A few weeks ago, I was in Cape Town, South Africa, at Friend of God church. I was main speaker at their Go Global Missionary Conference. Friend of God Church is led by Pastor Gerald Ferreira. The church invited twenty-five missionaries and church leaders they support from as far as Ukraine and Russia.
Friend of God church is in the process of building a church network with these invitees. The leader in charge of this network is Pastor Matthys Wessels. He identified three life-giving ways that Friend of God church could be friends of God to the missionaries and church leaders attending the conference.
The words were: Inspire, Care, Equip.
I resonated with the three words because that’s what I do. Whether writing this newspaper column, or speaking to churches and community spheres of influence all over the world, our non-profit charitable organization, Nationstrategy, inspires, cares, and equips community and church leaders for uplifting communities, cities and countries.
I have been struggling for years to write in words what I do in and for communities and churches. Then, after fifteen years of continually ministering to the world, I go to South Africa and viola, there it is: Inspire, Care, Equip. I found Nemo over in Cape Town, South Africa.
I love those words: Inspire, Care and Equip. These three words are the non-negotiables of what any community service organization, government service, or ministry should be about. Many times organizations do one or two of these functions but not all three.
Caring for someone is great but that doesn’t necessarily get the person out of the rut they are in. It’s nice to inspire and help give people some fire and desire but what for? They feel good after the meeting but most times that inspiration is gone the next morning. It’s nice to equip people but people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Jesus was the perfect example for us in inspiring, caring and equipping. He pulled people up when they were down and then pulled people out of the hole they were in. Pull them up, then pull them out and get them on their way. What is called empowerment these days is mostly just inspiration and caring but little equipping. That’s the alpha, not the omega. It may sound good, make good rhetoric, but it’s not finishing what it started.
Most people will be inspired to ‘take the mountain’ but not equipped to ‘hold the mountain’ after it is taken. Equipping is more than someone sitting in a class, listening to someone lecture at them. Real transformation comes from life impartation. No one did this better than Jesus. He imparted His life. He showed the way. He demonstrated, not just wax eloquently. He didn’t promise them everything and give them nothing. He lived it. He had outcome, not just output. It takes all three: Inspire, Care, Equip. That’s what the church unlimited was designed to do! It’s more than good, it’s God.
Someone once said, “Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how awesome you are if you can’t see it yourself?” When you are miserable with yourself, you will be miserable with others. When you are miserable with others, you will be miserable with God. Inspiration is often the first step to being content with who we are. When you’re content with who you are then relationships won’t be so stressful with others and God.
Understand someone cares for you!
Don’t let your hurt cause you to reject them. Compassion often releases the passion to change! Changed people, change people. The scripture says, “Cast your burdens unto Jesus for He cares for you.”
But also be equipped.
Get a mentor. Look for two way interaction. Look for life lifters who will get you back to where you once belong…ascending! Joshua Marine says: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
Be a friend of God by doing what Friend of God church does: Inspire, Care, Equip.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in newspapers and blogs all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 600 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing inaccurate mental perceptions that the community has of God, church, and Christianity. If you know of a local newspaper that you think would like these articles, please have them contact Ed Delph at our website. The articles are free of charge and Ed’s way of giving back to the community.