Most of us came to Christ through actions and conversations with lay people. By a lay person, I mean someone who is not a pastor. Maybe you noticed a peace in their lives that you didn’t have. Perhaps you observed a generosity of spirit or kindness. Possibly they saw a need in your life and decided to help, and in the assistance, a conversation opened up, and you were introduced to Jesus. How grateful are you to the person who asked you to attend Church with them? My guess is eternally grateful.
We should be Reaching and Teaching people for the Kingdom of God! (Matthew 28:19-20). These verses are known as The Great Commission.
In the book of Acts 2:1-11 NIV, we see the Holy Spirit coming, equipping all believers with the Holy Spirit and empowering ordinary people to reach the lost. Once empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were unstoppable. They turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.
The mission of the Church is to train people for the ministry. The Church should be about helping people identify their gifts and training and empowering them to use those gifts for the glory of God. Jesus’ vision for the Church was not for a few in authority to direct the congregation but for believers to follow His direction through the Holy Spirit’s leadership. Jesus wants His Church in the community, reaching the lost.
Training leaders to reach the lost has a different focus than training volunteers; both are important, but if you want to add souls to the kingdom, you must train leaders. Volunteers support the local Church in meaningful ways. They encourage and comfort believers. They support the local Church’s vision by working in the nursery and ministering to the saints’ needs, visiting the sick, or praying for those in crisis. Having volunteers with the gifts of help is vital to every Church. Training leaders have a shift in focus from supporting a leader’s vision to generating their own vision. It involves a different skill set of learning to lean on the Holy Spirit, leading, and following through. Learning to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead takes time and the experience of trial and error. It involves prayer, reading the Word, and obeying the truth God has taught you.
There is a subtle shift between training volunteers and leaders, but the difference is crucial if the Church is to reproduce and multiply the way the New Testament church did in the Book of Acts.
We always remember the person who reached out to us and led us to Jesus with fondness. Our hearts also have a special place for those who equip and mentor us in our journey to serve God. I pray that you show appreciation for those who lead you to Christ and encourage you in ministry. I am forever grateful for a pastor who invested time and energy in me.