Now that I have committed to writing about the The 5-Fold Ministry, I had some other thoughts as I spoke with my brother about it. There are 3 main gift lists in the Bible. These are often referred to in gift assessment questionnaires. They include Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. There are others too, some of which are included in my Power/Government/Gift-Grid below. Keep in mind the following generalities as you read on:
- These gifts are available to all believers. (1 Cor 12)
- No believer that I have ever met, has all of them. Why? We are meant to be a body. (1 Cor 12)
- I don't believe that God takes a gift away for bad behavior. (Romans 11:29) Sure we all have dry times!
- Some gifts seem to come with salvation and/or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Others are imparted by the laying on of hands. (Romans 1:11)
- Gifts do not have a one-to-one correlation with character. God is sovereign, merciful, and full of grace, and you're not. So, get over yourself. ;o)
- I also subscribe to the Biblical principal that one can receive a one time "power shot" from Heaven, that uses you as a vessel. That too is a gift. IE: You can all prophesy, but not all are prophets, and all do not have the gift of prophesy. The point is that some will get these manifestations of the spirit one or two times, and for others, they can do it like water flowing from a faucet.
- In the healthy church, the Kingdom flows from Jesus, through His leadership, and church structure, to all His people... and then hopefully to those outside the church.
- The gift "pool" as I like to call it, is available to every one that is saved, and I dear say, to those that are baptized in the Holy Spirit, at an even greater level of impartation.
I have written extensively on the gifts, and complained a lot about the lack of a viable 5-Fold model in the church. You can search this blog for the terms "gifts" and "5-fold" for more.
This first diagram simply shows the power flowing from Jesus through the church to all the believers in the church global. This power is not all meant for use in the church, but to empower all believers (the church) flowing through the gift "pool" to use in/for ministry to all mankind. I believe the 5-Fold gifts are structural gifts (callings), and they are for the church global. I further believe the pastor is the center figure in leadership of the local church. But I don't see him as the only authority in "the church." The authority of God rests in the corporate functioning of the 5-Fold, working in unison, not one over the other. As my brother likes to say, "no one calling stands taller than another." That is why you'll see them on the same line in no particular order, other then the apostle and prophet as foundational to the 3 other callings. That simply means that the a pastor needs an apostle and a prophet, as does the evangelist, and the teacher. In the end, the truly need each other. I've put the local church on the second line, because there is a greater sense then a local church having a resident apostle and prophet. These particular callings are more often "sent," while having a bit of and itinerant definition. The "Gift Pool" is a well anyone can dig into, serving first the local body, and then the community. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
The second diagram is depicting the outflow of gifts to all men and woman of the church who are under the rule and reign of King Jesus. As you can see, the structure remains constant. While someone with the calling, or gifting of an apostle, could also prophesy or preform miracles. Certainly Paul prophesied on the ship before it broke apart in the latter chapters of Acts. Just because one prophesies, does not make him a prophet. I have seen a number of evangelists (those that preach the Gospel to the lost), may also have a healing gift. A teacher certainly has a teaching gift, but he may also have the gift of discernment. The point is that those with structural callings, may also have ministry gifts as well. The purpose of the gifts is to minister. The purpose of the structural gifts is to equip the ministers-- and that's YOU! (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
I see the church as a vessel for the Kingdom of God to be "at hand" here on earth. The structural gifts, or offices, as they are sometimes called (callings), are the essential channel for distributing (equipping) the power of God to advance his kingdom. I prefer to call these the governmental, or structural gifts. Mostly because Paul said that the foundation of the church was built on the prophet and apostle.
As a believer of any kind, you should jump in the gift pool, and begin to walk in the power of God to affect your church, your community and your neighborhood.
A word about offices and titles. For get them! That is man's box for the ways of God.
I once worked at a photography store. A man came in to have some film developed. He had these very expensive pearl business cards. It had his name, and the title "Professional Photographer" printed underneath his name. It said "specializing in weddings." Honestly, I was surprised. Wedding photographers of that era, well the really excellent ones, did not use 35mm film cameras like he did. They used medium format cameras such as Hassleblad, Bronica or Mamiya. The second give-away was the department store film. No one would have trusted a wedding to something less then one of the major brand name films. And finally, the pictures we awful. That poor bride!
The very same week, another man came in, he was dressed in jeans and had long unkempt hair. He said, "I am looking for a job. Here is some of my work." He pulled out six 4x5" slides and laid them on the light table near the register. They we astounding. One a landscape, and another a shot of Stubing Glass, the third was of a still life of pots and pans, and the others were portraits. Each one was beautifully lit, perfectly composed, and had an indescribable sense that I can't explain. Not to mention the photography of reflective and shiny objects is a nightmare! I wasn't able to offer him a job, but I was able to refer him for some other work. He was the true professional, no card, no title, nothing about his looks, or speech said what he did, or who he was-- it was simply the fruit of his craft. That is what the kingdom of God is like, quietly, but powerfully bearing extraordinary fruit.
Our focus is to be on the King of Kings, not the anointing, not an experience, and not the words we say. You see, the fruit of the Spirit in us, is love joy peace and longsuffering (Galatians 5:22). The fruit of our ministry is healing, compassion, love and encouragement in the lives of others. This is is called significance. Everything that we do should make others feel significant to Jesus.
HERE IS THE ENTIRE SERIES