Healthy Church Rx: Equipping

In the previous weeks we’ve been covering the concept of church health as what we want to pursue as a church. Certainly, our overall pursuit would be the glory of God in all things but as a means to that end, want to be a healthy church. What does that look like?

A helpful acronym is “CREW”. This stands for Caring, Reaching, Equipping, and Worshipping. I encourage you to use that as a memory aid as you pray for the church, praying that God would make those a reality here at HLPC. So far we’ve looked at caring and reaching. Today let’s think about equipping.

Matthew 28:18-20 is often referred to as “The Great Commission” or “The Great Commandment”. In verses 19-20 the disciples were instructed, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (ESV). We’re told to make disciples, not simply to get decisions. Equipping is a synonym for making disciples. We’re even told what making disciples, equipping, is to look like- it involves baptism and teaching.

Baptism is the sign and seal that we are incorporated into the body of Christ, the Church. Equipping then involves, bottom line, your involvement in the regular life of the church. Consistent Lord’s Day worship and genuine fellowship with other believers is a way to be equipped. You sit under the teaching of the Scriptures and pray with and for other believers, sharing each other’s burdens and joys.

It is in the context of the church that teaching takes place. Such teaching is to involve “all that I have commanded you” says Jesus. We need to be taught the Scriptures, the whole counsel of God. What we see is that equipping means being involved in the means of grace or means of growth. These means are worship, the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship, and the sacraments. We call them the “ordinary means of grace” not because we think they aren’t flashy but because they are the means God has given for our growth. Let it be said of HLPC that we are an ordinary means of grace church!

If we are to be a healthy church we need to be committed to these means and offer avenues for people to be involved in them. This is one reason why we have a School of Discipleship, a MidWeek equipping night on Wednesdays starting in September, LIFE groups, and other small groups. We don’t want to be a program heavy church and wear folks out with one meeting after another but we also want to be a means of grace ministry and offer equipping opportunities. May God make us a truly equipping church!