The Five-Fold Ministry
Paul recorded the Five-Fold Ministry in his letter to the church of Ephesus: “It was he who gave some to be (1) apostles, some to be (2) prophets, some to be (3) evangelists, and some to be (4) pastors and (5) teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). This passage deals with diversity of gifts within the church. And he made a more complete statement on the diversity of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.
Paul stated that the goal of the five-fold ministry is “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so 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” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
The Five-Fold Ministry is essential to the church today because this “perfecting” leads to an ordered ministry and successful government of the church. The gifts are for the purpose of “mending” the saints and uniting them, that is, unity of faith in Christ and unity of knowledge of Him.The church is to be built up in both character and numbers. The officers of the church are not to rule over the flock but are to consider themselves servants. They are to persist until the kingdom of God is established.
Likeness to Christ is the goal to be reached (Romans 8:29). The objection to growth is a greater sin than immaturity. Although Christ alone is the perfect man, the believers are called to participate in His nature. Thus, all the offices of the church and the graces of the Spirit are given to towards that goal.
There is clear order and design in allocating the work and talent to each person (Romans 12:6). There is no place for pride in those that have more gifts, because more will be expected of them; neither is there place for jealousy in those who have received fewer talents, because they will be asked to cultivate only what they received.
Jesus’ taught the same message in the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14–30). There is difference not only in the divine blessings that God gives to the believers for special purposes and designs but in the general spiritual capacities of different persons.
In His service,