5-Fold Ministry

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:7 & 11).

Christ has distributed ministry gifts, which enable the Church to function as His Body, in vision, anointing and effectiveness. These five gifts as we will see, have a special purpose:

  • the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry
  • the edifying of the body of Christ
  • the unifying, growing and measuring of our sonship 

Spiritual Fathering:

The 5-fold ministry gifts are not titles, but anointed mantles that function to empower  “fathering”  in the Church family. There is nothing “elevated” about them (1 Cor. 4:9-13) and we should not assume that they were only given to men. The emphasis must be placed on the special purpose of preparing God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up and function with the same anointing Jesus carried while He was on the earth. Jesus said, “I only do what I see My Father doing” (Jn. 5:19). This value of “sonship”, stands as our model for how the Church gets its authority and power to advance the Kingdom of God in the world. The 5-fold ministry is designed to position fathering leaders in the family of God, so that there is a natural multiplication of spiritual sons and daughters who are doing what Jesus did (Jn. 14:12).

People Doing What Jesus Did:

These five leadership gifts were not simply given to do the work of the ministry, but to train, nurture and enable God’s people to do the work of the ministry. They offer the framework for God’s people to grow in their own callings and gifting under the governing leadership of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).  

The Time-Frame: “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The five-fold ministry did not pass away at the end of the first century, but was given until the maturing of the Body in unity, knowledge and expression of Christ’s fullness.

It was Jesus’ contention that the very gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Yet we see the frailty by which the Body of Christ moves and wonder how this could ever be acheived. I have come to believe that most of the problems in the Church today can be attributed to man’s desire to do what they want. To experience the fullness of God, means we must be organized and led in the way that God intends. We have either left or lost our way and need to return to being the Church, rather than doing church. That goes beyond how we worship and what we believe, to the very anointing we expect to see emerge in our lives. Our experience has a direct connection to how we are governed and led.

If we are to be prepared for the return of our Kingly Bridegroom, we must discover the priorities that will bring beauty and maturity to the Bride He longs to embrace. 

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