What Is The 5 Fold Ministry

I have been asked on numerous occasion what is the “5 Fold Ministry. “  Many have heard of the term but really don’t know what it means and they have never asked within their own church exactly what is the “5 Fold Ministry.”  They state they did not want to embarrass themselves.  I usually have two answers for them.  First, the only dumb question is the one you do not ask.  As with anything else in life, how can one learn if they fail to ask questions.  Secondly, each of us is responsible for our own salvation.  No friend, family member, or a Clergy can get you to heaven.  That is something each of us must do on our own.  When it comes to your salvation, make sure you get answers.  Not just answers but biblical answers.  Find out where it is in the bible and then prove to yourself that you have received a biblical answer.

Ephesians 4:11-12. These verses say, “And He gave some as Apostles, and some as Prophets, and some as Evangelists, and some as Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”

The purpose of the five-fold ministry is, “to prepare God’s people for works of service. Therefore, that the body of Christ may be built up 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.” So, since the body of Christ definitely is not built up to unity in the faith and has not attained to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, the thinking goes, the offices must stay in effect.

Understanding that an apostle is a “sent one” immediately raises the question, “Sent for what purpose?” To clearly see the purpose of an apostle, we must look at it in its relation to the other four equipping ministries. The evangelist plays the primary role of the herald, who broadcasts the good news of salvation to the unsaved. The pastor and the teacher next best serve a person once having been “saved” and thus becoming a member of the Body of Christ. The pastor concentrates on shepherding him and caring for him by tending to his mental, physical, and spiritual needs. The teacher’s objective is to set forth sound, healthy doctrine to keep the believer firmly established and grounded in the integrity and accuracy of God’s Word so he can stand for a lifetime. The prophet serves as the “eyes and ears” of the Church, identifying the ministries in others, acting as a watchman, giving us spiritual direction, and alerting us to danger in the spiritual battle.

Apostle: So how does the apostle fit into this mix of ministries? The apostle’s central purpose is to be a spiritual builder. His charge is to build community, which he does by bringing unity and balance to the mix. Paul says  “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love…” (Col. 2:2). This is a community agenda. With all of the ministries demonstrating specialized aspects of Christ’s own character, the apostle represents the Lord’s heart to keep them balanced, working together to build spiritual communities.

The record of Acts indicates that evangelists, prophets, and apostles are the most effective ministries in church planting, but all three achieve dramatic results through different means. The evangelist goes to the new area, drawing in the crowd and winning people to Christ. The prophet is capable of producing results with his ability to clearly hear from God, speaking specific prophetic words necessary for advancing the spiritual war against the Enemy. The apostle is also effective at planting a new church primarily because of his ability to network. As time goes on, these three ministries need to hand off much responsibility to the pastor and teacher. Any person with desire and a plan can plant a church, but that does not mean he or she is adept at building it. The heart of an apostle beats with the desire to build by developing a community of believers and in order to do this he must work closely with the other ministries. “Apostles think architecturally as builders, supernaturally gifted at putting people’s lives together so that they form a cohesive, vibrant, balanced community.”  They also think governmentally, guiding each person into his proper place for the purpose of unity and growth. When things are out of order, they’ll know it. Apostles are concerned with the design, form, and function of spiritual communities.

Apostles are not supermen. They are human like everyone else, and they must work to develop spiritual fruit like any other believer. We must be suspicious of anyone who claims to be an apostle but turns out to be interested in promoting himself and his ministry more than the things of God. Every apostle can clearly relate to Paul’s words when he said that he did not “deserve to be called an apostle” (1 Cor. 15:9). They understand that apostle-ship is not based on works or talents. The ministry of an apostle cannot be earned; it is purely a gift of God’s grace. [34] “Each one of us should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pet. 4:10). No matter how we are called, no matter what gift of grace we have received, we must all serve faithfully.  In discharging the duties of our ministries, for I am convinced that everyone who serves and loves others deeply “will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11).

Prophets: A prophet is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of God by divine inspiration. He is considered as an interpreter, proclaimer or spokesman of God who has the ability to reveal or interpret God’s will and the future. Thus he can be called as someone who is the mouthpiece of God and stands between God and man to communicate to man the word of God.

Several religions like Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc speaks of prophets and their works. He is the formal representative of god. He has the powers of divination or channeling. In the previous times or the ancient ages a prophet was always a male. A prophet is also a religious reformer who has the will of god to make the essential changes in religion as per the time. Translate literally the word prophet means “the servant of god”. The revelations made by prophets are known as prophecies.

The authentic function of a prophet is to accurately predict or diviniate on future events and also to accurately recall ancient events. The other essential function would be the consistent demonstration of an exemplary and righteous lifestyle. All authentic prophets would consistently demonstrate compassion, equity, contentment and self-sacrifice in every moment of their lives.

Evangelists: Often the first representative a person may meet from a church is the evangelist. A person who serves as evangelists plays a vital role in teaching the gospel. However, the words “evangelist”, “preacher”, and “minister” have been used differently by so many denominations, it has become necessary that we turn to the pages of the Bible to discover God’s original purpose and design for this great work and service.

The Evangelist goes to the highway and the byways, to the street corners, and down the ally’s.  He goes to where the lost and down trodden are at.  He reaches people on their own grounds.  He preaches the Holy Word to the lost without becoming a part of the World.  The Evangelist must be in the world to spread the good news but not become involved of the world.

Being an Evangelist means preaching in public places such as parks or sidewalks, it means delivering messages to different churches besides your home church, and to kow and believe in the Bible, and do whatever God tells you.

I am more of an Evangelist then a Pastor.

Pastors: The most important duty of a pastor is to work hard at preaching and teaching. By his sermons and his teaching, he shows his love to God and to the congregation. It will be obvious in the messages a pastor preaches when he is not growing in his walk with God and is not spending many hours in scripture. The apostles did not have time for administration and neither do pastors today. In fact, some of the centralization of power with pastors would disappear if administrative duties were turned over to other elders and deacons. The priority of the apostles was the teaching of the scriptures – the Bible. When the Bible is seriously taught book-by-book and verse-by-verse, Christians will be warned about sin, be encouraged in the faith, learn how to live the Christian life, and best of all discover the character of God.

The Pastor’s duties include Oversight of the Church, Share authority with others, Shepherd the Church, Teach the Word of God and Pray, Resolve Doctrinal Issues,  Godly example to the Church, Pray for the Sick, and Church Discipline

Teachers:  To prayerfully help students learn subject matter, skills, and develop attitudes and knowledge that will contribute to their developmental as mature, able, and responsible Christian man and women to the praise and glory of God.

The teacher shall be one who has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The teacher shall be a member in good standing of an evangelical church and shall lead a separated life. He/she shall be a person of spiritual maturity with academic and leadership abilities. The teacher shall reflect the purpose of the school, which is to honor Christ in every class, and in every activity.  The teacher shall be one who feels called of God to the teaching position being sought. Other responsibilities as deemed by The Board as deemed appropriate.

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