The Bible has lots to say about idleness and laziness. As we focus on our theme to equip the saints for ministry, it’s important to realize that it is just plain hard work. It takes time, attention, and discipline to be a committed worker of the kingdom. Proverbs 12:11 (ESV) says, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” Similarly, Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”
There are many Bible verses about providing, working, and producing. Jesus himself prayed for workers because the fields were ripened for harvest. He was talking about kingdom work. He often spoke using metaphors about crops to talk about being productive in leading people to salvation. Think about all the times Jesus spoke about being productive for God. But it wasn’t just Jesus. All through the Bible people are commanded to work, and to do so diligently.
Peter informed his readers that they need to supplement their faith with certain qualities and concludes: “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:8, 10).
With all of today’s distractions, it’s easier than ever to be unproductive. In order to be productive there needs to be a plan to work. This is what Paul is describing when he tells the Ephesian church to equip one another for works of ministry. It takes time, discipline, and dedication to disciple and equip others, and it is well worth the time invested.