Five Keys to Equip Others and Multiply Your Ministry – Tom Julien

A ministry with the greatest harvest is one where there is reproduction—multiplication of the efforts of the leader in the lives of others. But as a pastor you can be very busy with day-to-day ministry. How can you do one more thing?

Learn how to multiply your efforts by reading this article by Tom Julien. Tom, former missionary, leader, and church statesman, shares five keys to enhance, multiply and encourage you in your ministry!

In an equipping church…

…ministry effectiveness is measured by how well leaders involve others in ministry, not just by how they do ministry themselves.

A typical church congregation often has a “ministry consumer” mentality, coming on Sunday to sit and listen with the purpose of receiving as more of a spectator. A more effective model of ministry is active participation as a “ministry collaborator” where the church body comes not only to receive but also to give of themselves as part of a team, offering to serve in the area of their giftedness.

In an equipping church…

…the Lord gives mid-level leaders to the church to fulfill the five ministries of the church (Ephesians 4:11) by equipping all the saints to rise to their full potential.

These mid-level leaders are the joints and ligaments of the body of Christ. The Lord gives people to the church to fulfill the function of each of these roles and they, in turn, can equip others so that each person can rise to his full potential. While this approach is not a traditional one, it is a more effective way to prepare others in ministry. Giving value to those in the ministry through positive affirmation also creates good morale and a unified team spirit.

In an equipping church… equip is more than to train.

To equip is to involve members in ministry. The original meaning of the word “equip” is connecting, mending, knitting together. A close synonym for equipping in the church as it functions best is to coach. While training has its place, it can fall into more information gathering with little to no change. We need to help people discover their spiritual giftedness by involving them in ministry rather than merely taking spiritual gift inventories. Equipping involves doing the job, not just learning about the job!

In an equipping church…

…the most effective way of involving people in ministry is through ministry teams–not committees.

Each member has a responsibility, can show creativity, and be encouraged by working with others.

A practical way to implement an equipping model is by restructuring the various groups that oversee individual ministries from a committee approach to a team approach. Again, rather than sitting and listening to one person’s ideas and voting “yes” or “no”, the team is equipped together and works together towards the ministry goal. This gives everyone who is on the team a sense of ownership and value to the ministry.

For example, Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church has an annual event, We Care, which reaches out to those in need by providing various goods and services for free or at a reduced cost. Pastor Dave Rank, who oversees this outreach, casts the vision for the goal of reaching out to this group, but allows creativity in the way things are done, with the opportunity for many to give input, use their own gifts and talents in what is provided, and give ideas while remaining on task and true to the overall purpose of We Care. Approximately 60-75% of the entire church body participated in some way at this event last year and really enjoyed this opportunity to serve in hands on ministry. As the entire team works together toward the common goal, it creates real camaraderie in the church.

In an equipping church…

…the people “grow up” in Christ

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16

Ephesians 4:11-16 is the model that should be fully accepted by the church and its leadership. The senior/lead pastor needs to see his role as a leader to not only do the ministry but equip the people to do the ministry as well.

A pastor who brags about his busyness may be fulfilling his own program, but also runs the risk of burning out from carrying the ministry on his shoulders alone! Remembering and teaching that ministry is not what we do for the Lord, but what He does through us is a valuable concept that creates a more effective ministry mind-set as well.

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Tom Julien

About Tom Julien

Tom Julien was a missionary to France and then served as the executive director of Grace Brethren International Missions (now Encompass World Partners). Tom has long been a friend of the leadership at CE National and has been an integral part of the Equipping Network for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. He continues to be a regular part of the community prayer time held each Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. at CE National—praying for the souls of people to know Jesus as their savior. Tom continues to write and lead—especially in his local church. If You ask Tom he will tell you that his greatest accomplishment is his great grandson Grayson!