We are commanded to ‘make followers’ not ‘train leaders.’ When Peter ask Jesus about being a ‘follower,’ what he’s got is a simple answer ‘You follow Me.’ (Jn.21:15-22).
‘Equipping’ is developing people learn how to serve, as in the command to ‘serve one another.’
‘Equipping the saints for the work of ministry.’ (Eph.4:12) ‘Ministry’ here is a bad translation. The original text used the word ‘service’ rather than ‘ministry.’ So, rather than asking ‘what is your ministry?’ that leads to ‘specialization’ of gifts and you answer ‘I’m a worship leader’ or ‘I’m doing kids ministry’ or ‘I’m a singer so I don’t do evangelism’ which it doesn’t really make sense in a biblical perspective. What does make sense is ‘how do you serve your brother? Did you washed dishes today? Have you brought food to the table of our widows? Did you buy milk for the orphans that we have? Feed and take care of Jesus’ sheep, that is.
The more we serve one another the more we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily. We are admonished: ‘let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others.’ Phil.2:4.
So, are you a follower or a leader? Can’t be both or else you be called an ‘oxymoron.’ Sometimes I challenge those who loved to be called ‘leaders’: if Jesus commands is to make followers then you become a leader, who made you?