Equipped for Every Good Work: Building a Gifts-Based Church

by Dan R. Dick, Barbara Miller. Discipleship Resources, 2011.

Writing for Methodists, the authors provide tools that can be used by churches of any denomination seeking to change from the “program approach” of ministry to “gifts-based” disciple-building. They explore the idea that churches today have become more focused on institutional maintenance (the structure-based church) than on building the Body of Christ (the gifts-based church). This book offers four tools that can be used to discover and develop the spiritual gifts, spirituality types, interaction styles, and working preferences of each person in a congregation. Using the full set of tools requires an initial 9½ hours of contact time with church members who participate in gifts-discovery, so a weekend retreat is the likely setting for initiating this practical program. A special website (www.equippedforeverygoodwork.org) provides access to all the project’s handouts, presentation materials, reference materials, and interpretive aids. As the authors admit, this is a fairly involved process for “discovering the gifts and graces that God gives us to enable us to be the best church we can possibly be.” It offers an attractive alternative to the traditional paradigm of recruiting church members for service on committees, church school teaching, and other “jobs.”