Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The leadership must equip the saints for the work of the ministry. We all have specialized works of service, something we’re good at: Romans 12:
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
It is the duty of the shepherds/elders to equip the saints and to build them up for the work of ministry. To do this it would be important to identify what each person’s gifts are, so they can be built up and equipped in that gift.
MERCY AND ENCOURAGEMENT are gifts that show care, believers with these gifts are the backbone of the church. If those with the gifts of mercy and encouragement are well equipped and encouraged to use their gift, there will be far fewer lonely, damaged, and discouraged believers. Currently, these hurt believers often approach the pastor, but there are those with gifts they can be referred to. In addition, these believers often do a great service to the world, being involved in acts of mercy and spreading love and goodwill.
EVANGELISTS need the most encouragement because they are at the forefront of the gospel, receiving the most rejection and persecution from the world. They are the source of church growth through bringing in new converts and they need to be given ample opportunities to use that gift. They can be easily discouraged; they need continuous support and encouragement.
GIVING: Those with the gift of giving need to be appreciated and recognized, and their funds used carefully and responsibly. Believers often have that gift due to natural careful use of money and would be easily discouraged by the irresponsible usage of their giving. If funds are given to the church, leaders should remember to be accountable for how the funds are spent. In addition, there is no reason for the church leadership to distribute all donations, these givers are gifted, and so can give directly to whoever they want, without feeling the need to be accountable to anyone.
SERVERS also need continuous appreciation for their work. Often someone gives lifts, or repairs the plumbing for the elderly, or feeds the poor or does other hands-on tasks, and they are underappreciated. And their responsibilities can grow if they are dedicated and selfless.
TEACHERS: Elders must be able to teach, but they have enough responsibility on their plate, there are many with the gift of teaching. This needs to be encouraged and sometimes guidance should be provided and willingness to discuss and improve their doctrine.
There are many gifted teachers, each homegroup should have a few people who love to share their biblical knowledge.
All these gifts need to be noticed, defined, appreciated and enhanced. Then the whole church starts working together in unity as everyone appreciates the precious gifts in each person. The way the church currently operates, most leaders don’t even know the valuable gifts in each believer. This gift-focused approach brings humility because we’re all in the same boat, good at some things, not so good at other things.
Here is another list of various gifts and positions in the church:
1 Cor 12: Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
In addition to the individual gifts, all believers should be encouraged in general works of service and hospitality. Generosity should always be encouraged, along with looking after the vulnerable (e.g. widows, orphans, disabled, prisoners, poor). 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, James 1:27, Hebrews 13:3, Matt 25:35-36 show how we can all grow in various works of service.
SUMMARY: Every believer should know their gift and be assisted in using that gift. The leadership should actively
participate in identifying gifts because it is their job to equip the saints for works of service.