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Intro: Equipping is the fourth priority and practice in forming – and being formed in – Christ’s covenant community. The practices follow on from each other: relationship leads to healing, and healing leads to discovering and practicing servant gifts in the Body, which leads to ongoing equipping and training for life and ministry in Christ. We look at what is ‘equipping’ and then how we practice it.
WHAT is the practice of equipping?
John Wimber made Paul’s words, “Equipping the Saints” (Eph 4:12, King James Version), a ‘mantra’ in Vineyard Churches. This is what he wanted to be known – the phrase is on his tombstone! It’s meaning was reduced to ‘equipping the saints’ for healing ministry: that all believers can lay hands on the sick, not just leaders. But Paul meant that the gift ministries of Christ are to equip the saints for LIFE and ALL kinds of ministry. This priority & practice of equipping/preparation for life and ministry is part of spiritual warfare: God’s Church is his ARMY that enforces evil’s defeat, already suffered at the hands of Jesus.
What does this equipping mean? Paul’s word katartizo in Eph 4:12 is used in Mark 1:19, to “prepare” fishing nets as in knotting the strands. To equip means to prepare people by joining them in right relationships – God’s big fishing net – that the saints can serve in their gifts, to “do works of ministry so that the Body of Christ may be built up.” So, this equipping for all kinds of ministry is about developing one’s gifting, lifting the level of skill and excellence in doing ministry, to best serve God’s people – for his glory! Continue reading Forming (in) Community: The Practice of Equipping