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Ephesians 4:12

ESV to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
NIV to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
NASB for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ;
CSB to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,
NLT Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
KJV For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

What does Ephesians 4:12 mean?

The overall mission for every Christian leader is "to equip the saints for the work of ministry." This involves the idea of training believers to serve God here on earth. Notice that this training is not focused purely on academics, but strongly emphasizes practice. Leaders are to train others in the church to serve others. In addition, ministry is "work." It involves expending energy and placing the needs of others first. Ministry is difficult to do from a distance, because personal involvement is required in order to have the greatest impact.

The reason church leaders are to train every believer to serve others is "for building up the body of Christ." In many modern churches, one pastor is expected to provide all or most of the ministry work for those in the congregation. When this takes place, others do not use their spiritual gifts. When the people do not serve, the congregation's growth stagnates. Instead of allowing this to happen, church leaders are called on to focus on training others to serve. In this way, every believer is growing in maturity and making disciples of others.
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