Growing Up!

May 7, 2021 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Elder-Led Congregationalism

Topic: The Church Scripture: Ephesians 4:11–16

In Ephesians we see that Jesus has empowered the church to grow itself. The whole congregation is responsible not only for governing its membership but also growing its membership into Christ.

A well-known AMERICAN FOOTBALL coach was once asked, “How has the game of football contributed to the health and fitness of America?” “Nothing,” the coach replied abruptly. “Why not?” the startled interviewer asked. “Well,” said the coach, “the way I see it, you have 22 men down on the field desperately needing a rest and 40,000 people in the stands, desperately needing some exercise.” The Lord intends the church to serve one another, and help each other grow in Christ-likenss so we can be an effective witness for him in the world. But sometimes it’s not unusual to have a small group of diligent Christian workers struggling “down on the field” while others in the congregation are acting like spectators, “sitting on the sidelines, eating hot dogs and popcorn.”

The whole gifting of the church is designed to equip the church to be what God has called us to be. It's not so that we can kind of sit back in our chairs and watch it happen, or so that we can employ somebody else to do the ministry for us: it's so that we can be equipped to do the work that God has called us to do, and that means every-member ministry in the church.

Application Questions

  1. Why is the distinction between so-called “clergy” and “laity” harmful? Is there any way in which it is helpful?
  2. Where is the balance between feeling “adequate for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17) and feeling inadequate (2 Cor. 2:16; 3:5)?
  3. How would this church be different if every member viewed himself/herself as a minister of Christ?
  4. It is usually said that “doctrine divides.” Yet, the unity of the faith is primarily doctrinal unity. Explain.

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