エペソ 4:12-13 それは、聖徒たちを整えて奉仕をさせ、キリストのからだを建て上げるためであり、ついに、私たちがみな、信仰の一致と神の御子に関する知識の一致に達し、完全におとなになって、キリストの満ち満ちた身たけにまで達するためです。

I have quoted verse 12 for a long time as part of my job description, but for some reason I had never really connected verse 12 with verse 13. I didn't understand that preparing the saints for works of service moves them toward unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God. As someone with gifting as a teacher I have certainly sought to impart knowledge of the Son of God, but I didn't understand that preparing the saints for works of service is part of that. You can't really understand Jesus apart from His washing His disciples' feet. Serving is an integral part of understanding Christ, because otherwise we descend into pride and jealousy and all sorts of things that cloud our minds and hearts. Jesus taught service first of all by example, but then He used words to make sure His disciples understood what He had just shown them. A church leader who fails to exercise a servant spirit isn't going to build up the Body of Christ in unity of faith and knowledge, however gifted he might be otherwise. Imparting information without providing opportunities and training for using that information isn't going to do much for building up the Church. That is probably a major flaw in the prevalent model of how we “do church.” A half-hour lecture (or 15 minutes, or an hour, or whatever) from the pulpit once a week is going to do very little to move the Church toward “the full stature of Christ.”


Ouch! That certainly hits me right between the eyes! With my gifting and personality, I tend to feel that simply imparting information is sufficient, when that is far from the truth. I have wanted the believers to be grounded in Scripture and take initiative and responsibility in serving, but I haven't walked them through things so that they will really know what to do. I have been heavy on lecture and light on practicum. Any time I teach a truth, at the very least I need to give pointers in how to walk it out. I have tried to do that, but I need to seek and make use of teachable moments outside of the pulpit so that the believers may indeed grow into full maturity. For example, I can't expect them to be aggressive in evangelism if I don't show them how.


Father, this isn't the first time You've tried to point this out to me. Its just the first time You've used this passage to do so. Forgive me for being so slow to understand and follow through. Thank You for the training opportunity You're opening up to me right now. Help me be faithful in exercising it, so that the Body of Christ may indeed be built up. Thank You for this chance to go beyond words and grow in my own living out of Your Word. I certainly don't know the details of what You have planned, but it is exciting. Keep me from the traps that lie along the way, so that I may faithfully fulfill all that You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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