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Our ministry folks simply act as coaches and facilitators
See Body Ministry-BT2 to understand this grace-gift group of “equippers” in the context of all the others.
“Coaching and facilitating” is certainly supposed to be the function (a) of those who are “in front” of the Body-of-Christ, according to Paul in Ephesians 4:8-12. They sure aren’t supposed to be the “ministers” but those coaching/facilitating the “ministers!” What?! Paul explains: “Christ gave grace-gifts to men . . . He gave [to the Church] these in fact: the apostles, moreover the prophets, moreover the evangelists, moreover the shepherds and/coupled teachers, for the coaching/facilitating (b) of the saints (c) for [singular] work (d) of [singular] ministry (e), for [singular] edification/building-up of the Body-of-Christ.” <Notes> a) praxis: Romans 12:4, b) katartismos – see below c) hagios: Christians – see Holy Spaces, d) ergon: doing, e) diakonia: service, especially of Christian teachers but also where we get the word deacon.
Catholic Church history reveals that the Catholics were the one’s that switched the roles of the “equippers” and the “workers of ministry” by “borrowing” their justification for the “priesthood” from the OT, which is the foundational problem of The Great Wall that quenched the Holy Spirit in the Church. But I’ve also heard too many Protestant preachers say that Paul’s “5-fold ministry” (a) refers to the “special speaking grace-gifts in the Body.” Where do they get this stuff! Again the very Greek word diakonia for “ministry” that the “saints” are to be “working/doing” usually refers to “teachers” and not just to “deacons.” And we know from the Teach One Another page that the “teachers” in the Church aren’t supposed to just be the “shepherds, bishop-overseers, or elders that are able/apt to teach” (b) but also the “saints doing this work of diakonia ministry!” There is no ball-hogging allowed! Do you see how so many people are ignorant of the original languages and they twist their English translations out of context to justify just about any practice they want to defend? The scribes and Pharisees were experts at this too! <Notes> a) which we know is actually “4-fold” and not even the “ministry,” b) the same group of people – see Body Ministry-BT3
Ephesians 4:12 katartismos “equipping” actually means “down-from/accordingly to properly or exactly adjust or fit to be in perfect working order, adjusting exactly ‘down’ to fully function, exactly bringing to a condition of fitness, and preparing or enabling the individual parts to work together in correct order.” It’s only used in this verse, but it comes from the verb katartizo used of God “setting in order” the worlds by His command (a); of God’s “preparing” beforehand some vessels/people destined for destruction (b); of God’s “preparing” beforehand praise of Christ from little children and nursing infants” upon His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (c); the human body “preparation” that God created for Christ (d); of fishermen “mending” nets (e); of brethren “mending” disagreement to live in peace and unconditional-love; of Paul desiring to meet with Christians “make up what may be lacking” in their trusting-relying-faith (f); of brethren to agree together to end their division so they can be “restored to unity” with the same mind and purpose (g); of suffering Christians ultimately being “restored” by Christ (h); of Spirit-kind-of Christians “restoring” a brethren cast into sin by the Spirit of gentleness (i); Christ’s teacher-disciple method of “training” (j); of God “training” Christians with “every good thing to do His will, working in us what is pleasing to Him thru-the-realizing-channel-of Jesus Christ” (k). So you can see that “equipping” means much more: preparing, setting things in order, mending or restoring broken things (l), bringing something that can help make up for what’s lacking in a person, and all this has to do with God’s working in us, training us to do His will through Jesus Christ! That’s what the “grace-gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelist, and shepherd/bishop-overseer/elders who teach” of Ephesians 4:11 were to be doing. <Notes> a) Hebrews 11:3, b) Romans 9:22, c) Matthew 21:16, d) Hebrews 10:5, e) Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19, f) 1 Thessalonians 3:10, g) 1 Corinthians 1:10, h) 1 Peter 5:10, i) Galatians 6:1, j) Luke 6:40, k) Hebrews 13:21, l) keeping the peace and unity.
Can you see why word-for-word “formal equivalent” translations fail miserably – even the excellent ESV bibe! There is simply so much that is lost in almost every English translation! Many bible translations will use the word “equipping,” but this word has a limited English dictionary meaning of “supply with necessary items for a particular purpose or prepare someone mentally for a particular situation or task.” They also use this same English word “equip” for other Greek words that don’t have anything to do with these Ephesians 4:11 coaching/facilitating “equippers” like: epichoregia meaning “making an event a grand production, apt with lavish resources” (a), or exartizo meaning “fully fitted or suitable because all parts are working together” (b) or “to finish, complete, or accomplish” (c). If you think you can use an English Concordance and compare all the occurences of an English word and build a doctrine around that understanding, you are sorely wrong! Can you see how English can be misleading? <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:16; Philippians 1:19, b) 2 Timothy 3:17, c) Acts 21:5.
We are also going to be “facilitators”, as stated in our Mission Statement, by simply “making the creation and function of holy spaces EASIER for musicians and students of all skill levels to gather together in groups to Meet-Up for fellowship through Body-of-Christ ministry . . . in order to co-create anointed, prophetic, and even spontaneous music by the Holy Spirit’s directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God.”
Still a better term for our function is “coaching,” because this means “to train or instruct a team or an individual player to achieve a specific personal or professional goal, preparing them to ‘do the work’ and ‘do it’ better by finding out what is lacking and helping them fix, mend, or restore it,” which exactly fits the meaning of katartismos and katartizo! Coaches prepare players to play and play better – in the case of Ephesians 4:11-12, to do “the work/doing of the ministry/service for the edification/building-up of the Body-of-Christ!” Throughout the NT writings, the Body-of-Christ is viewed as a team of individual players, a “royal priesthood,” who are ‘playing’ (ministering or serving) to become the “house of God, the Temple of the living God” (a) to win the world for Christ (b). <Notes> a) Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 10:21; 1 Peter 2:5, 9, 4:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16, b) Mark 16:15; Romans 10:18; Acts 2:38-39.
The coaches aren’t supposed to be the players, unless they run the plays themselves in order to act as an example of how it’s done. The modern church is so confused they have it exactly backwards! Churches have all these people “in front” running around on stage who think they are the “priests, ministers, or clergy who do the work of the ministry,” and the people listening to them are simply the “congregation, laity or commoners.” They have it exactly backwards!
Can you imagine going to a football game and watching all the coaches on the field playing instead of the trained football players? Can you imaging seeing this at a basketball game? Can you imagine going to a symphony orchestra and only seeing the conductor playing? Can you imagine going to a theatrical play and only seeing the acting coaches on stage performing the play? How ridiculous, ineffective, and powerless this would be! Or worse, the audience comes to see a game, concert, or play but ends up getting a training lecture by the coaches or conductor. How boring!
But that’s exactly what goes on in 99% of the churches in America every week – a training lecture, which is absolutely not what a good coach or conductor would ever do. Instead they would have the entire congregation “on the stage” and “going through the play” together! The worst training courses in corporate America have been the ones where I saw lecture after lecture without any hands-on, using the tools of the trade, and actually doing it together with supervision (the “buddy system”). Yet, the worst is what we have every week in churches. No wonder people stop going to church! Snooze alert! How can the church possibly be “built up” this way! Businesses, sports, concerts, and theatres would loose a bulk of their team let along the audience! This is a key element of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church!
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