“Equipping the church” involves the “Equipping hands” (church leaders at all levels) preparing the church at respective levels by “placing” them in “yielding and available position” to encounter the “Equipper” – the Holy Spirit – who will impart them with the resurrection power by filling them to make them stable, grounded and firebrand to possess the nations by transforming societies with values, principles and lifestyles of the Kingdom of God.
The following are eight (8) biblico-metaphorical illustrations for “equipping the church” (the “to be equipped” ready to receive divine encounter from the Equipper).
1. Moses prepared Aaron’s Rod (and other tribal rods) before Aaron’s rod received divine encounter and budded with fruit (Numbers 17:1-13).
2. Elisha told the widow of the sons of the prophets to get vessels ready to be filled with oil and the oil multiplied and filled all the available vessels until there was no vessel (2 Kings 4:1-7).
3. Jesus told the disciples to get the five thousand plus people seated and also gave the bread to the disciples to distribute to the people and as they did, the bread kept multiplying until they all ate and had 12 full baskets as leftover (John 6:1-14).
4. At the wedding in Canaan, Mary, the mother of Jesus told the disciples to do whatever Jesus told them and when Jesus told them to fill the vessels with water and they did, the water turned into wine which was sweeter than the earlier one (John 2:1-12).
5. Elijah, in his encounter with the prophets of Baal, prepared the altar and made the sacrifice ready, and even though the altar was flooded with water, fire came from heaven and fell on the water and consumed it (1 Kings 18:20-40).
6. At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus told the people to roll the stone covering the tomb away and when they did, at the sound of the voice of Jesus, Lazarus encountered the resurrection and was set free to go (John 11:38-44).
7. In the desert, God told Moses to make 70 elders ready and when that was done, God took of the Holy Spirit that was on Moses and gave same to the 70 elders so they can help Moses lead the people (Numbers 11:16-30).
8. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He instructed the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to tarry and as they did, mighty rushing wind filled the house they were staying and they were all clothed with power from heaven (Luke 24:44-49; cf. Acts 1:4-8).
The list goes on and on and on. God desires to touch humanity with heavenly things and requires humans He can partner to do so.
There is a Pentecost song in Twi entitled, “Oshewbo wo wim ho, yede mpaebo betwe aba.” We partner with God to bring down the heavenlies to replace the dying, decaying and negative gradient of this life.
Thus, the resurrection power is available to flow; all God needs is AN INTERCESSOR – a leader who will get the people ready – pray for them, teach them the Word, visit them, call them to prayer meetings, etc. … and THE POWER WILL FALL.
May the Holy Spirit grant us continuing grace to be consistent in His hands as “Equipping hands of the Church” as He, THE EQUIPPER, does His work of equipping the church.
“…So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, TO EQUIP HIS PEOPLE for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-12, caps mine).
By Apostle Seth Kwame Fianko-Larbi (Kenya National Head, The Church of Pentecost)