“… And He Himself gave some to be … pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry…” (Ephesians 4:11, 12)
According to these words of Apostle Paul, “the work of the ministry” is not committed to the pastor, or to a staff of professionals, but to the saints. Paul’s nickname for those who are sanctified, or set apart to following Christ was “saints.” In many of our churches today people believe the work of the ministry has ended when the benediction is pronounced. This job description of the pastor declares that the work of the ministry begins when the benediction is pronounced and hundreds, or even thousands of saints are commissioned and equipped to go out and do the work of the ministry. This means that the role of the pastor/teacher is like that of a coach.
Which is more productive? To give an invitation and have half a dozen or more people respond to it, or to equip a sanctuary full of believers to go out and reach people who desperately need to hear the Gospel? Is the church a soul saving station or a base from which a multitude of believers are equipped every Sunday to reach people in the neighborhoods where they live or the marketplaces where they work?
It is not merely because it is more effective but because it is God’s plan that we who are pastors should accept our role and calling to be a coach and not just a player. If we will equip, instruct, encourage, challenge and inspire believers to go out and do the work of the ministry it could wake the sleeping giant of the Church.