The Five-Fold Ministry: Part One
This is the first part of an introduction to the Five-Fold Ministry, it's purpose and it's on-going need.
What is the Five-Fold Ministry?
Before we get too far into this blog on the Five-Fold Ministry, I want to emphasize that I am not a Biblical Scholar and there are tons of resources out there to better explain things. This topic is really, really important and has been overlooked by much of the Church for a very long time. It cannot be fully treated or explained by a few blogs. That said, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me and I will answer as much as I can. If I do not have an answer, I will find it for you! Please read on...
The Bible has many things it teaches. And many of those are things we see as “uncomfortable”. For a variety of reasons. Something that is a particularly important part of that group is the “Five-Fold Ministry”. We read about it in the book of Ephesians, chapter 4. In fact, it clearly states that it is a part of the Church for today. It has a “time limit” on it, but it obviously hasn’t happened. Some, for whatever reason, feel this ministry paradigm is for the past.
We refer to this as the Five-Fold Ministry because it teaches us about 5 specific positions that should be leading the Church. However, they are generally limited to just a couple of these. Please read the following passage:
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16, NKJV)
So the Five-Fold Ministry has some distinct purposes. I don’t want to go into a long explanation of any of these because I am not trying to write a book on this, just a blog. Simple teaching to remind the believer (you) that much of what we are instructed to do here has been tossed out. Which is why there is ongoing confusion in the Church.
I would like to say that this blog is fully against PC in the Church. And while I get specific in some areas, if you are offended by my terminology, feel free to let me know. I will be happy to tell you that I don’t care. I don’t mean to be flippant about this, but “politically correct” is a spirit of the enemy and when you get on that train, you are not riding with the Holy Spirit. Anyway, let’s go on!
Apostle - the purpose of the apostle is to bring forth the ministry and leadership of the “team”. The word actually means “sent one”. The concept behind the apostle is to have a person from one culture go forth to another culture and lead in the process of changing that culture to look like the one they were sent from. So an Apostle of Christ, essentially, leads others to help bring the culture of the Kingdom of God into whatever place they are sent to. Typically, this person will be a leader in a church or movement.
Prophet - Prophecy is a gift of the Spirit that many, many Christians will work in. In this reference, it refers directly to the “Office of Prophet”. So we are speaking about a man or a woman that will work in the prophetic gift on a very powerful level. These will be used to bring insight to everything from an individual to a nation. And there are hundreds of “things” in between that a prophet will be used for. A prophet will work with an apostle to lead groups and movements. They will, literally, see and understand things in ways unimaginable.
Evangelist - The evangelist and the apostle will often work hand in hand. Their ministry will be very similar. Typically, they will both hunger to see the nations saved. The difference will be that the evangelist desires constantly to bring the Gospel at any given moment or place, while the apostle has far more on their plate. Such as administrations, teachings, prophetic work, and, often, insight to the Word that few will grasp.
Pastor - The pastor is frequently the only member of this team that most Christians will meet or accept. Many men and women across our world will go by the title of “Pastor” when in fact they are an Apostle or Prophet. But titles tend to be a stumbling block most of the time anyway. Conversely, many people who are pastors are placed in the position of Apostle when that is not their ministry. In truth, sadly, most churches and denominations have not accepted the fact that a pastor (or shepherd) is not an Apostle and should not work in that capacity. The Pastor is called to shepherd (guide, love on, lead, sacrifice for) people. And anyone shepherding more than 50 people is likely trying to fill the role of Apostle. There is much discussion for this and we will get to it more later on.
Teacher - A teacher is simply that: a teacher. Their ministry (as legitimate as any other) is meant to bring understanding of the Word to people. That is their focus. So they may have a shepherd’s heart in this process, but more than anything, they desire that people see what God has given to His people. Their truest want is to talk about the Bible and show what God has laid out for people. They tend to understand things through the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:17). And they will promote others to seek and understand the Word through the same Spirit.
In order to keep this at a length that is conducive with what is known as a blog, I will stop here for this part.
But as a people of God in an age where life has truly gotten out of control, it’s important to know what the Lord is saying to the Church right now. He has placed gifts and tools in our midst that we are failing to use. So during the time between you reading this blog and the next one whereby we will continue on this subject, search out to find more and ask for the Spirit of God to reveal truth to you while you study His Word.
Emphasize and pray for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is the biggest key to understanding the Word of God!
There is more. For all of us!