Spiritual Gifts of Leadership: given by Jesus…’to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work…’ MSG Eph. 4:12

Profound point. The gifts of spiritual leadership and the making of disciples all point to this fresh reading from Eph. 4:12. How do leaders know they are successful? When followers of Jesus are skilled in servant work. Refreshing take on this text.

Southern USA pastoral leadership generally envisions that the work of ‘skilling the saints’ centers around the Sunday morning preached Word. What I suggest is our task of Making Disciples (MD) should include the Sunday sermon.

Southern Revival Christian preaching places much emphasis around the event of the preached Word on Sunday. Often I hear from pastors, I’ve just got to preach, meaning that the Sunday morning message is all consuming. Commendable indeed.

I’m intrigued that I don’t hear them say, ‘I’ve got to make disciples.’ In other words, to be consumed with the passion to see obedient followers of Jesus developed through the preached Word.

Without this focus on MDs as our primary task this tends to elevate the role of Sunday sermon as a major event, causing the pew sitting saints to become spectators. The danger is that the saint is not growing in the skill of servant work but in passive faith obedience. Ministry stays in the hands of the paid professional and out of the hands of the saints.

From Sunday sermon to all the programs of the church to all the activities saints are involved in, a few key questions need to be asked in all this effort: ‘are the saints growing in the skill of servant work?’ ‘Are they growing in obedient followership to the commands of the Master?’ ‘Is my Sunday morning sermon and all of our programs in the church leading to this goal of developing skilled and obedient follows of Jesus?’

May this fresh reading of a common text on leadership refresh us this day as we think about the task of making disciples of all nations.

Are we successful in our ministry of spiritual leadership? I trust Eph. 4:12 will provide fresh fodder for asking and answering this crucial question.
Happy New Year to all