|What is the 5-fold ministry and why is it important?|
It is important that we are obedient to the Spirit of God as He reveals the order in the Scripture. We are learning to hear His Voice and respond to it. It is also important to note that no one can select his or her own calling or gift. No one can decide to have an office in the Church or a gift of the Spirit or a certain ministry. God decides these things. Some run who were never sent.
While the term, "five-fold ministry" doesn't appear in Scripture, it is referring to Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; *
We may count those items and see that there are five of them, but are they all ministries?
In the Church, there are gifts of the Spirit, ministries, and offices. This is something that you can confirm by searching the Scriptures. All of these are manifestations of Jesus Christ. They have nothing to do with the fleshly nature of the people to whom they are given.
The apostle is an office. The other four, prophet, evangelists, pastor, and teacher, are all ministries. These four ministries are linked to the office of the apostle, though they can exist on the local Church level without the apostolic office. In other words, members who are not apostles may also have any of these ministries according to the gift and calling of the Holy Spirit.
All is based on the foundation as laid out in Scripture. The Bible still has the answers, but the human mind is deceitful, and many a Godly person has become puffed up and has gone astray because of his or her human mind. God has a pattern in Scripture that calls for a multiplicity of God-set ministries who are led by the Spirit of God in unity.
There are apostolic elders and apostolic deacons. There are elders (plural) and deacons (plural) in the local churches who are set by apostles and are in submission to the apostles.
An apostle must be set by God. No one can appoint himself to the office of the apostle. It is NOT an office that glorifies the individual now, any more than it was in the early days of the Church. There is no such thing as a maverick apostle or a chief apostle, just as there is no such thing as a chief local elder. The apostles are in submission to each other and the local elders are in submission to each other and to the apostles. All are in submission to Jesus Christ and the Divine pattern laid out in Scripture and revealed by the Holy Spirit. Apostles have authority over the Church Universal. Local elders pastor (care for as a shepherd) the local Church. Deacons on both levels are spiritual ministries who work at the direction of the elders with whom they are set. The one-man ministry of pastor in the local Church is non-existent in the local churches. It certainly does not exist in Scripture.
Last updated: May, 2013
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