By Steve Cordle
When my boys turned 16, they each eagerly started the process of learning to drive. That meant they visited the Department of Motor Vehicles to take the written driverâ€™s test. They had to demonstrate their knowledge of the manual of the rules of the road. They studied the book and each one passed on their first attempt at the test. They were happy, but they were not yet licensed. They were educated about driving, but they were not yet equipped to drive. To obtain their license, they had to demonstrate to the state trooper that they could translate their knowledge of the manual into control of the car.
In order to release world-changing disciples and group leaders, churches must do more than educate their members with biblical knowledge. Rather, they must equip them in translating that knowledge into obedience to Jesus and ministry to others. Yes, biblical knowledge is important, it is just not enough.
The Equipping Track of a cell church differs from a Sunday School class or a lecture Bible Study in that it is designed with an end in mind: a reproducing leader. Do you have a clear understanding of what knowledge and skills are required for a person to disciple others through leading a group? Do you have a way to develop people in those skills in a step-by-step manner? An Equipping Track should involve not only instruction from a book, but experience in ministry under the coaching of another practitioner. When people realize that your church is designed to equip and release them into ministry, they become excited partners in ministry; the audience becomes an army.