The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” comes from an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “A picture paints a thousand characters.” It means to say a picture or illustration can convey an idea or truth with a thousand times more clarity than words can. When writing 2 Timothy, the apostle Paul knew he was coming to the end of his life and ministry, and he sent one final letter to Timothy, admonishing him to guard the gospel that had been entrusted to him. In chapter 2, Paul reminded Timothy of the qualities a godly leader must have. He painted a full-length portrait of what a disciplemaker ought to look like if he is to entrust the gospel to others. Let me remind you of several things that are foundational. First, Christ followers are not to be consumers; they are to be gospel coworkers. Regrettably, this is not the case in most churches. After surveying thousands of evangelical churches, Ed Stetzer lamented, “The majority of members in the majority of our churches are not engaged in meaningful ministry or missions.” Second, members ought to see themselves as ministers, not just members. Notice what Paul said in Ephesians chapter 4:11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. (Ephesians 4:11-13, CSB) The work of pastors and teachers is to train, or equip, others to do the work of ministry. They are not doing ministry alone; they are seeking to empower all their members to do ministry so the church body can grow and mature. The primary ministry of the local church is to make disciples who make disciples. [bctt tweet=”The work of pastors and teachers is to train, or equip, others to do the work of ministry. They are not doing ministry alone; they are seeking to empower all their members to do ministry so the church body can grow and mature” username=”tim_lafleur “] Third, ministry will occur when God works through you to meet the needs of others for His glory. Notice what Paul said in Ephesians 2: 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10, CSB) The word translated as“workmanship” in the CSB is a word that means “masterpiece.” This implies that God is actively involved in doing a deep work in you so He can work through you to accomplish His purposes! As you read and reflect on this, I want you to picture yourself not just as a church member but as a minister who makes disciples. Next week we will look at the disciplemaker as a steward who entrusts the gospel to faithful men and women. Book Excerpt, “The Heart Of A Disciplemaker” Ch. 3 – A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words [mybooktable book=”the-heart-of-a-disciplemaker” display=”default” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
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