- The Lord Jesus Christ gave the ministry gifts to the Church – Eph. 4:11
These fivefold ministries are five different expressions of the one Christ. All fivefold ministers are Christ’s ascension gifts to His Church. They were given to complement each other and to labor together in building His Church.
- Purpose – Eph 4:12
- For the perfecting of the saints. Perfecting means: equipping, a fitting or preparing fully, implying a process leading to consummation, bringing to maturity or completion
- For the work of the ministry
- For the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ
- How long will the gifts be in effect?
Eph. 4:13, till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, “unto a perfect (mature, complete) man, unto the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ.”
- The aim of all ministry, Eph. 4:13-16, is entirely toward the body of Christ.
It is not for self glory or to magnify the human in any way
It takes all of the 5-fold ministries functioning to make the Church mature, grow up into Christ’s image. Not every church will have all five of the ministry gifts resident within the local church, but each local church should have a good mix of the 5-fold ministry coming to minister in the church in order to bring the church to maturity.
- There is a divine call:
In 1 Cor. 12:28, God, not man, sets the gifts in the church
- Cannot enter ministry because you want to, or feel like it
- Cannot make yourself a ministry gift
- Cannot enter the ministry because someone else tells you that you are suited for it
- You can recognize a divine call:
You will have a conviction in your own Spirit, a witness in your own heart The call of God comes upon your spirit, not your flesh. In Christ we are neither male nor female.
There will be a divine compulsion on the inside of you. 1 Cor. 9:16 “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.”
- Methods of the call:
- May be dramatic as was Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, Acts 9
- May come by inward witness or knowing
- Prophecy does not call a person, but should only confirm what you already know in your spirit
- The method of the call is not important, it will vary with individuals and the way that God deals with them
Scripture has nothing to say on the way a person is called, but obedience to the call is important.
- An anointing evidences a divine call
- Whom God calls, He equips
- He gives supernatural equipment to do the job. This is grace – God’s power and ability.
- Different offices function differently and need different types of grace. Eph. 4:7;
Rom. 1:5; 1 Cor. 3:10. There are also different measures of grace.
- Laymen can have spiritual gifts operating through them, but ministers will be equipped to minister regularly with those gifts necessary to stand in that office The same spiritual gifts operating through the ministerial level will carry a greater anointing.
- The ministry gifts consists not only of name, but in demonstration of power.
1 Cor. 2:4-5; Acts 8:10-24; 1 Thess. 1:5; 1 Cor. 4:20
- A man’s gift will make room for him, Prov. 18:16
- Higher offices do not receive any more reward; there is just greater responsibility that goes with the office. God rewards faithfulness, not offices.
- One must be faithful
- The gift, as well as the character of the individual, must be developed and mature. It takes work, dedication, consecration, submitting to the will of God, and study. (2 Tim. 2:15)
Preparation time is not lost time
- Getting out too soon can cause hurt to the individual as well as to the Body of Christ. 1 Tim. 3:6-7
- Most people do not start out where they will end up. Do what your hand finds to do. This is preparation and part of the training and will give one experience.
- The growth and developing of the office is progressive
- Let God make you the minister He wants you to be. Take time to wait on God.
- Realize the call, be faithful to work for God wherever you are, and let God promote you.Stay open to God and flow in the direction He has for your life.
- Do not intrude in the wrong office; can cost you your life and ministry
- Do what your hand finds to do. Ecc. 9:10; Col. 3:23
- Qualifications for ministry
- I Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 5:2-3 refers to the pastoral office, and deal with character issues. There is no list of qualifications given specifically in the Word for the office of the apostle, prophet, evangelist or teacher, but God would not require more of one ministry gift than He would of others because He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34).
These are qualifications and would apply to any ministry gift in the Body including the apostolic office.
- To stand in any of the f-fold offices, one must be called by God. God equips him/her to stand in that office. This is God’s responsibility. However to stand in any office, one must have the qualifications to stand in that office. That is the minister’s responsibility. Only he/she, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can qualify himself to be able to stand in such an office of trust and responsibility.
- Character and Conduct of ministers (I Tim. 3:1-7)
- Blameless; irreproachable character; must give no ground for accusation; sober, vigilant, of good behavior, household in order, not addicted to wine, hospitable. All have to do with character and conduct.
Humility – Gideon, Judges 6:1- 8:35; 1 Peter 5:5
Higher standard – James 3:1
Accountable to God for the call – Acts 26:19
Be an example – 1 Peter 5:3; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Cor. 4:16
A minister’s character must be worthy of the call, irreproachable in conduct and habits.
Seeks to lift up Christ, rather than draw attention to himself.
Weymouth – “A minister then must be a man (Greek = “tis” indefinite pronoun, meaning a person, emphasis mine) of irreproachable character, true to his one wife (not a polygamist, emphasis mine), temperate, sober minded, well-behaved. “
Amplified – “He must be circumspect and temperate, self controlled; he must be sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly disciplined life.”
- Apt (able) to teach; bases his/her ministry solidly upon the word, rather than on spiritual gifts or signs and wonders.
- Not lover of money; cannot use his office to extort money from people by dishonest or questionable means, nor for personal gain; must be above reproach in how they get money and how they handle it.
- Not a novice; meaning a new Christian or one who is young and undeveloped in spiritual things. Many have been saved for many years and are still novices because they have not developed spiritually. Has nothing to do with age.
- A minister and his ministry must be proven first
Note : 1 Tim. 3:10, a deacon, a helper, must also be found blameless and proved, how much more one who stands in an office. Everyone has to guard against pride, but it is more likely for a novice to be elevated in pride, not have the spiritual wisdom and maturity to discern sound doctrine, and therefore fall into condemnation and the trap of the enemy.
- A good report. Standing in any ministry office is a serious matter
One must have a good report resulting from his blameless character and conduct.
James 3:1 (Amplified) – Every ministry gift will be judged by a higher standard, and because we will be judged by a higher standard, we should set a higher standard in our character and conduct. Also: Luke 12:47-48
- Be faithful to prepare yourself.
2 Tim. 2:15, Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Prepare yourself through studying the word, preparing your heart, and presenting your body as a living sacrifice.
If you are faithful to prepare yourself, in Gods time, step by step, He will move you into the ministry He has for you. The call of God is developed over a period of time. You do not start where you will end up.
- The ministry gift which heads the list in both Eph. 4:11 and I Cor. 12:28 is the office of the apostle.
- Filled by Christ Himself — Heb. 3:1-2
- Apostle means, “one sent forth”, a “sent one”. A true apostle is one sent with a specific purpose, or commissioned to accomplish a specific task or ministry – not one who merely goes, but one who is sent as in Acts 13:1-4. They are commissioned and authorized by another to represent that one and carry out his will and purposes. The “sent one” is one with the One who is sending him (or her).
- The signs of an apostle – 2 Cor. 12:12; Acts 2:43; Acts 4:33; Acts 5:12; Rom. 15:18-20
- Apostle must have a very deep experience with the Lord. Something beyond the ordinary. Example: Paul – I Cor. 9:1 & Acts 9:3-6. Paul was not taught the gospel by man, but received it by direct revelation – Gal. 1:13-24 and Gal. 2:1-2.
- The work of an apostle.
A foundation layer, one who establishes, one who builds — I Cor. 3:10; Eph. 2:20;
- An apostle’s ministry embraces all the other ministry gifts.
One of the distinguishing results is the ability to establish churches
- Has governments, I Cor. 12:28, Weymouth translation says, “powers of organization” operating in ministry; they have the delegated authority to represent the kingdom of God on the earth and in the heavenlies in a governmental capacity. It is not a religious hierarchical dictatorial authority given by man, but a spiritual authority given by Christ.
- Apostles function in a greater realm of spiritual authority
Apostles can exercise authority over those churches they have established.
I Cor. 9:1-2
- A missionary who is really called of God and sent by the Holy Ghost is an apostle, though the term “missionary” is not used in the Bible, it can be the office of the apostle. Acts. 13:2-4 (Though all who go to the mission field are not apostles.)
- An apostle, may function in each of the 5 – fold ministry gifts at different times in their ministry:
He will do the work of the evangelist, get people saved and have signs, wonders and miracles.
He will do the work of the teacher, will teach and establish people
He will do the work of the pastor, he will shepherd people
He may function as a prophet and speak the Word of the Lord and bring revelation
- Apostles today
- There are more than the 12 who were with Jesus, they were apostles of the Lamb.
- Others called apostles:
Barnabas and Paul, Acts 14:14
James the Lord’s brother, Gal. 1:19
Andronicus and Junia, Romans 16:7
Silvanus and Timotheus, I Thess. 1:1 & 2:6
Apollos, I Cor. 4:4-9
Two unnamed brethren, 2 Cor. 8:23 (* Messenger = Apostle)
Epaphroditus, Phil. 2:25
- Today, Eph. 4:11-16 is still in effect. Apostles are needed to bring the Body of Christ to maturity. (Also, 1 Cor. 12:28)
RANKS OR CLASSES OF APOSTLES
- First Class of Apostle – Jesus Christ
- Heb. 3:1 …Consider Jesus the Apostle and High priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.
Apostle = a messenger; a sent one; a commissioned one; to send one on a mission as an envoy. An ambassador.
Jesus called Himself a prophet – Matt. 13:57
He stood in the evangelist’s office because He proclaimed the good news of salvation – Luke 8:1
Jesus was a pastor – the Good Shepherd – John 10:11-16
He was a teacher – Matt. 9:35
- The apostle’s ministry at times encompasses all of the 5-fold ministry anointings.
- Jesus was in a class by Himself – He had the Spirit without measure – John 3:34.
We as individuals have a measure of the Spirit – the Body of Christ as a whole may have the fullness of the Spirit or the same measure of anointing that Jesus had.
- The second Class of Apostles – Apostles of the Lamb
- This classification includes the 12 that walked with Jesus; no one else will ever stand in that class of apostles. Rev. 21:14 – and the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.
- They were sent for a specific time and purpose.
They were sent to be eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, earthly ministry and resurrection. Acts 1:15-22. They were teachers/preachers of the Word; had to be eyewitnesses of His earthly ministry and His resurrection. They were foundational apostles because God used them to help lay down New Testament doctrine (Eph. 2:20) and some of them wrote various books of the New Testament.
- Third Class of Apostles – other foundational apostles
- This is the category that Paul was in.
A characteristic of this class is that they also helped lay the doctrinal foundation of the New Testament
- Paul was not taught the gospel by man but received it by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Eph. 3:4-5; Acts 26:16 –
- In the Church today, we do not need to lay any other foundation which has been laid for us in the New Testament. (Eph. 2:19-20 ) We build on that foundation – the written Word of God; there are no foundation apostles today in that sense.
- 4. Fourth Class Apostles – Non-foundational Apostles
- These are today’s sent ones
- Apostle = Sent one; Phil. 2:25, Paul talks of Epaphroditus as the Philippians messenger. Same word “apostolos”. He probably didn’t stand in the office of the apostle in the sense we think of it today. He probably functioned under the “apostolic mantle” in the church at that time. It means – “one sent out as a delegate or representative, or as the commissioned representative of a congregation”. Used in a general sense, much like you would send someone as a messenger or delegate.
- Apostle – could be commissioned by the Holy Spirit and sent with a particular message (or ministry) to the body of Christ. Example: Smith Wigglesworth was called “The Apostle of Faith”.
- Others have the ability to establish churches and pioneer new works (a distinguishing characteristic of an apostles ministry ) Many modern day missionaries are in this class if they are sent out by out by the Holy Spirit – commissioned by the Holy Spirit – not merely one who goes. A true missionary is a sent one by the Holy Ghost with a message to people in certain countries.
- **Don’t get hung up on titles – titles are not the issue, function is.
- Pastors can (but not always will) stand in the apostolic office if he/she is sent by the Holy Ghost to build a church in a certain city; or with a specific message (the gospel = the Word of God). Not every pastor would qualify as an apostle. He/she would have to possess the other characteristics and spiritual qualities of the apostolic call operating in his life and ministry as well.
The overseer of the local church is the pastor. The pastor does not need an apostle over him in order to succeed. If one were functioning in this ministry, it does not give him the authority over everyone in that city or over other churches. Their call would be accompanied by the divine ability to establish and oversee that local church. They are not called to exercise authority over others.
- The apostolic mantle or covering
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTOLIC CALL
* There are certain general characteristics that are true for anyone who is called to the apostolic office. If a person’s life and ministry does not possess these general characteristics, one could seriously doubt the nature of the apostolic call in their life.
- Called and separated by God; confirmed by man. Acts 13:1-4
- One must have a divine call by God. No one is ever called by man; nowhere in the New Testament is anyone called and separated to a ministry by people. God may use people to confirm the call or ministry or even speak a word about how a person will eventually be used in a certain way by the Holy Ghost
- Biblical example: James the Lord’s brother. Gal. 1:19, Acts 12:17 and 15:13;
James headed up and pastored the church in Jerusalem, yet he was called an apostle.
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.” Col. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1; Tit. 1:1
- An Apostle is first a preacher or teacher
- I Tim. 2:7 – “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher and an apostle, a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
- 2 Tim. 1:11 – same as above
Preachers proclaim – Teachers explain
- The signs of an apostle
- 2 Cor. 12:12; Acts 5:12 – “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” Anyone with an apostolic calling on their life, should be believing God for signs, wonders and miracles.
The ministry does not consist of word only, but in demonstration of power —
1 Cor. 4:20, 2 Cor. 2:4 & 6:7, Rom. 15:18-19, 1 Thess. 1:5
Apostles will always have the ability to work miracles. They will vary in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they primarily move in the gifts of healings, faith, working of miracles, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, and often prophecy.
- Must have something very real – beyond the ordinary experience with Jesus.
Example: Paul’s conversion experience and the Lord’s dealing with him throughout his ministry. Acts 9
He received revelation concerning the Lord’s supper directly from the Lord,
I Cor. 11:23;
He received the gospel by revelation, not from other apostles or church tradition,
Gal. 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 11:24-25; Acts 20:35; Acts 22:18-21; 23:11; 26:14-18.
- One of the signs of an apostle or characteristics of an apostle would be to plant or establish new churches based on a sound Biblical foundation – the Word of God.
- Another sign would be evidenced by humility
Their ministry will be revealed by what God has given them by their works rather than public proclamation of their office.
The works and fruit of any ministry will give evidence to a particular call or office.
Christ-like character is absolutely essential — fruit of the Holy Spirit
(Gifts are given – fruit is grown!)
- Mature apostles are Fathers (or Mothers). They are more concerned with the children’s well being and success than their own. Apostles with a true fathering (parenting) anointing are selfless and self-sacrificing for those who look to them as their spiritual overseer. The true apostles will be more “other” oriented than “self” oriented. They will minister in faith that works by love (Gal. 5:6). Character developed in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Their attitudes, actions and relationships with others will be according to the attributes of agape love as in 1 Cor. 13. The “10 M’s” of Manhood (spiritual adulthood, not gender related), Ministry, Message, Maturity, Marriage, Methods, Manners, Money Morality and Motive will be working in their lives according to God’s divine order.
- Their desire and ministry is one that builds up and edifies the Church
Their concern is about the Church’s welfare; they do not tear it down with either unscriptural teachings, misuse of authority, or desire for personal gain because of selfish ambitions.
- They will be submitted to others who are proven, experienced, or seasoned in the ministry, willing to submit their ministries and revelation.
Example: Paul — Gal. 2:1,2, Acts 15
They will be submitted to the pastor of any local church where they might minister
1 Cor. 14:29 — If the prophet’s ministry is to be judged, then the other ministry gifts would also be judged. You do not judge the person. You judge what they preach or teach by the Word of God. You judge the ministry by the fruit that is produced.
- In Paul’s ministry we see:
- He was called and appointed by God.
- He was first and foremost a preacher and teacher of the Word.
- He was “sent” or commissioned by God to bring a message to a specific group of people — the Gentiles. His apostolic ministry did not extend to everyone. He did not have unlimited apostolic authority.
He knew the sphere of his authority. 2 Cor. 10:13-16
- He had the fruit or the signs of an apostolic ministry.
- He was willing to submit to other brethren who were proven men of God.
- He established churches. His apostolic ministry was over the churches he established. Did not usurp authority.
- Humble. Made himself a servant — first of Jesus, then of men.
Matt. 23:11 – “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Matt. 20:26 – “It shall not be so among you, but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant).” Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. He humbled Himself, took upon Himself flesh and came to dwell among men.
- God has set in the church prophets. I Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:11
- What constitutes the office of a prophet?
- New Testament Greek says, He speaks from the impulse of a sudden inspiration, from the light (revelation) at the moment. The idea of speaking from sudden revelation seems here to be fundamental as relating either to future events or the mind of the Spirit in general. A prophet speaks by direct divine inspiration or an immediate revelation of the Holy Spirit
- To stand in the office of the prophet, a 5-fold ministry gift, one is first of all a minister of the gospel, separated and called to the ministry.
- “There are no prophets among the laity.” (K. Hagin) A layman may prophesy, I Cor. 14:1-5, but you are not a prophet just because you prophesy.
- Laymen function in simple gift of prophesy which is for edification, exhortation, and comfort, I Cor. 14:3
There is no foretelling, or predicting future events
- “Motive” gift of prophesy, Romans 12:6, is another level of prophesy
- Distinguish between office of prophet and prophesying, Acts 21:8-11
- To stand in office of prophet, one must have a more consistent manifestation prophecy and of at least two of the three revelation gifts listed in 1 Cor. 12:8-10.
Word of Wisdom – revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning the divine purpose in the mind and will of God, always speaks of the future.
Word of Knowledge – revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning facts in the mind of God concerning people, places or things, always present or past tense.
Discerning of Spirits – insight into the realm of spirits.
- To stand in the office of prophet , one would also be a preacher or teacher (first and foremost) , and function in a higher level in the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus – Luke 4:18, Matt. 9:35;
Paul: I Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11
Even in the Old Testament prophets were preachers, calling the people to repentance and back to God
- A prophet has visions and revelations
Example: John the Baptist Matt. 3:11-12 and Luke 7:28
- Old Testament Prophets were called seers, they would see and know things supernaturally. Example: I Samuel 9, Saul’s missing donkeys
New Testament Prophets also see and know things supernaturally
- The word “revealed” is used in connection with the prophet’s ministry,
I Cor. 14:29-30
- A prophet may speak forth the revelation through the gift of prophecy or just speak forth what the Holy Spirit is speaking.
- Revelations are to be judged. 1 Cor. 14:29
- Sometimes operate as a foreteller. Acts 11:28
- Old Testament Prophets and New Testament Prophets do not have the same status
- Under the Old Covenant, only prophets, priests, and kings had the Holy Spirit come upon them, as they were anointed for their particular offices. The rest of the people had no tangible presence of God in their lives, neither in them or on them. People went to the prophets for guidance and to know the will of God.
Old Testament Prophet was the only ministry in operation from the standpoint of preaching and teaching the people by inspired utterance
The priest was anointed by the Holy Spirit to stand in the office, but he wasn’t a preacher either – He taught the Law to the people so they would obey God’s precepts and commandments. They represented the people to God through sacrifices and offerings. They had a ministry, but not of preaching and teaching. They exhorted the people about the ways of the Lord and about carrying out the sacrificial system.
The King was anointed by God to stand in that office, but not anointed to preach.
The prophet was the only one that could preach or speak for God as He was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Under the Old Covenant the people could not approach God for themselves; they had to go through the priest with sacrifices and offerings. Only the high priest could go into the Holy of Holies into the presence of God.
Under the Old covenant, the prophet gave guidance to the people because they did not have the Holy Ghost for themselves, so they had to go to the prophet to inquire for them as to what the Lord was saying.
- Under the New Covenant, all believers have the Holy Spirit in them.
He comes upon them, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8.
He is in us to lead us, Romans 8:14;
To teach us, John 14:26; 1 John 2:20 & 27
We can follow God for ourselves – the inward witness, Rom. 8:16
In the New Testament, it is unscriptural to seek guidance through a prophet.
All believers are Kings and priests – I Peter 2:9 and Rev. 5:9-10
In New Testament, we have the 5-fold ministry and every believer is to follow the Holy Spirit for themselves. Believers worship in Spirit and Truth
- There is no control over a person’s life through the prophet’s ministry
- Misconceptions about the prophet’s office
- Many think a prophet does nothing by prophesy
A prophet would be a preacher or teacher of the Word – they can teach and preach by inspiration – just as prophetic; just as supernatural
Does more than have revelations, dreams or visions
The laying on of hands and healing goes with the prophet’s ministry
Many think the prophet should always know everything about everybody.
It is not true. Revelation operates only as the Holy Spirit wills and reveals.
The Lord only tells you what HE wants you to know –
Example: 2 Kings 4:27
- There are ranks and classes of prophets – similar to the ranking of apostles
- Foundational prophets such as Paul who established New Testament doctrine
- Prophets today – As a ministry they edify and build up the Body,
Eph. 4:11; can illumine and speak by inspiration and revelation, but will not add new doctrine to the foundation of the New Testament.
- There are different degrees of anointing – different levels or measures of anointings. Anointings are the result of the grace of God, the empowering and equipping of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person enabling them to stand in a ministry office, or do a particular work, or in the manifestation of a particular gift. A person can be more or less anointed to stand in a particular office – true for any office or any ministry.
- There are distributions of the Holy Ghost
Heb. 2:4, gifts = distributions, or measures of anointing
Example: Elijah and Elisha – Elisha had double portion, and did twice as many miracles.
- The anointing on a persons life can increase or decrease – increase by faithfulness, consecration, and diligence in the Word and prayer.
- The Evangelists office. I Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:11
- The word “evangelist” occurs only 3 times in the New Testament.
- Eph. 4:11
- Acts 21:8
- 2 Tim. 4:5
- Evangelist is, one who brings the evangel, “the good news”, a messenger of good
- The evangelists’ favorite theme is salvation in its simplest form
- New Testament example is Phillip
- Had one message, Acts 8:5, preached Christ unto them; also vs. 35
- Has miracles and gifts of healings, Acts 8:5-8, which is supernatural advertising
- Must preach the Word, only the Word affects the will of a sinner – not miracles
- The supreme gift of an evangelist is the POWER (grace) to bring an individual’s soul to a decision for Christ
- Usually a traveling ministry
- He gave some Pastors Eph. 4:11
The only time the word “pastor” is used in the New Testament.
- Pastor means shepherd
Jesus is the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, of all God’s sheep.
John 10:11-12, Is. 40:11
- God calls people
He equips them supernaturally to shepherd or be the under-shepherd (under Jesus) to pastor, feed, have oversight of, or “tend, nurture, guard, guide, and feed” His flock
1 Peter 5:2 Amplified
- Shepherds are necessary
The flock will be scattered without them, Matt. 9:35-36, Jer. 23:1-4, Ezk. 34:1-8
- The Pastor’s office is a settled office
Stays in one location for a length of time — usually years
- Pastor has oversight of a flock
- Must give an account to the Lord for the office and the care of those entrusted to their oversight and care Heb. 13:17
- In the New Testament, the words; pastor, overseer, elder, bishop, refer to the pastor’s office.
Church governments may use these terms to designate ministry offices or positions
within their denominations or movements
Elder — presbuteros = older or specifically, an Israelite Sanhedrist; or Christian “presbyter” 1 Tim. 5:1-2, 5:17-19;
1 Peter 5:1-5 (Peter is a “fellow-elder”); Acts 14:23, 20:17-18; Acts 15; Titus 1:5
Bishop — episkope = by implication, superintendence; the office of a “bishop”
1 Tim. 3:1; Titus 1:7; Note Acts 20:28 & Acts 14:23
Pastor — poimen = a shepherd (literally or figuratively); pastor
Shepherd — poimen (in the New Testament refers to Jesus)
In Acts 20:28, the command is given to feed and rule (poimen), same in 1 Peter 5:2.
- The Pastor’s office is one of the most important
- To care for the new Christians and make disciples
- To feed, train and equip the flock, causing them to come to maturity that reproduction will take place in the local community. Jer. 3:15-16; Is. 40:11; Ezk. 34:14-15
- More instruction is given in the New Testament for pastors than any other office.
- A Pastor needs supernatural equipment
- Needs word of wisdom, word of knowledge, even prophecy or tongues and interpretation (equipment is given by God, need to receive it and function in it)
- The gifts of the Spirit may not be as spectacular in display, though they are in operation
- Interpretation – not only of the gift of tongues, but interprets the move of the Holy Spirits direction for the church and for services
- Most outstanding characteristic – a shepherd’s heart
Part of the supernatural equipping of the office given by God.
- A pastor will love the people, be loyal to the flock, has the ability to see a baby Christian and bear with them until they get established – accepting them right where they are.
- Will give his life for the sheep – not a dictator – leads by example. John 10:11
- No higher authority in the local church than the pastor
- The ministry gift of the teacher Eph 4:11, I Cor. 12:28,
- Offices are separated only to define them
One can stand in more than one office
Example: pastor/teacher; evangelist/teacher, prophet/teacher – Acts 13:1
- One who is a teacher without being a pastor, usually has a traveling ministry among churches
- The teaching gift is a divine gift
- Not based on natural ability or education
- Not a Sunday school teacher – early church did not have Sunday school,
- “Motive gift” is to teach, Romans 12:6, may or may not operate in the office of a teacher, or give one the grace to operate in the local church setting
- Apollos was a teacher, Acts 18:27 says “He helped them much”
- Teachers should:
- Always be ready and open to receive fresh glimpses of truth
- Be teachable themselves
- Revelation marks a teacher’s ministry
- Should keep a humbleness of spirit and of mind
- Be open and ready to learn
- Teach elementary principles, Heb. 6:1-2
- To the church teaching is very necessary
Working of miracles and gifts of healings will never establish a Christian in the faith. It is by the hearing, understanding and doing the Word of God that one becomes established in faith and doctrine and the church is built.
Kenneth Hagin said the Lord said to him, (pg. 57, “The Ministry Gifts”) “The teaching office to the Church is more important than the working of miracles or gifts of healings. The Holy Spirit through Paul lists them in importance when He said, …and God hath set some in the church, FIRST apostles, SECONDARILY prophets, THIRDLY teachers, AFTER THAT miracles, then gifts of healings… “ I Cor. 12:28
The following are some very brief passages that indicate God’s plan for the governing of His Church.
1 Corinthians 12:28: “And God has set some in the church first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Ephesians 4:11-12: “And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Acts 13:2: “As they ministered unto the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate unto Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
Luke 6:12-16, the 12 apostles are named
Luke 10:1: “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sentthem two by two.”
In Exodus 3:10, God called Moses for a purpose: “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh that thou mayest bring forth My people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.”
In Exodus 4:10-17, God appointed Aaron, Moses’ brother to accompany him and help him.
In Exodus 18:17-26, Moses, the God-appointed leader, was advised to find men meeting certain qualifications to help him. These men were not elected but chosen by Moses, who not only knew what the job required, but knew the men he chose. He knew their character, their ability, their spiritual condition, the fact that they were lovers of truth and hated covetousness — or would serve with right motives. Then the same spirit (anointing, attitude, and vision) that was on Moses was on the leaders. (Note verses 19-21) Deut. 16:18; Numb. 11:16-17
In Numbers 11:16-17, God honored Moses’ choices.
Numbers 12:1-8, Aaron and Miriam’s rebellion or dissension
In Numbers 16:1-4, the congregation challenged Moses about his position and his authority, leading a rebellion against his authority. They protested and insisted that all of the congregation should have more “say so” in the decisions that he and his brother, Aaron, made. In verses 19-33, we see God’s displeasure with this rebellion. God himself had appointed Moses and knew Moses did not have private interests motivating the decisions he made concerning the work and the people that God had placed under his charge. We see clearly when the people’s rebellion against Moses, they rebelled against God.
In 1 Samuel 8, we see the account of God allowing the Israelites to have a secular Government because of their rebellion. He expressed His displeasure and warned them that it was not in their best interests to have a king and revealed the consequences of their choice.
In Acts 6, where workers were needed, the Holy Spirit says that the apostles should choose men to appoint over the waiting on tables. This is the “helps” ministry in the church. They are to do the menial tasks, be attendants waiting on or serving the people, not administrate finances or “business”. They enable the apostles to administrate the God-given vision, and devote themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer. These deacons were to be those of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Helps ministry aids, assists and supports the pastor, causing the vision to come to pass.
Those appointed as ministers and teachers, incur a stricter judgment, and are accountable to God for their oversight and leadership of God’s people. Heb 13:17 & James 3:
** Resources concerning church government:
“God’s People and Church Government” by Bob Lemon
“After the Due Order” by Larry Gordon
God’s design and plan for the local church is to have one head.
This is to provide order – no confusion or chaos. When the order is right it brings peace and security.
Heb 13:7 – Remember those who rule (lead) over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. (NKJ)
Heb 13:17 – Obey those who rule (lead) over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (NKJ)
subject = submission or to stand under
Submission is taking the divinely ordered place in a relationship
Submission cannot be forced or demanded
Submission is a voluntary response, where one yields their rights, opinion, etc., to another; it can only be given on the basis of trust (faith).
Church government is an authority issue as well as a relationship issue.
Submitting to God’s delegated leaders means you are submitting to God.
Pastoral leadership is a gift from God. We must give appropriate respect and honor to the gift.
Recognize the delegated authority
Recognize the functional authority
1 Tim 5:17-21
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. (NKJ)
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. (NKJ)
Jesus is the head over the Church
Jesus is head of the local church
The pastor is the human head over the local church
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (NKJ)
Four Types of Church Government
The church is completely controlled by the leaders.
Example: Roman Catholic Church, which is controlled by the Pope. Under him are the cardinals, bishops, and other ecclesiastical offices. The priest of the local church is at the bottom of the list and has no real authority.
Ruled by elders. The elder board makes every decision.
The pastor has little or no authority, or if he/she is one of the elders, they would no more authority than any of the other elders.
Example: Presbyterian, some New Testament or Charismatic churches
Democratic government. An elected church board runs the church. Every action taken by the church must be voted on by the people. The pastor has one vote like anyone else.
Example: Baptist, Assembly of God
The Church is to be ruled under a theocracy — ruled by God.
Gives the pastor complete charge of the oversight and direction of the church under the direction of Jesus, Head of the Church. Pastor implements the vision given by God.
One God, one man, no confusion. The pastor appoints other leadership in the church.
- 1 Corinthians 12:28 lists “helps” in the listings of ministries in the church.
- Every department outside the 5-fold ministry gifts in the local church is considered “helps ministry”. These departments or ministries within the church: aid, assist, be a partaker or participator, provide relief and support. The helps ministry works with the pastor to enable the God-given vision come to pass.
These ministries include: praise and worship/music, prayer, ushers, catchers, greeters, youth and children, office and administration, church cleaning, visitation, etc. It may be volunteer or paid staff.
- Those called to the “helps ministry” will seldom have to be told what to do; he/she will see it themselves because of the grace that is given to them. Rom. 12:7
A “helper” is different. Their heart is right — they want to do something for God, but just does not see it without being told what to do.
Romans 12:3-8 – For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function (KJV = office), so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Pet 4:9-11 — Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability (power, strength or grace) which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified (this is the ultimate motive for all ministry) through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (NKJ)
It is important to understand the following two words to properly understand “motive” gifts.
- Grace = charisma – a divine gift, a spiritual endowment, miraculous faculty, favor, free gift; graciousness;
“God’s willingness to use His power and His ability on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it.” Kenneth Copeland
Grace is the power and ability of the Holy Spirit working on our behalf.
It is supernatural power and ability.
The gifts and supernatural equipping that causes one to function in ministry is a “spiritual endowment, or miraculous faculty. Paul spoke of it: Rom. 1:5; 12:3,6; 15:15-16:
1 Cor. 3:10; 15:10: Gal. 1:15; 2:9: Eph. 3:2, 7-8; 4:7.
- Gift = charis — graciousness, especially the divine influence upon the heart, benefit, favor, gift; literally, a gift of grace
In each of the “motive gifts” mentioned in Romans 12:6-8, there are different levels of anointing and authority, according to the measures of the grace or the gifts given by God. The grace is supernatural ability to function.
Prophecy is inspired utterance, speaking by divine inspiration and revelation; can include prediction (foretelling) or speaking for God (forth telling, speaking the will or purpose of God.)
- All can prophesy — speak an inspired word for edification, exhortation or comfort
has no correction or prediction — Acts 2:17, 18; 1 Cor. 12:10; 1 Cor. 11:4,5;
1 Cor. 14:1,3,31,39. This is the lowest level of prophesy, one that every believer may function in.
- Prophecy — Romans 12:6; Philip’s daughters, Acts 21:9
- The Office of the Prophet — Acts 11:28, Acts 21:10
The Greek is “diakonia” — attendant, as a servant, etc.; offer aid or service, to wait on menially or as a host; a “deacon or deaconess”
- All are called to help, to serve.
- Helps ministry – deacons ministry,
- 5-fold ministry; offices
- Teach = to impart knowledge and skill to; give instruction; be an instructor
- One given a task to teach, perhaps a Sunday school teacher or Bible study leader
- One who has a bent or “natural” aptitude to teach — Rom. 12:7
- The office of a teacher — Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28
- Exhort/exhortation = to encourage, comfort, cheer up, impel to action, console, to give hope to, called along side
- Believer’s exhort one another — Heb. 3:13
- There are those who have a “ministry” of exhortation — they have a measure of grace, or an anointing to exhort. A spiritual cheerleader, and encourager.
- Ministry gifts exhort
- Giving = to dispense or administrate finances
motive in giving singleness of purpose – obedience to God that blessings might come to someone; with sincerity (without dissimulation or self-seeking), and with generosity or liberality
- All are called to give, tithes & offerings
- Those that God give a special grace, causing the person to have the ability to not only make money but to dispense it and administrate it.
- Rule = to stand before, i.e. a front rank person, to preside, maintain, manage, be over
motive in ruling — eagerness, earnestness, carefulness, diligence, steady effort and attention
- Those that have the ability to lead when given a task
1 Tim. 5:14, wives manage (rule) the household
1 Tim. 4 & 12, manage households
- Those who have received supernatural ability to lead, manage or administrate
1 Cor. 12: 28; Romans 12:8; Romans 16:1-2 – Phoebe
- Ministry Gifts and Governments — 1 Cor. 12:28;
- Mercy = compassionate by word or deed, specially, by divine grace: have pity on,. Mercy should be exercised with kindness and cheerfulness, not as a matter of duty.
- All are called to be merciful and compassionate
- Those supernaturally graced to show mercy — Mother Teresa is a prime example
Hospitable = fond of guests, given to and a lover of hospitality — 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:8;
1 Pet 4:9
- All should graciously receive guests into their home
- Those who find they are happiest and find ease in entertaining; it is a gift of grace