Professional development and ongoing learning
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, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Ephesians 4:11-14).
I love this passage. It has always been a significant text that informs my sense of call (and I reference it often!). God gives gifted leaders to the church with the responsibility of equipping or preparing God's people for works of service. This word, translated in English as equip, prepare, or perfect (katartismos) carries the concept of putting in order, restoring, mending, or healing. Training and discipline is also in view. William Barclay explains how this word may be applied in diverse contexts when he states: "This word's military usage speaks of fully furnishing an army. Its civic usage speaks of pacifying a city, which is torn by factions. Its medical usage speaks of setting a broken bone or putting a joint back into place. The basic idea of the word is that of putting a thing into the condition in which it ought to be" (Barclay, Galatians and Ephesians, 149). As we train individuals to use their gifts and fulfill their particular calling, the entire body is built up and results in increased maturity. Percolate on that for a while.
While our job in discipleship, reproduction, and education includes this comprehensive idea of equipping others, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we remain on the growing edge ourselves. Professional development and ongoing learning keeps us fresh and sharp. We have an opportunity to engage in some "saw sharpening" (as Covey calls it) with our upcoming Global Leadership Summit on October 23 and 24. Briercrest is partnering with Caronport Community Church for this important event. If you would like to attend, or need more information, speak with Blayne Banting, David Guretzki or one of our managers. The GLS has always energized me whenever I have attended. It's on my schedule again this year.
Partnering together to keep the saw sharp.