Pastor Philip, the senior pastor of an African megachurch, told me about a government official in his congregation. She was so effective in her government role she had achieved national news recognition for her accomplishments. She was also a member of the choir and had a lovely voice. He would often thank her for using her singing talent for the glory of God. One day after thanking her for singing, the Lord spoke to him and said, “why haven’t you ever affirmed or encouraged her in her primary assignment in my Kingdom?” In that moment, Philip realized that he thought her Sunday assignment was more important than her Monday assignment.
Ephesians 4:11-12 lays out the job description of a five-fold equipper. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
For the average person in your church, what is their work of service? Is it being a greeter, a board member, nursery worker, usher, or Sunday school teacher? Or is it being a plumber, educator, business leader, full-time homemaker, or government official?
By best estimates, less than 3% of believers are engaged in some form of conventional vocational ministry. This means that 97% have some other primary assignment as their work of service.
You might say, “but wait a second. I went to Bible school. I don’t know how to equip people for their work, and I can’t teach people how to do their job.” No worries, you don’t have to teach the contractor to build homes or the doctor to treat the sick, or the city council member to govern.
Your role is to equip them to be a faith-filled contractor, a Spirit-filled doctor, or a God honoring government leader. You can teach them that they have an important assignment in the Kingdom and that their work matters to God. You can develop ways to help every member – from the retired couple to the youth – to identify their gifts and God-given assignment.
Teach them to apply the truth of scripture in their work. Teach them to lead with the fruit of the spirit. And teach them to hear the voice of God in the board room, class room or garage. Train them to do spiritual warfare in your community, pray for the Kingdom to come in their organizations, and share the gospel in word, deed, and power wherever God has placed them.