Essential

Joel Plantinga

Read: Ephesians 4:1-16

. . . to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (v. 12)

“Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and here are the people!” I learned this fun little activity as a kid, locking my hands together to create a classic-looking church, raising my pointer fingers as a steeple, and then turning open and wiggling my remaining fingers to show people moving around inside.

Over time, many have come to see the pastor as the hub and leader of church life, responsible for its growth and well-being. John Maxwell says that “everything rises and falls with leadership.” Leadership is important, but what is “everything”? And what is a leader without a core of committed and Christlike people who share in the mission of the church?

Today’s Scripture reminds us that an equipped saint is the catalyst for a built-up body of Christ. We, Paul wrote, are to grow up in every way into Christ, to whom we are all joined and held together, bringing growth and increased love. The pastor works behind the scenes to equip people to do the critical work of ministry. Over 20 years of ministry, I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with some of the most amazing saints who have made ministry work in some incredible ways. Through this series, I hope to inspire and inform you to be and do the same in your churches for the glory of God. —Joel Plantinga

As you pray, ask God to open your heart and mind to serve as he desires.