphold the Biblical standards of spiritual leadership. God most often qualifies the called through intentional training, mentoring and coaching by an existing leader.
Read Luke 6:39-40
Notice that Jesus puts an emphasis on a disciple being fully trained. This word “fully trained” is a very interesting word in the original language. It means “strengthened, established, matured, or complete”.
In other words, in light of what we have been exploring these past weeks of growing to be conformed to the image of Christ as a mature disciple, this word means that Jesus wants us to be strengthened, trained, and equipped for ministry.
Where else does this word “fully trained” show up in the Bible?
Read Ephesians 4:12
As pastor, one of my main goals is to train and equip you for works of ministry so that you in turn can become a competent, trained, encouraged, and qualified leader! The word “equip” here is the same word used earlier for “fully trained”.
Our church needs to be full of disciples who are “equipped” and “fully trained” to know and obey God’s Word, practice the gospel “one another’s” and declare the gospel as missionaries who in turn lead others to do the same.
This is what reproducing leaders is all about and the best context to do this is in a disciple-making small group.
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:10
The word Paul uses for “supply” is the same word used above for “fully trained” or “equipped”. My passion as your pastor is to see our church full of obedient disciples who are being equipped and supplied with the training they need to live a life that glorifies Jesus.
If we are lacking in areas, as Paul says, we need to have a context or environment where God can supply those areas with training and equipping so that new leaders can be reproducing new leaders who reproduce new leaders and on and on and on!
Read 1 Peter 5:10
The first word in this list from Peter translated “restore” is again the same word we’ve been studying so far today. God Himself will equip, train, and supply us withal that we need to grow in Christ.
And God most often does that through others—teachers, pastors, friends, and mentors. God will bring mentors into our lives that can help us be fully trained.
I envision a day at Emmanuel where everyone connected to our church is being fully trained and equipped through a disciple-making small group to have a gospel impact on this world and where they are obeying Jesus through a transformed life of service to Him.
Do you want to be trained? Do you want more than just “head knowledge” as important as that is? Do you want to be equipped and mentored in your personal walk with Jesus? Do you want to see healthy, vibrant, qualified and trained leaders being reproduced in our church? I hope you do!!
Spend some time praying to that end.
You desire for me as your disciple to be fully trained. I know you’ve placed spiritual leaders in my life to equip me for works of ministry. I don’t’ want to be lacking in any area. I desire to see new leadership produced and reproduced in our church. Maybe you’re calling me to be one of those future leaders? Begin to soften my heart now for where You are calling me to serve! I desperately need you!