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From the Word: 11 And indeed, he granted the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers, 12 for refining the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we each attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a mature man, to the measure of a maturity of the fullness of Christ — 14 so that we may no longer be children, pitched about and carried away with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by cunning in deceitful ways. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way in him who is the head: Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–15)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Introduction
They now have everything that should be preached and taught abundantly available in clear and simple form, in so many excellent and helpful books, such as Sermons That Preach Themselves, Prepared, and Treasury, as they were called in earlier times. Yet, they are not so godly and honest as to purchase these books, or even if they have them, to look at them or read them. Sadly, they are altogether shameful gluttons, servants of their own bellies, who would more appropriately be swineherds and dog-tenders than caretakers of souls and pastors.
Pulling It Together: God provides everything we need for the ministry of his church. Now, we must use what he has provided. For example, if he has granted that one is a teacher of some kind, that person must teach truly, so that others may grow correctly. If God has not given you the mouth of a teacher, then he has given you the ear of a student, or disciple. So, listen and learn. The intent of this Christian classroom is that the whole church grows up in Christ, becoming more and more like him. There is no other maturity of faith than that which is measured in Christ himself.
Prayer: Fill me, Lord, with yourself. Amen.
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The Word of Life Series is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ, to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.