(This is a continuation of Effective Equipper)
To understand how to live, I sometimes look at how Jesus lived.
I understand that there are differences between the first century and this afternoon. I understand, for example, that coffee hadn’t been invented then. But if I want to help people or teach people or learn about people, I learn by looking at the way Jesus helped people and taught people and responded to what he knew about people.
So to understand what it might mean to have a year guided by the idea of equipping, I started looking at what he did to equip his followers.
First, Jesus taught out loud.
In “Learning A New Routine,” I looked at the Sermon on the Mount as an explanation of the living habits of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus starts with rules that were familiar and accepted by his audiences (“You have heard it said”). He then expands their interpretation and then their application (“But I say”).
This sermon isn’t parables (which provoke thinking), or inspirational stories. Jesus clearly says, “here’s what to do.”
I know that we struggle to apply his statements. We appeal to culture, to context, to disputes about the original language. Which is great, particularly when people get adamant about their particular interpretation. But disagreements about interpretations don’t invalidate the authority and integrity of Jesus’ teaching.
So having “equip” as a guiding word means making sure that I teach. And, since I’m interested in equipping people to follow Jesus, I need to work on unpacking, with clarity and humility and practicality, what Jesus included in his teaching.
For example, Jesus taught people to pray. And told them to pray. And conversed with them, which counts as prayer if we work within a framework that Jesus is God. If I’m going to equip people to live as Jesus taught, I need to help us understand who we talk to, what kinds of things we can talk about, when we don’t need to talk anymore and can simply do something.