Developing Leaders in the Small Church - Lesson 9

Equipping People for Ministry

In this lesson, you will learn about the challenges small churches face in recruiting and training people for ministry due to the lack of professional leaders. You will discover the biblical basis for the involvement of the laity in ministry and the responsibility of every believer to serve God. The lesson will guide you on how to equip people for ministry by providing direction, identifying spiritual gifts, offering training and mentoring, creating opportunities for ministry, and giving encouragement and support.
Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Lesson 9
Watching Now
Equipping People for Ministry

pc108-09: Equipping People for Ministry

I. Challenge of the Small Church Ministry

A. Lack of Trained Professionals

B. Shift from Professional Clergy to Laity

II. Biblical Basis for Laity Ministry

A. Romans 12:4-5

B. Ephesians 4:16

C. Old Testament Priesthood and New Testament Believers

III. Equipping People for Ministry

A. Recognizing the Call for All Believers

B. Equipping through Leadership

IV. How to Equip People for Ministry

A. Providing Direction

B. Identifying Spiritual Gifts

C. Offering Training and Mentoring

D. Creating Opportunities for Ministry

E. Providing Encouragement and Support

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the challenges of serving on a church board and learn about the concept of servant leadership in the Bible, as well as the differences between secular and biblical leadership, with a focus on the role of a shepherd in leadership positions.
  • Through this lesson, you'll gain an understanding of the church as the body of Christ and a spiritual community, focusing on love and interconnectedness, and explore the differences between secular organizations and spiritual bodies, ultimately shaping your approach to spiritual leadership.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of organization in the church, exploring elements found in the Book of Acts and the significance of leadership, emphasizing the church's mission based on the Great Commission and the goal to make disciples.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the crucial importance of character in Christian leadership, as it demonstrates God's work in our lives, allows for influential leadership, and fosters spiritual growth in others. By learning from biblical examples, you will discover the necessity of relying on God's strength and guidance in your leadership journey.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the importance of the church board's role, focusing on spiritual care and guiding the congregation towards a healthy church, which includes unity, obedience, growth in understanding God's word, active evangelism, and authentic worship, while being motivated by service and eagerness to lead, and understanding the accountability of leadership.
  • Discover the significance of prayer in leadership through the lives of biblical figures like Moses, Samson, and Samuel, and understand how prayer enables leaders to face challenges, find victory despite failures, and maintain spiritual strength.
  • In Lesson 7, you learn about the watchman's role in protecting the church from external and internal threats, the importance of church discipline, and its scriptural basis in Hebrews 12. The lesson emphasizes holiness as the primary goal and discusses the role of discipline in promoting spiritual growth and purity for individuals and the congregation.
  • This lesson teaches you the essential role of shepherding in the church and how to make spiritual decisions that benefit both the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it, emphasizing the importance of prayer, seeking guidance from Scripture, and reflecting the character of God.
  • Gain insight into the challenges small churches face in equipping people for ministry and learn the biblical basis for laypeople's involvement in ministry, understanding how to provide direction, identify spiritual gifts, offer training and mentoring, create opportunities, and give support.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the church's purpose to glorify God, represent His character to the world, and transform people into the character of Christ, while also understanding the importance of good theology, connecting it to Christian living, and realizing a leader's role in overseeing church theology and fostering transformation.
  • This lesson emphasizes the importance of teamwork in ministry, explaining the New Testament concept of team ministry, the role of coworkers with Christ, and how partnering with others helps overcome individual weaknesses and fosters corporate wisdom.
  • As change agents in the church, the board must adapt to societal changes while preserving the core message of the Gospel. This lesson emphasizes the importance of addressing sinful behavior, examining the health of the church, and learning from the apostles as change agents.
  • In this lesson, you'll understand the crucial role of administration in small churches, focusing on spiritual growth and the effective use of resources for God's glory, as well as the importance of recognizing God's authority and Scripture as the foundation for all administrative decisions.

This course on developing leaders in the small church emphasizes the importance of leadership development and the challenges small churches face in doing so. It provides a biblical foundation for leadership development, focusing on examples from both the Old and New Testaments. The lesson then outlines principles for developing leaders in the small church, including fostering a culture of leadership development, identifying and recruiting potential leaders, equipping and empowering leaders, and providing ongoing support and accountability. The lesson concludes with strategies for leadership development in the small church, including one-on-one discipleship, small group leadership development, leadership training programs, and mentoring programs.

Recommended Books

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

In his more than fifteen years as the pastor of a small church, Glenn Daman has learned what it takes to make a church board successful. In Developing Leaders for the Small...

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board
Shepherding the Small Church

Shepherding the Small Church

Seventy-five percent of American churches have an attendance of less than 150, yet they often find themselves in the shadow of a few mega-churches with boundless...

Shepherding the Small Church
Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry

Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry

Small church expert Glenn Daman knows the challenges and rewards of small church ministry. His first book, Shepherding the Small Church, focused on the ingredients for an...

Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry

Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Equipping People for Ministry
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] One of the challenges that we face in terms of the ministry of the church and in terms of leadership is the fact that we don't have the luxury of having a number of trained professional leaders to fulfill the different ministry slots in the church. You go to a large church and oftentimes they'll have a a trained professional who's head of the youth program. He'll have it. They'll have a trained professional who's head of the C program. They'll have seminary professors or other individuals who have gone to seminary to teach their Sunday school classes. But in the small church, we don't have that luxury because we face a continual struggle of trying to recruit people for ministry. And yet in many ways, the whole concept of the trained professional is contrary to what we see in the pages of Scripture regarding the role of the the church in terms of ministry. As we think about the Ministry of the church, without question, that it's always been designated as a team sport, it takes the whole church to do the whole ministry of the Body of Christ. And yet, as we look back in His history, we see that after the initial starting of the early church, it soon moved over to where you had a group of elitists, those individuals who saw themselves as the sole individuals equipped to lead the church. And so these individuals then soon became the the the ones who had all the authority. They did all the teaching, they did all the ministry, and they took ministry out of the hands of the laity, if you would, and put it in the hands of the professional clergy, clergy. And so while we have long recognized that that model that was integrated in terms of the church was a faulty model, and it wasn't until the Reformation that that began to change.

[00:02:06] But the reality is we're still living with some of the effects. We still have this mindset that the ministry of the church belongs to the pastor. And that the task of of the laity is is maybe in terms of some of the children ministries, but certainly not in terms of the overall ministry of the church. But therein lies our challenge. We need to understand and as we look at the pages of scripture, Scripture takes it out of the hands of the the clergy, the professional, if you would, and puts it back into the hands of the the person in the pew, the laity of the church. We see this as we begin to see in Romans chapter 12, verses four and five in Romans, chapter 12, verses four and five. We see where Paul challenges really everyone within the body of Christ to be a part of the ministry of the church. And Romans Chapter 12. Versus four and five. We read this just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not have all the same function. So in Christ, we who are many form one body and each member belongs to the others. And so we see that within the body of Christ, that with all the diversity that we have, that the diversity is the really the foundation of the unity of the church, it's the strength of the church. Just like in marriage, when we think about a marriage relationship, the strength of a marriage is not found in how the husband and wife are alike, but rather it's in their differences, their different perspectives as they come together and they they build one another and they current encourage one another so that they can better understand how to react in any given situation.

[00:04:06] It's the diversity that gives them strength. And the same is true in the church, that the strength of the church is not found in the fact that we're all uniform, but it's in the fact that we're all diverse, that we have differing gifts, that we have different abilities, we have different perspectives, and that becomes the basis for effective ministry. A healthy church is one that has that diversity. We see it further in Ephesians chapter four verses verse 16. Ephesians chapter four, verse 16. Paul writes this He says from him, The whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love as each does its does its work so that the body of Christ is strengthened when the whole body is working within the context of the ministry. That everyone has a responsibility, that there is a there is a in organic ministry that the church is responsible for that involves every person within the church. And understand this, we really need to go back into the Old Testament and the Old Testament. We find that as God established the people of Israel, he set aside the one tribe to be the priests, the tribe of Levi, and they were to function as the priests for the people we see that they were responsible to to care for the temple in their tabernacle, that they were not given an inheritance. In other words, they were not given any land in the in the new nation as they established, because their focus was not to be on making a business or or making building a an empire, but rather their focus was upon the service of God in numbers. Chapter one, verse 53 We read the Levites, however, are to to set up their tents around the the tabernacle of the testimony so that the wrath will not fall on the Israelite community.

[00:06:16] The Levites are to be responsible for the tabernacle, for the care of the tabernacle of the testimony. In other words, they were to be stationed closest to the Tabernacle, and it was their responsibility to care for it. That was to be their life. That was the sole purpose of of their living there, so that they lived to serve the temple within God. In numbers, Chapter 18, verse 20. We also see that the Lord said to Aaron, You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them. I am your share in your inheritance among the Israelites, so that for them, rather than gaining an inheritance of the land that the rest of the nation of Israel received, their inheritance was the presence of God. That that was to be their reward, that was to be their privilege, that their their inheritance was giving the privilege of serving God and being His ministers for on behalf of the people. He goes on to say in numbers, chapter 18 verse taught verse seven that, But you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death. And so that was what we find in the Old Testament, in the Old Testament that the tribe of Levi and the sons of Aaron were given as a gift the responsibility to serve God in their whole life. That was their life. And yet we turn into the New Testament to first Peter in First Peter, chapter two, verse nine, we find this. He says, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.

[00:08:27] Now, for those of us that are far removed from the Old Testament and far removed from the early church, we will read those words. And they're not very shocking to us. In fact, we're well aware of those verses. But for the early church, for the early Christians, especially the Jews who were converting and had converted to to be followers of Jesus, when they heard those words, they would have been shocked because they would understand, understood the implications that God was calling all Christians. Now, not just a certain tribe, but he was calling all Christians to become priests. In other words, every single believer now is to be devoted to the service of God. That is to be our life that we are. We are to give our life. To serving him. And so there is the challenge of the church. So the challenge of the church, oftentimes, especially in the small church, we oftentimes see ministry, is the task of the pastor. That's what we hired him for. And and perhaps the except for the the youth ministries or the children ministries will will be involved there. But really, the bulk of the ministry is the responsibility of the pastor. And yet by this statement, Peter makes it clear that ministry now is the responsibility of all believers, that all of us are responsible. And so there becomes the challenge as we think about training and equipping people for ministry. The challenge for us is to recognize that we are called every single one of us, whether we are the senior pastor or whether we are on the board or whether we are just one of the laity. We are all called equally to the task of ministry. We oftentimes think of the call of ministry for those going into full time ministry.

[00:10:25] And oftentimes when we're we're talking with a young man who's going into ministry. And and as we're talking with him, one of the things that we always, always want to ask him is, do you feel called into full time Christian or do you feel called to be a pastor? And we talk about the calling of a pastor, but it's equally true that every single one of us are called to equally be servants to exercise our spiritual gifts. And so the challenge is to get people involved in ministry and as as leaders in the church, as the the elders, we are responsible now to equip and to to challenge people and call people into ministry and then equip them for the ministry. So the question is, how do we do that? How do we equip people for for the task of ministry? We find in Ephesians. Chapter, Chapter four. That in fact, that the purpose of leadership when we talk about leadership, the the primary purpose of leadership, Paul says, is to prepare God's people for works of service, not for the leaders to do the works of ministry, not for the leaders to take the the responsibility of all the different tasks of the church, but rather to prepare them for the works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. And so how do we do that? How do we equip them? That's what I want to talk about in this session as we think about our role as leaders. What does it mean for us to take the responsibility to equip people for ministry? Well, it begins, first of all, by direction. One of the tasks of of of equipping people for ministry. One of the the elements of equipping them is to give direction for the ministry.

[00:12:24] Oftentimes, as we look at our ministries, we are driven more by what we have done traditionally. And people we if we were to ask people, why are we doing what we're doing, the answer would be, well, because we've always done it that way. We've always had this Sunday school, we've always had this. And because and in light of that, what drives the ministry is not a clear direction from Scripture, but rather it's tradition. And as a result of that, people become frustrated. Now, again, we're going to talk about this later on in the next session in terms of what is the the purpose of the church, what is the mission of the church? Because we need to understand that as leaders, if we're going to help people become integrated in accomplishing that. But it's important for people to understand that if all we're doing is a haphazard ministry, if all we're doing is just kind of doing the things that we've always done just because we've always done them, people are going to become discouraged. You're not going to be motivated to serve. Why? Because they don't they don't see the benefit of. And then we'll see the purpose of it. And so when they they get involved, they they feel like what they're doing is just kind of filling in time and filling the slot rather than doing effective ministry. So one of the reasons that we want to give clear direction is to help people see that their ministry is important. It's important not only for the overall direction of the church, but it's also important for eternity. And what they're what they're doing has eternal results. And so that's where it begins. It begins by coming alongside of people and alongside the ministries of the church and giving it clear direction.

[00:14:10] So I think as leaders, we need to make sure, as we think about all the different ministries and all the different programs in the church, we should be able to clearly articulate to the people involved what they're doing and why are they are doing it. That's direction. Second, we want to make sure that we equip them by giving them clear service descriptions. Now, a service description is a little bit different than a job description. If we've been involved in a in a business, if we've been in an employer, oftentimes will have a job description. But I think it's important we see that there's a little bit of a difference between that and a service description. A job description focuses more upon the organizational function, where it fits in organizationally. When we talk about a service agreement, the focus is more upon what is the spiritual purpose, What are we trying to accomplish spiritually, and what is this person responsible for spiritually? So as we think about this, the service agreement, people should be able to understand what their spiritual responsibility is, what it is spiritually that they're trying to accomplish in their ministry. And so as we think about the service agreement, and it should include, first of all, the scriptural foundation of the ministry. We should be able to look in scripture and say, what is the biblical basis? For this ministry that we're trying to accomplish. Because if it's if it's not integrated within the overall purpose of Scripture. It's not worth our time. And so we should be able to give a scriptural basis for it. Secondly, we should give the purpose of the position and how it relates to the overall ministry of the church. So we should be able to describe how it relates to that, to what we're trying to accomplish in terms of the church.

[00:16:09] And again, we're going to talk about that at the next session. Thirdly, it should show the qualifications of the position. Now, as we think about what are the qualifications of being an elder or being on a board, we think of the qualifications that are established in terms of character that. In Timothy and Titus, we see those character qualities that are that are essential if we are to be effective in ministry. Well, what are the qualities that are essential for a Sunday school teacher? We think of character. We also think of of job skills and training that's needed. And so those are outlined in terms of the ministry agreement. Forth A ministry agreement should define how this person fits within the overall structure of the church so that they understand who they're accountable to, who they're responsible to, so that when they have problems, they know who to go to, they know who to turn to for for help. They also outlines the authority structure of the church so we understand clearly who has the authority to make what decisions within the ministry. And then lastly, it should outline the general job description or the general expectations and duties that the person is to perform so that they have a clear understanding of what their to do. Because oftentimes in a small church, especially, here's how we recruit people for ministry. We go up to someone and we say we need someone to head up the children's church. Well, what am I supposed to do? Well, you know, we'll tell you later. Don't worry about it. Just are you willing to do it? And we don't define for them what to do and so they don't know what to do. So they start going to the children's church and they just kind of figure, well, I'm here just to entertain the kids while the parents are in the service.

[00:18:11] And so therefore, they just they bring some food, they display some games, maybe some videos. And pretty soon people start complaining that it's not effectively training their children. And so that person becomes discouraged because all they hear is complaints. And the problem was we didn't help them by clearly defining what they were supposed to do. And that's our role as leaders within the church. Thirdly, as we think about equipping people for ministry, it involves giving them adequate resources. There is nothing more frustrating than to be asked to perform a task and not given the resources to adequately perform that task. Now, we've all been in situations where we're on our job or or in our in our work, where we're required to do things. We realize we don't have the resources to do that. And that's very frustrating. Well, same is true in the church that the task of leadership. Our task as leaders, as the board, is to make sure that when we ask people to do a task or responsibility, that we have the resources for them to do it because we believe that God is the one responsible. And if God is the one is calling us to do a ministry, he will give us the resources to do that ministry. And so if we don't have the resources for that ministry, whether those resources be financial, whether the resources, be it adequate volunteers or whether it be in terms of the facilities, then we need to go back and ask ourselves, is this really what God wants us to do? Now, again, here in the small church, we struggle with these areas. We struggle with finances, we struggle with with our facilities, we struggle with our volunteers. And we can be creative in providing some of these needs and resources.

[00:20:01] For example, if we don't have any anything in our budget to to purchase a Sunday school material or maybe use materials. So oftentimes we can go to other churches, we can go to a larger church in the area that maybe has has old material that they're no longer using. We can utilize that so we can be creative in providing the resources, but we need to still make sure that as leaders, as the board, we're taking responsibility to equip people with the adequate resources that they need for their ministry. Fourth, we need to to provide support for them. To equip people for ministry is to support them in the ministry. Now, there are several ways, especially that we need to do that. First of all is in the area of dealing with problems. When people have problems within their ministry, we need to be there for them. Whether that problem is conflicts, whether that problem is maybe unjust criticism. Maybe the problem is in the area of resources. Whatever the issue is, we're there to help support them by helping them resolve that problem. We're the resource for them. We're there to to back them up, if you would, to to be there to help them. Secondly, it involves prayer. And this again, we've talked about this in some of the earlier sessions, the importance that we have and the responsibility we have to pray and we need to pray for our people in ministry. We need to pray for those who are heading up our youth programs and our children's programs. And we need to be supporting them in prayer to encourage them and strengthen them in ministry. Then fifth, as we think about equipping, involves empowerment. Perhaps the most crucial element of equipping people for ministry is empowering them to do the tasks that's assigned to them.

[00:22:00] In Matthew Chapter ten, we find the occasion where Christ is sending out His disciples. And as we look at this passage of Scripture, what we find is is Christ not only sent them out, but He empowered them to do the ministry. It says in chapter ten, verse one that he called the 12 disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every sickness and disease. So the first thing that Christ did is he empowered them with the authority needed to do the job. And then secondly, he equipped them for that. Verse five, it says, The 12 he sent out with the follow instructions do not go among the Gentiles or enter into the towns of the Samaritans, go rather, to the lost sheep of Israel. So he clearly outlined for them what they were supposed to do. Verse seven he goes on to say, As you go preach this message, and then he equips them and he gives them the authority and the freedom to do the ministry. We see that in versus 11 through verse 16, where he says, Whenever a town or a village, you enter a search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it. And if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town, I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you like sheep among wolves.

[00:23:45] Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. And so we see Christ giving them the authority, giving them the authority to make decisions in their ministry. Now, I think there's two extremes we need to avoid as we we think about empowering people for ministry. The first extreme is where we micro-manage No words. We don't give them any power to make decisions. We don't give them any authority to to make decisions in their particular ministry. And so we micromanage them and then they become frustrated. But the second is equally as an error, and that is where we give no oversight and we give complete authority without any oversight to them. So we need to find a balance here between these two extremes. And the way we find that balance is by setting the parameters for them in terms of here are the areas that they have the authority to make decisions and here are the areas that they don't. And so we set those parameters for them. And kind of as a rule of thumb, the larger the impact in terms of the overall congregation. The less we want to or the more narrow we want to set those parameters, because again, it has a greater impact. And so as leaders, we're response ultimately responsible. So we have to give that oversight. But again, it involves empowerment. Then. Next to the is we think about equip. It involves appreciation. People need to know that their work is is valuable and that their work is being appreciated. Perhaps the best example of this is in Romans chapter 16, where we see a whole list of names that Paul wanted to highlight because of his appreciation for their ministry. Do we appreciate people? Do we appreciate the work that they do? Do we express that appreciation to them? And we can do that in a number of ways.

[00:25:45] Oftentimes, a simple thank you and a or a note or maybe even a highlighting them in their ministry and the work that they've done in terms of the church at the annual meeting. But as leaders, it's our responsibility to to show that to them, to express that appreciation. So as we think about equipping, equipping involves or coming alongside and helping people, ministry involves equipping them, and then it involves training that we need to train people to be effective in ministry. Oftentimes in the small church, one of the big differences between a larger church and a small church is that the small church oftentimes does not do any training for their for their people. And as a result of that, they become frustrated because they feel ill equipped to the task. And so one of our roles is to come along and train them. Now, there's several areas that we need to do this training. First of all, there needs to be spiritual training. Now, again, ministry is spiritual work. It's the work of the ministry. It's the work of challenging people to grow spiritually. And because it's spiritual ministry and in calls, it involves spiritual training that goes back to our to our understanding of scripture so that we're training people to handle Scripture correctly. James Chapter three, verse one gives us this warning. This is not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. That's kind of a sobering verse, and that's true whether we're pastoring and preaching on Sunday morning or whether we're teaching an adult Sunday school class or even if we're teaching the children that we are held accountable for what we teach. And so what are we held accountable for? What Paul tells us in Second Timothy chapter two, verse 15 when he writes to Timothy, he says, Do your best to present yourself as one to God.

[00:27:59] Is one approved a workman who does not need to be ashamed who correctly handles the word of truth. And so the task of a teacher is to equip people by helping them to correctly handle scripture. And that's what we need to train people. We need to train people how to understand and interpret correctly scripture so that they're there teaching it in the right way. That's spiritual training. The second area of training is in terms of organizational skills. Now again, often times in a small church, especially in a more rural area, we don't think in terms of organizational skills. And by that, we're referring to how to set goals and objectives for our ministry, how to to make sure that we're following a budget and correctly working within the budget. How do we structure and develop good structures for our ministries and how do we plan for our ministries? We don't normally think in those terms, but yet they are crucial. We see that in many ways this whole book is is a plan. This whole book is a strategic plan that God has for redeeming the world. And how he's going to accomplish it. That's what we need to train people as they look at their ministry. They have a plan. They know what they're trying to accomplish. They're not just going in there haphazard. And so that's a secondary. We need to provide training. Third, we need to provide training in terms of relational skills, especially in the areas of conflict resolution and in the area of teamwork. Nothing can destroy the ministry of the church quicker than. Then conflict that goes unresolved. We need to equip people. We need to try to train our people how to deal with conflict when it arises because it will in a ministry.

[00:30:02] That's just part of ministry. So we need to make sure they're trained in that area and they're trained in the area of teamwork, how to work together, both within that ministry and within the context of the whole church. And then lastly, the fourth area that we need to provide training for is in the area of ministry skills. Now, there are three types of of areas in particular that we need to train people as it relates to their ministry. The first is what we call basic skills. These are skills that are that are foundational skills, regardless of what ministry they're they're involved in. This would include skills is communication, problem solving, strategic planning. And those are things we need to train everyone within the ministry. Secondly, their ministry, their specific ministry skills that refer to the skills that are needed for their particular ministry. For example, if they're working with children, they need skills in terms of how to present the gospel to an aide that's age appropriate for who they're working with, how to effectively develop a teaching plan and how to implement that within the classroom. So those are specific skill related. Maybe taking our young our person that's in charge of the high school group, teaching them how to work with high schoolers, how to understand their needs, how to effectively communicate the gospel to them. And then lastly, there's the area of cross training. Cross training is where we're we're not only equipping them for their ministry, but we're also equipping them for other ministries as well. So, for example, it may be in an area of teaching someone who's the adult Sunday school teacher how to communicate the gospel with the young people or with the child. They say, well, that's not really relevant to their ministry, but it is because no matter what we do in the church, whatever our specific ministry is within the church, we still have ministries outside of that particular area.

[00:32:11] And so we want to cross train them to be effective for that. Now, there's a number of ways we can do training. We can do training through guest speakers coming in. We can use advantages of take advantage of many organizations such as Child Evangelism Fellowship, who can come in and do training for our Sunday school teachers. We can oftentimes utilize churches in the other areas or pastors in the other areas in the area that are skilled in particular areas that we can utilize and train. But we need to train our people. So my question for you as leaders is this As you work with in your church, what are you doing to make sure that your people are being trained to be effective in ministry? And if the answer to that is nothing, then we as leaders are failing in our responsibility to equip the people, because that's what Paul says. Paul says in Ephesians chapter four that our task as leaders is to prepare God's people for works of ministry. That involves training, that involves equipping, that involves support for them in ministry. That's one of the essential responsibilities that we have as leaders.