Equippers vs. Speakers
I’m in a very bold mood today. I don’t really know why? Maybe it’s just how I’m wired or the sweet ice tea I drank today, but here we go.
I’ve been a follower of Christ all my life. I’ve been active in ministry since I was twelve, and I’ve been exposed to some of the most cutting edge churches, ministries and business organizations on the planet.
I am convinced there are only two types of leaders that exist: Equippers and Speakers. You are either one or the other. Maybe this verse in 1 Corinthians 4: 15 will make this point come more alive for you.
“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.“
Now, let’s put a different spin on this verse shall we? It will help me drive this point to my desired destination.
“For though you might have ten thousand speakers in the American Church in Christ, yet you do not have many equippers in the American Church; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
Do you know how easy it is to hear a speaker today but it’s so hard to be equipped and empowered for your God-given assignment? Just go to a conference, seminar or a church service. Naturally, your next question would be: ‘which one do I go to?’ Exactly, there are seriously ten thousand seminars, conferences and churches that go on every year. Stadiums and convention centers are packed out. Churches are full. But, are people really being equipped and empowered? That’s an easy answer. NO.
How do we track and measure the process of equipping and empowering people? This is a question I’ve been starting to tackle in my heart and mind. Because you would have to be naïve to think your favorite church service, conference or bulk of church resources is actually doing the job. Now, I’m not against any of that, I do have my favorite leadership conference Catalyst, just for the record. And, I love Sunday morning worship when I hear my pastor teach. All I’m saying is that these vehicles alone will not do the job to equip and empower people for their God-given assignment.
What I’ve been learning and observing on my journey is that you can’t equip and empower people by having them just sit in a chair and take notes at your church service or conference. Part of the equipping and empowering process is sending them out to DO something. I want to say that again because it just gets me excited — DO something…Do Something…Do Something (hear the echo)?!
Conferences and weekend services cannot equip you alone; they can only inspire or ignite you. The people that can equip you is through life-on-life relationships and practical delegation of authority in leading, serving and reaching out.
For someone to equip and empower another individual, someone must come alongside and mentor you. But, beyond that, someone must give you some space to run, experiment and try new things. This is HUGE. Why? Because without the delegation of space and authority…you can’t learn to fail, and then learn to succeed; then fail again, and then succeed again.
Equipping and empowering people is a risky business because it’s all about learning to succeed and fail on many different levels. Which is awesome. That’s why it’s easier to just be a speaker, than an equipper.