Are Some Called To Only Equip The Saints?

I was recently with a group of pastors and one of them asked this question: “How do you respond to someone in your church who says that they are not called to evangelism but rather to equip the saints?”

This is a common question that pastors recieve from those who feel they have not been called to the lost but rather to build up the body. Here are my thoughts to that question.

The Great Commission isn’t two separates commissions. It is one commission given to every believer in Jesus Christ. We don’t have the freedom to separate the commission based on our preferance or gifting. We can’t say, “Hey, I will take the teaching the Christians part and you take the evangelism part.” We certainly have different gifts in the body but that is not so we separate the mission of Christ but rather so we compliment each other as we all live out the mission.

And our gifts don’t determine whether we are inward or outward. Just because someone has the gift of teaching, doesn’t mean that person should only be equipping the body. And if someone has the gift of evangelism, it doesn’t give them the permission or freedom to not be building up other Believers. And our strengths don’t release us from not serving thye body in certain ways. If I don’t have the gift of hospitality that doesn’t mean I not to be hospitable. And if I don’t have the gift of serving, that doesn’t mean I don’t serve.

Our gifting doesn’t determine what part of the Great Commission we are to live out, but it determines how we are to live out the Great Commission. The mission of Christ isn’t two separate calls. There is one call: to make disciples. And as we engage in this mission as we going to be with those who do not know Christ, those who are asking questions about Christ, those who are ready to surrender their lives to Christ, those who are learning want it means to follow Christ, those who are beginning to tell others about Christ, those who are discipling younger believers, those are leading the body of Christ.

As we live out the mission of Christ, we are not told that only some focus on one group over another. God may lead you to ministries opportunities that focus on a particular group. Maybe God has given you a ministry to equip pastors. That doesn’t mean you are exempt from sharing the Gospel with those who do not know Christ. And if you are going to be equipping pastors in the mission of Christ, you need to be one fully living out the mission of Christ. How can you equip a pastor to engage a non-believer if you are not engaging non-believers. How can you equip pastors to lead others into the mission of Christ, if you are not fully living out the mission of Christ.

Too often people say, “I am called to equip the believers for the work of ministry.” That requires that you are involved in the work of the ministry which is the Gospel. How can we equip one to do what we ourselves are not doing.

We are all called to the full mission of Christ and God is going to use whatever gifts he has given us to accomplish his mission in us. And as we walk in obedience to Him he is going to give us opportunities to both lead people into a relationship with Christ and he is going to give us opportunities to help believers live out the mission of Christ.