post by Lisa Buffum
A couple of weeks ago, I received the following email from a learner in How to Build and Provide Your Course Online:
I would like to thank you for sharing with the body of Christ the knowledge necessary for today’s communication. Because of your faithfulness we are able to exercise Eph. 4:12 God’s Word Bible “Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ.”
I’ve really been touched by this verse in this particular translation and the way this learner presented it to me. It won’t leave my mind! Because of the faithfulness of the BeADisciple staff, BeADisciple learners are becoming more equipped to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. That’s exciting!
In a past newsletter, I wrote to you about life verses. BeADisciple may have found a new life verse. We have a mission statement: The Institute for Discipleship is dedicated to providing educational opportunities that nurture and enrich Christian leaders, lay and clergy, for effective living and ministry. But, how special to also be given a verse of scripture that so accurately describes our task! It’s amazing what a word from God can do!
In context, this verse falls in a selection of scripture that encourages us all to live a life worthy of the calling we have received and goes on to list apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers (aka Christian leaders) as gifts to Christ’s church whose purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. I’ve read this scripture numerous times before, but this translation makes me think about it in a new way. What a good example of the power of the living and breathing word of God – it meets us where we are with the power to breathe fresh life into us!
As part of the body of Christ, we all have a calling to a mission contributing to the whole body of Christ. “As each and every part does its job, He makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph 4:16b) I couldn’t say it better myself! We each do our own job to build up Christ’s church.
Several years ago, I found myself feeling guilty because I felt like I didn’t have a clear place in God’s work. I wasn’t particularly good at teaching children or tweens. I wasn’t very good at talking to strangers about the Gospel. But once I discovered that my own spiritual gifts were educating, encouraging, and enriching other Christians so that they could do a better job with their own gifts, I found the place where I fit. I discerned my own unique call to teach and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of fellow believers and God brought me to the Institute for Discipleship and BeADisciple.com.
I am honored to live out my calling to assist others in their own preparation to serve and build up Christ’s body through our ministry of bringing online educational opportunities to Christian leaders! In 2017, I rededicate myself to this calling to “prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ.”
Hoping you’ll join me!
Lisa Buffum is the Director of Online Education for the Institute for Discipleship, overseeing the ministries of BeADisciple.com. Lisa completed a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, in May of 2006. She is the mother of three children and her family is very active as lay members at First UMC in Winfield, Kansas. Lisa teaches IFD100 How to Provide Your Workshop Online and other workshops as needed, and provides technical assistance for instructors and participants for every IFD workshop.