What is often called “the five-fold ministry of the church” has been grossly misnomered as five positions in the Church.
The apostle/bishop – is the only listed ministry that is also a position. But that position is totally misrepresented if the person with the title does not provide the relationship defined by the title.
The other four relationship-ministries may be provided by deacons, sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc.
- The prophet is the person who provides the WORD OF GOD to all who will hear
- The evangelist is not limited to, or bound by, a local jurisdiction but hungers for the conversion of sinners to the Kingdom
- The pastor is a care-giver, providing care and guidance to all who will receive it.
- The teacher – educates with patience until doctrine is learned.
These ministries are divine relationships – not positions. They are provided by people who themselves are “gifts of the Spirit” to the Church. (Ephesians 4:8) I asked a group of men one day, “How many people do you pastor?” They all responded, “We’re not pastors.” I did not ask them if they were pastors, but they were quick to disavow any pastoral responsibility. I have never met anyone who did not pastor someone. If you pastor someone, then you are a pastor. The question was/is not “Are you are a pastor” but the question is “What are you pouring into the spirit of those you pastor? Where do you wish to lead them and how do you wish for them to act?” A 10-year-old boy overheard my question to these men and responded, “I think I pastor at least 10.” If we will “know the Truth,” it will make a difference.
The contemporary church confuses “manifestations of the Spirit” and “gifts of the Spirit”. Concerning the manifestation gifts, the manifestation IS the “gift”. The fact that any man can witness the works and Word of God is a “gift” from the Spirit to that man. This does not negate the fact that “the word of wisdom,” etc is a gift, but the word of wisdom, etc is a gift to the person it is addressed to while the manifestation is a gift to those who witness it. (1Corinthians 12:7) The mailman is also a gift because he has become a willing vessel for the delivery service offered by the Holy Ghost.
In Ephesians 4:8, the Scripture declares that the people who provide ministries are “gifts” to the church. The deacon is a person who provides ministry to the church and therefore is a “gift of the Spirit” to the church. They provide administration (among other things). Remember, administration is a gift from the individual who gives to the church; The PERSON is the gift that God (through the Spirit) has given to the church.
THESE WILLING VESSELS ARE PRECIOUS PEOPLE WHO BECOME “THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD” IN THE LIFE OF OTHERS. (1Peter 5:6)