How does God equip us for ministry? It’s a question many people ask, especially when they feel unprepared to take on lesser challenges…
Have you ever felt ill-equipped or inadequate for something? Or like you are the wrong person for the job at hand?! I know I have!
A Story about Feeling Ill-Equipped
When my second child was born, we discovered serious complications that required a life-saving surgery.
God was our ever-present help all along the way in the midst of the ups and downs, and our son is now doing well. That being said, discovering this devastating news launched my wife and me into one of the most difficult, disheartening, and discouraging days we’d faced up to that point.
After we received the news that our son would need a surgery, we were told he would need to be transported to another hospital for that surgery. We prayed, said our goodbyes, and began to quickly pack up our belongings in the hospital room. All we wanted in that moment was to rush out and get to where our son would be.
Now, in one of the most urgent-feeling, gut-wrenching moments of my life, imagine this…
I looked over to ask my wife, “Hey where is your phone?” And she replied, “I thought you had it?”
“What?! I do NOT have it!”
I frantically dumped out our bag, searching through our belongings one by one. No luck.
I asked the nurses to check the room where our son had been born, as we were now in a second recovery room. After looking there, a nurse returned, stating, “I am so sorry. We did not see any phone in the other room.” Again, no luck.
Could there be a worse time to lose a phone?!
I can tell you, with my heart rate rising and my sleep-deprived thinking, I certainly felt ill-equipped with patience in that moment.
So, I determined to pull out my laptop and try the “find my iPhone” feature. It appeared as if my wife’s phone was just down the hallway and through one particular door; although the GPS signal was not accurate enough for me to be certain, I really didn’t have a better option at this point.
As I looked up, the doorway read: “Soiled Linens.”
“Soiled linens! And of all places – in the birth department! This is not going to be fun,” I thought. “But I must find that phone!”
A doctor opened the door and warned me, “Hey man, you are more than welcome to search through these bags. But I want you to know, there is some nasty stuff in here… like poop and blood and all sorts of stuff.”
“I appreciate the heads up.” I replied.
As I stood alone at 4:30 in the morning, looking at a Goliath-sized collection of soiled linen bags, I surely felt like the most ill-equipped person on the planet for this job! Ask my wife and she will tell you I have the WORST gag reflex ever. I might lose my entire breakfast simply by changing one of my kid’s diapers. I prefer to call it a strong gag reflex, but that’s an argument for another day.
I certainly didn’t feel equipped with the right protocol, the proper protective clothing, enough sleep, the patience, or the gag reflex to face those bags. But I muttered a prayer asking for God’s help and dove into the mess.
As I ripped open the plastic bags and unraveled nasty gnarly sheets, I pressed forward. And then all of a sudden, my eyes caught the outline of a phone, and joy immediately filled my entire being! With God’s help, I found my wife’s phone wrapped up in the midst of the bed sheets she had given birth on.
How Does God Equip Us for Ministry?
Like me, maybe you have a story or two of times you’ve felt ill-equipped to face the “giant” in front of you.
The good news is, when it comes to what matters most, God does not leave us to our own shortcomings.
He provides everything we need!
Jesus declared that what matters most is to love God and love others. It is this kind of lifestyle that will advance His Kingdom every day, everywhere! And He gives us the power to do this very thing:
According to 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”
And in the same vein, Acts 1:8 proclaims that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” everywhere!
God has already equipped us – as ordinary people – to love Him, love others, and advance His Kingdom! In fact, this is what Scripture would label as “ministry.” Ephesians 4:11-12 declares that Jesus has gifted the body of Christ with spiritual leaders to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
Ministry is not left to be done by the gifted few, or by those on a stage or with a microphone. God has equipped every ordinary believer for ministry!
How does God equip us for ministry?
Through His divine power, through the Holy Spirit, and through God’s people.
What to Do If You Still Feel Ill-Equipped for Ministry
But maybe you hear this and still say, “I feel ill-equipped. I’m not sure if I have what it takes to truly make an impact on this planet.”
What should you do?
I urge you – look to Jesus.
- He is the one who pours out His Spirit on us.
- He is the one who intercedes for us, as we pray for needed wisdom.
- He is the one who gifts the body of Christ with spiritual leaders to help us press forward.
Look to Jesus!
He is the one from whom all these things flow. Jesus is the one who will be with you when you feel alone and inadequate. Jesus is the one who will make you more than a conqueror!
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what your background is, or the mess you may face. God has equipped you for ministry. He has given you an opportunity to daily make an impact wherever you go… even in the soiled linens closet of a hospital.