So that the Body of Christ may be Built Up
One of the things I am most proud of at Northwest University is our approach to utilizing resources, specifically money. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I wish we had more. But I am also aware that wishing for more doesn’t always help a person fully utilize what they have. Historically, our school has a great track record of conservative budget planning. In a recent meeting with our deans and directors, our provost gave us a document to fill out. It contained several questions related to the work each department does. As I scanned the page, I quickly recognized the purpose of the document. One of the questions read, “How could the university help your department do its job more effectively?” Another asked, “What is your unit doing that you think it might not need to be doing?” This document is an indication that we are doing our best to equip our people for the good work that we do.
Paul said, “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” (Eph. 4:11-12). If you are on staff at a school, your goal is to equip. If you are leading a church, your calling is to equip. If you are a teacher or mentor of any kind, equipping is a part of what God asks you to do. If you are a student, you are to be equipped.
John Maxwell is a popular leader, author, and coach. He is credited with the well-known statement: “The most difficult person to lead is yourself”. The process of training or being equipped must start with me. I must humbly recognize that I am not fully prepared for the calling God has placed on my life. Often, when leaders become overconfident, God takes them through another season of preparation that deals with their hearts more than their minds.
We live in a day and age where resources are readily available. Books can be downloaded in seconds and full libraries are accessible through electronic devices. I am currently enjoying a few leadership podcasts that have been excellent exercise partners during my morning workout routine. If you are a student in college, you likely have a stack of assigned books to read. Embrace them fully, and make sure you are reading to learn, as opposed to just completing the assignment. If what you are reading isn’t interesting, find something that is interesting to you and read it when you have time.
Find the people who care deeply about your future and are not afraid to speak truth into your life. These are the best kind of people to have in your network of friends. Mentors, coaches, and people who know you well can help equip you for the journey forward.
Lord, I am so grateful for the gifts you have given to people who are called to do works of service. Those who are compelled to do Kingdom work must be fully equipped for the challenges that will come. May we be good stewards of our time, our studies, our resources, and our investment as we work together to develop and grow. Amen.