Called and Equipped
- Cultivating Integrity in Leaders
What is "Called and Equipped"?
In this Seminar our aim is to discover together the purpose of ministry within the church. We are all called to “the ministry” and the goal of leaders in the church is to call and equip the members of the church to their God-ordained place in the body of Christ.
The main metaphor for pastoral ministry in the scripture is oversight/guarding of souls (e.g., Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28; the imagery contained in the words ‘pastor’ and ‘overseer’). All the other tasks of the caring ministry come under this aim and are controlled by it. The overseer is one called by God and set aside by the church to give themselves to watching over the souls of the congregation. As part of guarding souls, pastors are also involved, personally and by leading the congregation, in evangelism, bringing more souls to safety in Christ.
It is important at the outset to state the consistent New Testament pattern is for plurality of pastors/elders. Much confusion about pastoral ministry today results from the failure to acknowledge this. While it is very often practical (and permissible) for the church to delegate special responsibility to one person who leads in teaching and serves vocationally (i.e. a senior pastor), it is important to make clear that all the church shares responsibility and accountability for the ministry of the church.
We are to labour together ‘for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:12).
Colossians 1:25, 28-29 provides a wonderful summary of the goal of pastoral ministry:
“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God… And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”
This could be seen as a general philosophy of pastoral ministry as we understand the Scriptures. It does not say everything but it lays out the primary goal and the primary means for achieving that end. How this is specifically lived out will vary depending on many things including the specific needs and abilities of the congregation and the specific gifts of the pastor.