I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. ~ Luke 5:32
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,to equip the saints for the work of ministry . . . ~ Ephesians 4:11, 12a (ESV)
READING: Luke 5:27-32
The people our new churches reach are broken people. Jesus said those whom He would call to repentance were the sinners – not those who see themselves as righteous. But saved sinners are still broken people. We are called to “equip” them.
The word “equip” (NIV “prepare,” KJV “perfect”) is a beautiful word in the Greek language. We get the word “artisan” from its root. An artisan is someone who makes something beautiful and useful. In the first century world, the word “equip” was used of “mending” a broken limb. To reconcile opposing political factions was to “equip” them.
In the Gospels, the verb “equip” was used of mending torn fishing nets (Matt. 4:21). Paul tells those who are spiritual to “restore” a brother who falls into a transgression (Gal. 6:1). Restore is the verb “equip.” “To equip” means to take that which is broken or torn and so heal and mend and restore it that it becomes beautiful and useful.
Only God’s grace can transform broken lives so they become useful and beautiful. And God’s word is the only instrument of lasting change. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3:16, 17).
Church planting is not only about finding lost people, but equipping broken ones – through the faithful teaching, reproof, correction and training of God’s word.
Father, Grant me Christ’s compassion for broken people. Enable me to “equip” them through Your holy word. Amen.
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) “Equips Leaders to Plant 5 Million Churches Worldwide.” Learn more