G.I.G.O. is an acronym that means garbage in garbage out. What you put into yourself comes out. What you fill your brain, your soul and your heart with, will eventually come out in the way you live your life. When you put garbage into yourself then your life will be full of garbage. When you put healthy things into yourself then you will have a healthy life.

This principle holds true as it pertains to our spiritual growth. The dog you feed gets bigger and eats the dog you starve. So if you feed sinfulness, laziness or selfishness then holiness, spiritual alertness and selflessness will become the dog you starve. So we need to starve the things of the flesh and feed the things of God to become spiritually vibrant, lively and growing.

In Ephesians 4:7 – 16 Paul explains God’s plan for the spiritual growth of the church. The picture Paul sees is a family of Christians exercising their spiritual gifts as they help each other to lead and live faithfully and grow in godliness. Every Christian is a spiritual leader and every spiritual leader is called to help the church grow spiritually.

In verses 7 and 11 we learn that every Christian leader is part of an appetizer combo that has been given to the church body for the purpose of increasing the spiritual appetite of the church family so the church can grow spiritually. This appetizer combo is made up of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers.

  • Apostles are given to the church to help establish new bodies of believers.
  • Prophets are given to the church for the purpose of foretelling the truth and proclaiming the truth.
  • Evangelists are given to the church to share the good news of the gospel with unbelievers.
  • Shepherd-elder-pastors are given to the church for the purpose of knowing, feeding, leading and protecting the flock.
  • Teachers are given to the church to explain Biblical truths in an understandable way.

Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers are all given to the church like an appetizer combo to create a hunger for the main course, which is Christ.

  1. Sermon Observation: What key truths caught your attention in this sermon?
  2. Scripture Observation: Read the following passages one at a time and discuss any observations you see.
    • The Ephesian Call To Leadership: Ephesians 4:7 – 16; Acts 20:28 – 31
    • The Gift of Apostle: Acts 13:1 – 3
    • The Gift of Prophet: Psalm 51, Acts 5:1-11, 13:6-12
    • The Gift of Evangelist: Romans 10:13-15; Matthew 28:19-20
    • The Gift of Shepherd: 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-16, 1 Peter 5:1-4
    • The Gift of Teacher: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
  3. Application: How will you apply this sermon and these passages to your life right now? How was this study helpful in your struggle with sin? What truths do you need to trust? What truths do you need to obey?
  4. Prayer: Spend some time praying for one another as a response to this study.