Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

Home

SERIES:  "RESTORING THE CHURCH'S TRUE IDENTITY"  

 

Session No. 6    A COMPETENT PEOPLE  

 

INTRODUCTION  

What is it that stops people from giving themselves more fully into ministry or service in the Kingdom of God? Of the many answers that might be offered in response to that question, way up near the top has to be the very pervasive and persuasive sense of bring incompetent, inadequate and unqualified. The statement, "I could never do that!" (or its equivalent) is all-too-commonly heard in our churches these days. The tragedy of this is the implied inability of God to do through us whatever He chooses.  

 

Yet, given the enormity of the task to which we are called as the people of God, it is not surprising that we should be intimidated (terrified?!) if we evaluate the task in merely human terms & resources. What is sad so often is our failure to take into account the power resources of heaven that enable us to be all that God has called us to be and to do all that God has called us to do.   In this session we want to make ourselves aware of the divine power that makes everyone of us competent to be active in Kingdom ministry. 

 

Take time at this point to read  2 CORINTHIANS  2/12 - 3/6.  

 

Paul knew all about pressure and struggle - see 2 Cor. 1/8-11. He is writing to us, not theoretically, but out of the crucible of experience. He knew what it was to have exhausted every human resource and still be down. It is no wonder in 2 Cor. 2/16  he asks the question, "...who is equal to such a task?" [The word "equal" is the same word translated "competent" in 3/5,6].  

 

[1]What is his answer to his own question, "Who is equal to such a task?"   (v.14)

______________________________________________________________  

[2] In chapter 3 and verse 4, Paul speaks of his confidence (sometimes translated "boldness"). What is the source of that boldness in his life and ministry?  

___________________________________________________________________  

[3] The word "competent" is variously translated in the NIV as "fit", "worthy", "adequate", "sufficient", "qualified", "able". To what does Paul attribute his own sense of competence in service for God's Kingdom? (vs.5,6)  

___________________________________________________________________    

[4]  What did Paul have as a Christian that we don't have?

_______________________________________________________________  

[5]  Is the answer you gave to No. 4 what you really feel in your heart? Our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ qualifies us to be His servants. Yet oftentimes we disqualify ourselves from such service. Why is that?

In responding to this question, perhaps it's time to risk yourself to the group and become vulnerable.   Do you disqualify yourself as being unable, unfit, inadequate, unworthy to be used by God?   Do you place your own limits and conditions on what you will or will not do in service?  

 

What has to happen for you to come to a place where, like Paul, you can say, "I can do everything through Him who give me strength." (Phil. 4/13)? Circle one of these options....  

 

More prayer       More teaching         More training       More power         

More courage      More faith              More opportunity         

More encouragement         (Other)_____________              

 

It is one thing to circle a phrase; what next step can you take to begin to turn that request into a reality?   Consider the following statements....  

 

[1] "Apart from me you can do nothing." (Jesus in John 15/5)  

[2] "Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit.." (God to Zechariah - 4/6)  

[3] "The Son can do nothing by Himself.." (Jesus in John 5/19)  

[4] "This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.." (Paul in 2 Cor.1/9)  

 

What do all of the above have in common?

_________________________________________________________________

 

Take time to read Acts 3/11-16. To what does Peter attribute his ability or competence to minister?  

______________________________________________________________________  

 

Remember this is the same Peter who, prior to the crucifixion, tried so desperately to protect and defend Jesus.....who proclaimed his loyalty come what may....who trusted so much in his human ability, initiative and resources.....and who failed to come through when it mattered.  

What made the difference in Peter's life?

_______________________________________________________________  

 

The following verses use the word "competent". If time permits, look them up and discuss together the significance of that word in that particular context.  

 

1. Romans 15/14_____________________________________________________  

2. 1 Cor. 6/2__________________________________________________________  

3. 2 Cor. 3/5,6 ________________________________________________________  

 

The clear teaching of the New Testament is that the people of God are a competent people. That adequacy is not born of human determination or ingenuity. It has little or nothing to do with personality or natural talent. The clear weight of evidence is that such competence comes from the Holy Spirit who lives within us.  

 

The constant pressure upon us it to "lean to our own understanding (Prov.3/5) and to depend upon natural, human resources. The old hymn says it well, "...the arm of flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own..".   Is it here that we get to the real reason why so much ministry is being left by so manyto so few? "But I can't!" is the cry. True enough. But what about the Christ Who lives in you by His Spirit? Can He?  

 

We have become suspicious of the word "POWER" in the Christian Church because of some wild claims and disturbing abuses that gather around that word in some circles. But isn't POWER the real issue when it comes to ministry...or the lack thereof? Jesus would not permit His disciples to go forth into ministry until they were empowered -

"....but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24/49)

"you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses....." (Acts 1/8).  

 

As you leave your group this week, ask yourself if you really accept and act upon the adequacy and competency that God says is yours through Him. Do you want your group to pray with you for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit? If so, ask them to place their hands on you and to pray for you right now.  

 

FOR YOUR READING THIS WEEK KEY THOUGHTS: "MISSION" AND "WITNESS"  

  1. Matthew 28/1-20
  2. Mark 16/1-20
  3. Luke 4/14-30
  4. Luke 24/36-53
  5. John 20/1-23
  6. 2 Corinthians 5/11-6/2
       
Download free ministry resources.
give us your feedback.