Friday, June 13, 2014

John MacArthur on Discipleship (not Spectatorship)

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets,
 the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is
 to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ
(Ephesians 4:11-12, NLT)

What are the marks of an effective church? Here are few essential marks of an effective church by John MacArthur which consists of godly leadership, biblical goals, discipleship, outreach, concern for one another, a commitment to the family, biblical teaching & preaching, a willingness to change and worship. Under discipleship, John writes,

The church is not an arena where a professional preacher/minister is cheered on by laypeople who are nothing more than spectators. The church should be discipling and training Christians for ministry. Church members, not just staff, are supposed to be ministering. That is the point of Ephesians 4:11-12. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers are given to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.

All of this results from discipleship. Discipleship is the ministry of developing deeply spiritual friendships focusing on the teaching biblical truth, applying Scripture to life, and thus learning to solve problems biblically. It must be reinforced by a godly example, not just delivered as a set of academic precepts. Therefore, discipleship involves time and personal involvement with people. Jesus’ earthly ministry to His own disciples is the biblical model. The church must provide an environment that encourages that kind of discipleship at every level, from the pastor to the newest convert.”
[Quote from John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church becomes like the World (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2010), pg. 193]

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