It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service . . . ~ Ephesians 4:11, 12a
READING: Ephesians 4:1-17
It is very important that we plan out the different stages of a church plant and make sure we have the God-ordained gifts in place or in training. According to these verses in Ephesians, God has given us, within our body of believers, special ministry gifts to train up the saints: apostles or “sent out ones” who establish churches; prophets who receive special messages from the Lord for the congregation; evangelists; pastors and teachers. Each of these giftings has a specially prepared part to play in God’s plan for planting churches.
While we are all called to do the work of an evangelist, the drive that a person with this special mantle for evangelism has, can make the initial stages of a church plant most effective. Sometimes, the team leader may not have a pastor’s heart for the sheep. Although an evangelist may be totally sincere in his desire to plant the church, the sheep often react against the drive and push that an evangelist often possesses.
We need to be sure that there is a pastor-gifted person to care for the sheep from the beginning. These new believers need the mercy and love and patience that God imparts to the pastor’s heart.
Have you identified your ministry gifting? Does your church planting team include both leaders with an evangelistic drive and leaders with a pastor’s heart? Your church needs both.
Dear Lord Jesus, You have gifted people for your church in all areas. Please show me those with the evangelistic gifting and pastors to be a part of our church planting team. Please give me good ideas to help people discover their gifts in the body of Christ. Amen.
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