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.
Our basis is the great commission, but instead of camping out on the great commission passage only, I also equip them with the tools to do the ministry and we also as a group practice the how. That means that I give them tools to share the gospel, we practice with one another, and then I send them out to do the real thing. I give them short-term and long-term discipleship tools. These guys not only know that they are to baptize, but we practice baptisms. Most often these are done in the room where we are meeting, but just this week we went down to the near by river and every single guy had the opportunity to practice baptizing one of the other guys. Instead of learning that we are to teach from the Bible and hold one another accountable, we actually practice how to prepare a lesson and then how to teach it.
Really what I am doing with these guys is developing them as leaders. On some level they are already leaders, but I am helping develop them further through equipping them for ministry. Practically this looks similar to the five steps of leadership development given by Dave and Jon Ferguson in their book Exponential.
The Five Steps of Leadership Development
1. I do. You Watch. We talk.
2. I do. You help.
3. You do. I help.
4. You do. I watch. We talk.
5. You do. Someone else watches.
So if you are one in an equipping role make sure that you are not only giving the people the "what" but also intentionally give and show them the "how."