"And he gave some, Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists; and some, Pastors and Teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of GOD, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" Ephesians 4:11-12
The necessity for the restoration of the Five Fold Ministry is not about titles. Contrastingly, it is about restoring a move of the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ.
The five-fold ministry as recorded in Eph 4:11-12 are ascension gifts that were given to the body by Christ Jesus to continue his ministry in the earth and bring his body (the church) into full maturity. It is important for those that are called to a ministry office to consider that authority is never given by GOD apart from responsibility. Those who are held responsible are accountable to GOD who appointed them. James 3:1, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."
These gifts were bestowed upon men and women to occupy an office according to his will as a service to the body of Christ. Often times we consider an office as a managerial function, contrastingly it is intended as a gift from our Lord to serve
the body of Christ.
Just as Christ washed his disciple’s feet, our prayer is that we can restore that same ever- important aspect of “servant hood” to ministry leadership.
Body Ministries, Gifts and Offices
Often times, confusion comes from the failure to distinguish between three biblical concepts: gifts of the spirit
, body ministries
and leadership ministries
also referred to as the fivefold ministry
Ministries of the Body
Body ministries can be found in Roman 12: 4-8 and include: Prophecy, Servanthood, Teaching, Exhortation and encouragement, Giving to others and meeting their needs, leading others, Compassion and mercy and taking care of people. These are called body ministries because they are ministries that every single member of the body of Christ is called to function and operate in. Every believer has got a ministry because the word ministry simply means service; so to minister means to serve. There is no particular training needed, believers receive them from the Lord and function naturally in them.
Gifts of the Spirit
In the life of the local church a major issue related to the subject of spiritual gifts is that far too few Christians are involved in any form of ministry. They conceive themselves as audience members rather than functioning members of the body of Christ.
The gifts of the Spirit are the ways in which GOD empowers all believers through the Holy Spirit to carry out ministry. The offices, noted in the previous section, are simply ways in which GOD's power is used within in the church body.
There are a number of lists of gifts and offices in the Bible, including Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, and Ephesians 4:11-13. Many interpreters try to combine these lists to come up with a master list of the gifts, sometimes even deriving gifts from the offices. For example, the gift of "apostleship" is derived from the office of apostle.
The fact that the Bible provides different lists suggests that these lists are not intended to be exhaustive. In addition, the presence of GOD's Spirit accomplishes other things. For example, when the Spirit of GOD came on Samson, he killed a thousand of Israel's enemies (Judges 15).
It has been said that spiritual gifts must not be confused with natural talents, and surely we must agree. But we must also insist that spiritual gifts not be divorced from natural talents and abilities. In Psalm 139, we are reminded that it was GOD who fashioned us in the womb. Whatever our capabilities or weaknesses, they were given to us by the omniscient GOD who designed us not only in the matter of spiritual gifts, but also in the matter of talents and abilities to carry out a certain task. Human abilities alone will never produce eternal fruit, but our abilities when empowered by the Holy Spirit can bring about spiritual fruit. It is no accident that Billy Graham is a gifted speaker in the human sense.
A gift of the Spirit is any way in which GOD gives an individual power to carry out GOD's work, which are:
GOD's provision of an ability
GOD's enabling for ministry
GOD's manifestation of his power in the body of Christ
Because of this so not limit gifts to those listed in scripture as it cannot contain the full will of GOD. Modern churches need gifts for:
Handling trades such as sound engineering, lighting and construction
Empowering the Youth
Reaching through diverse groups
Teaching Finance, Law, Accounting, etc
Performing in the arts, such as music, drama and dance
And much much more
The five offices listed in the Bible are apostles, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. These are often called the "five-fold" ministries of the church. Most churches only recognize the last three of these offices, and many recognize only pastor and teacher. Often this effectively gets reduced to just pastors.As with the gifts, the people GOD has called into service do not always clearly fit one or another of these offices. Sometimes believers are anointed to combine aspects of more than one office in their ministry and there may be diversity of intensities within the callings of each office from person to person.
The purpose of the ministry office, as established by GOD, is to establish and bring the Body of Christ in full maturity.
A church in order according to divinely established structure will bring forth the supernatural power that the present day church so desperately needs.
To offset the re-establishing of apostolic/five-fold order, Satan has been orchestrating a heated debate regarding the topic. Pastors are concerned because they are being told that they really aren't the authority (led by the Holy Spirit) in their own churches or that they cannot oversee multiple churches unless they are given the nod to be a Bishop, both of which are untrue. Emerging prophets have been hurt because they no longer have a respected platform in the local assembly. The ministries of truly anointed Evangelists suffer as a lack of development and resources allocated to their calling.
Some believe that a plurality of elders should oversee the flock, and some believe in the "set man" principle. And then, we have some who call themselves apostles and others bishops; some insist on the term elders while others are overseers.
An elder does not specifically have to have a pulpit ministry. Although both feed the sheep, we note that I Timothy 5:17 indicates that there may be elders who "labor in the word and doctrine" and elders who do not. Otherwise, the phrase "especially they who labor in the word and doctrine" would not have indicated that there was a distinction.
If the five offices given by Christ (Ephesians 4:11) are to equip the body of Christ, then how do Bishops, Elders, and Overseers fit into this scenario? Who is qualified to be a bishop (overseer) as identified by the Holy Spirit? There are moral criteria set, but unlike the ministry offices there are not many points of references as to the type of GOD given anointing that they should be walking in.
Typically, a Bishop/Overseer or Elder should be anointed, by the Spirit of GOD, into one of the ministry offices prior to being elected to the positions by Man. For instance, Peter who was an apostle (office) called himself an elder (1 Peter 5:1)
As it stands there is only on order called by the word of GOD where office order is established, and that is in 1Corinthians 12:28, "And GOD has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (which includes Pastors), after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues."
Paul identifies three offices -- apostles, prophets and teachers that could set and establish the local church. The evangelist is a traveling preacher, and would not be set in a local congregation as they should be out winning souls most of the time. 1Corinthians 12:18, "But now GOD has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased."
There are many kinds of people, many kinds of gifts, and many offices. We come to the body of Christ from many different backgrounds and even for different reasons. Our calls are different.The one thing that brings them all together is that they are all under the control of one Holy Spirit.
When we operate under the authority of the one Spirit, we will act in unity despite our differences.