Every Christ honoring church I know desires to flourish and rightly so since our commission from the Lord Himself is to make disciples of all nations. We can hardly expect to fulfill this grand and glorious assignment without the body of Christ growing and expanding in every way.
I think most, if not all, godly leaders would like nothing more than to have the secret ingredient to church growth delivered right into their hands yet the scriptures tell us plainly that is exactly what Jesus promised to do. (see Ephesians 4:11)
Everything we need for the “building up of the body of Christ” has been given to us by Jesus and requires looking no further than our own household of faith.
Therefore, we would be wise to take an inventory of who we have in the house and what tools are available amongst us. According to Ephesians 4:7-16, it is the “proper” working of each individual part which causes the body to grow most effectively.
“ from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Ephesians 4:16 (NASB)
Every member of the body has been strategically equipped with a supernatural gift, designed by God, to bring supernatural results. But when someone is functioning improperly or in other words doing something for which they are not suited, it results in the overall growth of the church being stunted.
Anytime people are plugged into roles for the sake of simply getting slots filled the long-term results will be diminishing. I believe there are two primary reasons for this…
Honestly, I find it almost comical that so many churches invest huge amounts of time and money on trying to discover “new growth” strategies when it has clearly and simply been laid out for us in the scriptures. I believe the Lord took the guess work out of it, so instead, we could invest our energy in equipping people to do the “work of the ministry” (Eph. 4:12)
Of course, we want to always welcome fresh and creative ways to carry out the “work of the ministry,” but it is clear from the scriptures the road to growth in all its forms is paved with “the proper working of each individual part.”
The potential that can be released through “the proper working” is beyond imagination! When the equipping gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) are being put to good and effective use, then the members will be strongly supported and “fitted” for the good works God has assigned to them. The goal of leaders in the church is not simply to tend to the wounds of the sheep but to make them strong for service. Great leaders are those who are helping God’s flock to both discover and develop their gifts while continuously infusing them with the courage they need to step out and do what God has called them to do in faith.
I believe if we will aim to effectively activate the gifts, talents, and passions of God’s children we will behold untold wonders of God in our generation! The kind of growth our hearts long to see will be realized.
Ephesians 4:7-17 is God’s Divine strategy for church growth. I pray we put it into practice!
With this in mind, I have included a link to a Spiritual Gifts Test. After researching several tests, I found this one to be the best since it includes a broader scope of giftings than most. While taking a test to discover your spiritual gifts cannot replace the direct leading of the Spirit, the involvement of affirming leaders in your life, nor should it replace the hands-on approach to discovery, it can, however, help to shed some light on your “proper working.” If it has been a while since you have taken one I encourage you to go ahead and take it. I pray as you do it will help to stir up the gifts within you!
Click Here to Take the Spiritual Gifts Test
PS. Once you have taken the test (Caution: be sure to scan your answers before submitting), please take a moment to share in the comments below what three categories you scored the highest on and if you feel it was an accurate assessment. (A picture of the top portion of my assessment is above.) I would love to hear what you think and then pray for you to grow according to God's unique design continually.