With a little knowledge, people can be fruitful, limited, dangerous, or irrelevant. What if someone has great skill but low character, or great character but little skill? As Christians, growing in Christian maturity means the church equips believers for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. This involves developing both character and skill. Consider Ephesians 4:11-16 and Psalm 78:72.
Ephesians 4:11-16 English Standard Version (ESV)
“ 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Psalm 78:72 (ESV)
“72 With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”
There are different implications if one has high or low character and high or low skills as a Christian. Scripture is clear about the need for Christians growing from spiritual infants to mature adults.
Equipping should address the whole person—head, heart, and hands. What results if we are not addressing character along with knowledge and skills? As you ask God if you are called to go or what your role is in ministering to others, keep the above image and Scriptures in mind. God desires for us to be fruitful.
As you equip believers, you might start with asking,
• What do believers need to know?
• Who do they need to be in Christ?
• And what will they do as a result with the skills needed?
God desires to transform our character to be like His and to equip the body for the work of ministry and making His name known among the nations. Are there areas you or your missionaries and ministers need to develop for cross-cultural missions? Contact Church Equipping to discuss whether we can help your church develop cross-cultural competencies while also addressing the heart of a missionary.