Wisdom from my Students on How to Equip the Church

WISDOM FROM MY STUDENTSNear the end of the semester, I asked what I believe is a very important question for the future of the church in North America. This took place in a class called “Engaging Culture in a Post-Postmodern World.” The idea of the course is that our society is enduring a period of increasing intensities and that followers of Jesus have a responsibility to figure out how to best keep and share the Good News. The question I asked went something like this: “Ephesians 4:11-12 says that it is the role of some in the church to equip everyone in the church for the work of ministry. For the work of ministry to be effective in these turbulent times, how could we equip everyone in the church?”  I was impressed and wrote down some of their wise responses :

 

“We have to keep doctrine and practice together. Without Judgment we can’t find redemption. Without Grace we can’t find the Gospel.”

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“Our local church leaders need to be people who are already involved in our communities. Good preaching does not make up for a lack of loving your neighbor. In fact, is it still ‘good’ preaching if the preacher doesn’t care to be involved in the community?”

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“Empower ordinary people in the church to shepherd others in the local community in the ordinary activities of life. Kind of a Deuteronomy 6 lifestyle, where every ordinary thing a person does is a way of following the Lord.”

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“Partner with people outside the church who are already doing good things. In doing so perhaps others will see that our motivation is genuine and not self-serving.”

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“Inside the church, we need to raise higher standards for our actions and behavior. Our message is worthless if we can’t back it up with our own character.”

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“Give dignity to each person. No one is a project. Listen to them before telling them who they are or what they need to do.”

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“Is there a time for the church to retreat and take some time for self-care? Maybe some church communities need to take time to rest and retreat with Jesus for a while… for restoration of their resolve and focus as followers of Jesus.”

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“The church needs to be confident that it is ok to be a regular person who loves Jesus.”

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Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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