*UNDERSTANDING THE NEED OF THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY IN CHRIST CHURCH
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 4:13 Till we all come in 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 fulness of Christ:
Christ who is the head of the church, the Bishop and Shepherd of the redeemed had promised to built His church, and that the gate of hell shall not prevailed against it. In the building of Christ church, one major means by which Christ desire in building His church is through the fivefold ministry. And this is one of the reasons Christ died and resurrected. Many a times we only spread the good news about the death of Christ for sinners, actually it is a good and Scriptural message and pleasing to God. But the truth remains that the revelation of Christ death and resurrection go beyond saving sinners, but also to build His church by giving gifts to men.
Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Christ death was to established His church, and to build it. One thing is to establish, but what is established must be build. Therefore Christ having established His church needed men to be use for the building of His church. Beloved, I want to let you know that Christ is looking for MEN to build His church, and not METHOD. Christ does not need methods to build His church, but He needs men to build His church. And this is why He sought for men in Bible days and still searching for men in our days to build His church. Christ desire using MEN more than MONEY and METHODS. Therefore divine gifts are released upon available men (it is availability and not ability) to build His Church.
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Now, I will like to outline to you the fivefold ministry and the need for Christ church. Now let us examine the VISION and GOAL of the fivefold ministry.
(1) The Vision of the Fivefold Ministry
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Paul the apostle by the inspiration of God revealed the VISION of Christ for His church through the fivefold ministry:
(a) Perfecting of the saints: this speak of spiritual maturing of a holy believer. A man can be perfect in heart but no perfect in knowledge, therefore the teachers, pastors, and apostles are position in the church to pass deep scriptural knowledge to believers, including holy hearted believers. Paul called them saints, meaning they are saved and sanctified but needs spiritual maturity through the proper knowledge and understanding of Christ’s doctrines. “Perfecting” connotes a continuous growth in the knowledge of Christ. That is, the church is a school for spiritual growth in the knowledge of Christ. But the apostles, teachers and pastors are solely needed here.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
(b) Work of the ministry: this signify the operation of spiritual gifts like gift of prophecy, word of knowledge, interpretation of tongues etc. When this spiritual gifts are exhibited, it convince sinners of the power of God, it entices sinners to serve God, it draw men from Idolatry to God, it makes the unbelievers to become surprise of God’s power. The spiritual gifts also help to guild and guard the believers against Satan secret agendas. The evangelists and prophets majorly function here, they function to draw men unto God, together with the teachers, pastors and apostles. Spiritual gifts help in the work of the ministry. Every fivefold must seek after these gifts for ministerial effectiveness.
(c) Edifying of the Body of Christ: this is the general vision of the fivefold ministry. The fivefold ministry is not for ETERTAINMENT but for EDIFICATION. To edify is to pass the the knowledge of the fear of God to the congregation, with understanding. Meaning when the church is edify, sinners will repent, backsliders will be restored, holy saints will be comforted and educated.
(2) The Goal of their operations
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in 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 fulness of Christ: 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Having known the vision of their operations, it will be good to know the goal of all these. Well, this goal is missing in many congregations. In fact there are many denominational churches who lack the ministry of the fivefold ministry, and do not desire of have such ministry. While there are other denominational churches who want to exalt a ministry above the others. All these will bring deficiency in the body of Christ. The pastor cannot stand alone, he needs the prophet. Also the fivefold ministry needs one another. Now, the goal of Christ for releasing these ministerial gifts to men is for:
(a) Unity of faith
(b) Knowledge of Christ (Christlikeness).
(c) Wisdom and watchfulness against false doctrines.
When a church lack a teachers and pastors, that church will drive into heresy. When church lack the evangelists, that church will lack new converts and church growth. When a church lack prophets that church will be ignorant of Satan devices and hidden secrets of darkness.
The fivefold ministers are to compliment one another. We need one another to grow in Christ and His knowledge.
Thank you for reading.
By Brother Peterson A. Abu.