“E” is for “Equip”, because the 21st Century church must equip people to serve the Lord daily.
Thankfully, The Bible is an “equipping” manual. It contains many conclusive statements on how God expects us to live while we walk on this earth. The Apostle Paul makes this clear in his letter to Timothy:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, New International Version)
So what is an example of every “good work”? There is no better place to start with than the words of Jesus after His resurrection:
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses n Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 1:3-8, NIV)
The “good work” for the Apostles was to share the salvation message of Jesus in Jerusalem, Israel and the rest of the world. Here is another example. The Apostle Paul provided clear equipping instructions in his letter to the church in Ephesus:
“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, The Living Translation)
Every disciple of Christ is empowered by the Holy Spirit and The Bible to build up the church and one of the greatest blessings is God gives us the freedom to transform lives in a variety of ways. Consider the work of “Everyone A Chance to Hear” (EACH) in Detroit and it surrounding communities.
EACH is committed to collaborate with all evangelical churches in southeastern Michigan to blanket the region with prayer and equip people to be ambassadors for Christ.Their mission statement is: “Working together as a body of believers, we will give everyone in the metropolitan Detroit area a chance to take the next step in their journey toward Jesus.”
One of their biggest programs is “Life Remodeled”, which is a hands-on approach to reshaping Detroit by remodeling existing homes and building new houses in the metropolitan area. Their most ambitious project is the remodeling of Cody High School in Detroit before the start of the 2014-15 school year.
Life Remodeled expects by the end of the year over 10,000 volunteers will have donated their time painting, landscaping, replacing windows, repairing roofs and cleaning up trash-filled parks, playgrounds and empty lot.
Let us continue to work together so every generation is well equipped to share the salvation message of Jesus Christ and serve one another in love, mercy, grace and truth.