READ: Ephesians 4:1-16
THINK: Are you a leader or a follower? In God’s kingdom, both of these roles are vital in each of our lives. As faithful followers of Christ, we must serve under the leadership and authority He establishes. Even so, godly leaders are to set the prime example of servanthood, following the example of Jesus himself. Their primary role is to equip God’s people for service in their churches and communities. All of us are to get involved. God doesn’t need spectators who stand by as leaders do the work of ministry. Instead, we are to learn from the instruction and example of godly leaders so we can become more effective in serving God’s purposes and leading others to Christ.
RESPOND: What are some of the character traits of a person who is living “worthy of the calling” (v. 1)? (See v. 2.) How do such attitudes and behaviors help Christians “keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” and why is this important? (See 4:3 note.) What is significant about the Christian faith having “one Lord,” and what are the implications of that fact for individual believers? (See 4:5 note.) According to verses 7-8, what is one of the ways Christ has demonstrated His grace to us? Why does He distribute various leadership gifts? (See article on The Ministry Leadership Gifts for the Church, p. 1714.) What is the primary task and purpose of spiritual leaders? (See 4:12 note.) What does this imply for each of us as part of the church? How does this relate to the church body being “built up until we all reach unity in the faith…”? (See 4:13 note.) How does that unity develop and why is it so crucial to the maturity of a church and it’s members? What does it mean to be a spiritual “infant,” and why is it important that Christians not remain that way? (See 4:14 note.) According to verses 15-16, what are some of the key aspects of continuing to “grow up” in Christ? (See 4:15 note.)
PRAY: Express gratitude to God for the Christian leaders who invest in your life and for those who have had significant influence on your spiritual journey. Pray that God will give these leaders special wisdom and encouragement to serve others in an effective, God-honoring way.
ACT: Send a note of appreciation to one or more of your pastors or leaders. Get involved in a new ministry venture.