Jun 05, 2017

Develop

You Had One Job!


David Worcester challenges collegiate leaders to think about their ministry in terms of one primary job – equipping others to make disciples.

As a college minister I know it’s easy to get distracted. You have a lot of discretionary time, yet you have a ton of good things you could be doing. You have churches who want you to lead, you have to raise support, you have to prepare talks, you have to make sure you are up to date with your student org status, but what is your primary job?

What is the one job that you have as a campus minister that no one else can do?

Make disciples?

Wrong.

Your “one job” it to equip students to make disciples, not just make disciples yourself. Here’s how Paul described the role of leaders in the body of Christ.

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. (Eph 4:11-12)

Your job is to equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry to build the body of Christ.

You are not a hired gun; you are a trainer. The way you see your primary role is vital.

If you see yourself as someone hired to do ministry then that is what you will do. You may even feel great and get pats on the back for all the people you personally lead to Christ. This is of course a good thing, but if you are not careful you can succeed at personal ministry and miss your greater calling of equipping students to do ministry.

Your work is to help others do the work. Your ministry is to help others find their ministry. Your “one job” is to equip, not just do the ministry yourself.

Of course, we all must play our role in personally making disciples. As leaders, we must model what it looks like to share the gospel with students and invest in people ourselves. But if we are not training others as we go, we are missing golden opportunities for training.

Whenever Jesus ministered personally he always had his trainees in tow. Jesus took his apprentices with him so that they could see how he did his ministry. True apprenticeship is what my brother Paul calls “Monkey see, Monkey do” training:  doing ministry alongside people, then empowering them to do the ministry themselves.

The great thing about college ministry is that those you are training have more time in their schedules where you can bring them along with you.

Your goal should be to train people in such a way that they catch the vision from you and begin to emulate the values you placed in them. The problem is that most of us are too busy doing other important things in ministry that we fail at truly equipping people.

Now, this doesn’t downplay the importance of preaching, teaching, and prayer. Actually I think the opposite is true. I believe this is the heart behind a story in Acts 6. The apostles chose to appoint faithful men to serve the food to the Hellenistic widows who were being neglected so that the apostles could give themselves to the Word and prayer.

“It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-3)

Preaching, teaching, and prayer, if done well, should have the goal of equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Peter and the apostles realized that their greatest contribution to the cause of Christ was to equip the people through their teaching and prayer, and those people would be equipped to make disciples.

Does your ministry schedule reflect the importance of equipping? I know it can be easy to do pretty much anything other than the work of equipping people to make disciples.

Do you see yourself primarily as a foot solider or a general?

In order to make time for the important role of equipper, we must get good at saying no to good opportunities so we can say yes to the the great thing of equipping our people to do the ministry and build the body of Christ.

How does your schedule need to change to reflect the importance of the task God has given you of equipping people to make disciples?

“You have one job!” How are you doing with it?


about the author

David Worcester


David is the founder and director of Challenge at San Diego State and serves as an Elder at Mission Trails Church near the campus. He is passionate about mobilizing students to share their faith and make disciples. He’s helped develop GospelAppointments.com which is a resource that helps students and college ministers share with others in an intentional and personal way. David just finished his Masters in Theological Studies at Gateway Seminary and now has even more time for blogging about campus ministry, reading, surfing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his wife Jessica and one year old son Samuel.

  • John Worcester

    Excellent article. Do this and produce much fruit through others.