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Equipping the Saints

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

Let’s begin this Update letter with a scriptural passage.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NLT)

The various church offices are a gift that Jesus himself, through the work of the Spirit, gave to the church. Note what the Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible says about church leadership:

As the apostles, prophets, and evangelists were special and extraordinary ministers, so “pastors and teachers” are the ordinary stated ministers of a particular flock, including, probably, the bishops, presbyters, and deacons. Evangelists were itinerant preachers like our missionaries, as Philip the deacon (Acts 21:8); as contrasted with stationary “pastors and teachers” (2 Timothy 4:5). [Typically] The evangelist founded the Church; the teacher built it up in the faith already received. The “pastor” had the outward rule and guidance of the Church. The bishop had regional oversight with a group of churches.

This is a general explanation of church polity, an overview of the offices and operations of the church. (GCI uses the title regional director rather than bishop.) Our specific purpose for this article is found in verse 12. The primary responsibility of all church leadership is “to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” This equipping is careful preparation for the followers of Christ to recognize and understand how they fit and how they participate with Jesus through the community of the church.

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4 thoughts on “Equipping the Saints”

  1. Thanks much for this contribution. Obviously, the Spirit is moving powerfully within our fellowship. When similar thoughts and priorities are “popping up” at the same time across the ocean this serves as a message validation/confirmation. Exciting !

  2. Thank you, Greg! I do appreciate the committment, faithfulness, love and hard work and the beautiful service freely given by the women in my church! How can we ever give adequate praise and thanks to my Sisters in Christ?!

  3. Thanks Greg, it is exciting to see God at work in the church, where He has made us a part in the body of Christ by His Spirit and has gifted each of us with the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit as we all work together in witnessing to the Lord and Savior of us All, till we all come to the fullness of His Character of Love!

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