Question: What do a surgeon, a fisherman, and a drill sergeant have in common?
Answer: A single Greek word, katartizo (kah tar TIDZ oh) describes at least part of the work of each profession. The word means “to set a broken bone,” “to mend nets,” and “to train and equip soldiers.” It means to set in working order and prepare for service.
This word is one of the most important words in the New Testament to describe the work of church leaders. In Eph. 4:12 we are told that the Lord gave the church certain leaders, especially pastors and teachers, for the “equipping” of the saints for works of service (NASV). The church is a hospital for broken lives and a boot camp for drilling recruits. Every person in the church should be helped to get his life together and to get ready to serve.
There are many facets to “equipping.” A summary of the uses of this word in the New Testament will show us the kind of things church leaders should be trying to do for their people:
- To teach (Luke 6:40)
- To equip with everything good (Heb 13:21)
- To supply what is lacking (1 Thess 3:10)
- To prepare for use (Heb 10:5)
- To form, mold, and shape (Heb 11 :3)
- To mend and repair (Matt 4:21)
- To correct faults (2 Cor 13:11)
- To restore a fallen brother (Gal 6:1)
- To bring into functioning harmony (1 Cor 1 :10)
Jesus said, “When a disciple is fully taught (“equipped”) he will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).