How do you define an “Equipping Church”?
In a nutshell, equipping is a return to the biblical model of releasing ministry back to the people. It’s not something delegated to an individual to accomplish alone, although one person can serve as the champion. Each leader—staff and volunteer—needs to be on board so the values of an equipping church are seen in each program, ministry, and system of the church. And the benefits are many!
Here are just a few of the benefits your church will experience as you move toward an equipping culture:
1. People Telling God’s Story
When people are connected to places of service that best reflect what they enjoy doing, they’re excited about it. When we’re excited about what we’re doing, we share it with our families, friends, and co-workers. It’s that simple. Churches that equip people for ministry also equip them for faith-sharing.
2. New Ministries Develop
If we’re truly committed to finding ministries that fit our people, we just might find opportunities to create new ministries. For example, a church in the Richmond area needed some volunteers to run their Wednesday evening dinners. They contacted three people with a background in the hospitality industry and shared a passion for feeding the hungry. These volunteers took the ministry to the next level by offering free meals to single mothers in the community. It opened the door to a new moms ministry that started to meet each week after the dinner.
3. Involve More Sideliners and Avoid Burnout
We all have them—the faithful sideliners. They attend every Sunday and sit in the same pew. For whatever reasons, they haven’t found a place to connect in deeper ways. Being intentional about equipping ministry has the potential to involve more of these attendees. When more people are involved, fewer people will be burned out. It’s moving toward the goal of a higher percentage of people doing ministry instead of watching ministry from the sidelines.
4. People Feel Valued
Equipping promotes the value of each individual as a unique child of God. When we’re committed to finding ministries to fit our people, we listen to their life journeys to make appropriate connections.
5. People Are Impacted for Christ
As needs are met by individuals who care passionately for ministry, the kingdom of God is significantly impacted. An equipping church has intentionally planned how to make this happen.