In last week’s blog I talked about the need to SHARE THE LOAD . This is so important for the health of pastors and their families, and also for the health of the church. It will be very difficult for any church to grow that doesn’t get lay leaders involved in carrying the load.
This was such an important theme for John Wimber during the early years of the Vineyard that he decided to publish a monthly magazine for pastors and leaders entitled EQUIPPING THE SAINTS.
Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4:11-13
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In other words, Jesus gave leaders (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) to the church for a very specific purpose. Their job was not only to do some of the ministry, but especially to equip the people in the church to do ministry. For example, it’s important for evangelists to lead people to Christ, but it’s perhaps even more important for evangelists to equip others to be able to lead people to Christ.
In the same way, part of a pastors job is to care for the people in the church. But it’s even more important for the pastor to identify others who are gifted to be able to provide pastoral care. Then, the pastor can train these lay leaders to help carry the load of pastoral care so that more people can be cared for and the pastor can establish a healthy balance of priorities.
In Acts 6 we see the early church facing the challenge of how to provide quality pastoral care while enabling the pastors of the church to maintain the rest of the priorities God has given them. A second line of leaders are recruited to make sure the pastoral needs of everyone are met. At the same time, the pastors are freed up to give important time to “prayer and the ministry of the Word.” (Acts 6:4)
WHO ARE THE LAY LEADERS IN YOUR CHURCH THAT MIGHT BE ABLE PROVIDE GOOD PASTORAL CARE?
HOW KINDS OF THINGS COULD YOU DO TO HELP EQUIP THESE LAY LEADERS TO BECOME BETTER CARE GIVERS IN YOUR CHURCH.