The church is not a gallery where we exhibit the finest of Christians. No, it is a school where we educate and encourage imperfect Christians. Source Unknown
A few weeks ago, at a ministry conference, I was challenged to define my personal core values. I struggled with that for several hours. At first, I came up with, “I am fearfully made and sent out.” That sounded good but seemed to miss the mark. Upon further reflection, I settled on three critical foundational words, “Equip, Encourage and Empower.” So, I thought I would share with you what those three words mean to me and how they play out in my life. My prayer is that this may inspire you to summarize who you are and how you have been called to live out your calling as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible backdrop for this discussion will be from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Ephesians 4:11–14 (ESV)
When geese migrate, they can be seen flying in a V-shaped formation. While to us on the ground it is a thing of beauty, to the geese it is an essential for survival. If you watch them, you will observe that at certain intervals, tied to the strength of the headwind, the lead bird – who was doing the most work by breaking the force of wind – will drop off and fly at the end of the formation.
The reason for this is that the V-formation is much more efficient than flying loose; up to 60 percent less work is required! It has been discovered that the flapping wings create an uplift of air, an effect that is greater at the rear of the formation. So, the geese take turns “uplifting” one another. By cooperating—working together—the geese can achieve longer migrations that would otherwise be exceedingly difficult for the strongest and deadly for the others.
As I think about the way God has uniquely wired me at the very core of my being is the desire to pour into the life of others to help them develop and grow in their unique calling. At a time, like the lead goose, that means taking the lead and showing them the way and then dropping back and allowing them to fly. For me, I do that through equipping others by asking probing coaching questions to draw out of them the gifts, talents and spiritual direction God has placed on their hearts. The church of God is stronger and most efficient when believers in Christ actively uplift one another through prayer and help to equip each other to fully develop the gifts God has wired them to use to build up the kingdom. Through each Christian sharing his gift with the community of believers they are in fellowship with, they have been called to share Jesus’ message of hope, healing, and salvation to accomplish the work that Jesus started. Jesus was sent to rescue lost sheep and bring them back into fellowship with the Father. I see my mission is to help equip others to live out that calling. Next week I will dig deeper into my other core value of being an encourager. Stay tuned. Until then ponder this question: What do you need to accomplish your God-given mission in life? Share your thoughts in the comment section so I can pray for you.