Jesus fulfilled five roles while He was ministering on earth for three years. Let’s list them:
He is the apostle of our faith – Hebrews 12:2
He is a prophet – He stated of Himself that a prophet is without honor in His own home town
He is an evangelist – we see this in John 3 with Nicodemus and John 4 with the woman at the well
He is a “pastor” – as He is known as and called the great shepherd of the sheep
He is a teacher – He went about teaching and healing all those who were sick
When He ascended into heaven He gave these five roles or functions within the Body of Christ to individuals – Ephesians 4:11-12 and these five roles or ministries functioning together would allow the church to experience the fullness of the ministry Jesus came to do.
For centuries now, with few exceptions, we have seen the church functioning only with an understanding of pastors and teachers. I don’t believe our understanding of “pastor” in the five-fold ministry or ascension gift list is correct. In fact, I believe it is basically wrong and non-biblical. But that is for another blog – tomorrow’s. However, we have emphasized “pastor” and teacher and neglected, in many ways, apostles, prophets and evangelists. Because of this we have not “grown up into all aspects of Christ, the Head” as Ephesians 4 goes on to say that we should.
Because we have rejected, disqualified, or marginalized three of the five gifts, we have, for the most part, grown in only two aspects of Christ: teaching and shepherding. This has produced a malformed, mutated body that is neither attractive not healthy. Perhaps the disjointed disarray of the universal Church is simply because we have neglected Ephesians 4 and have tried to function without all five gifts working together. We simply must release and empower all the gifts to do what they are intended to do.
It is time for the Church, leaders and people, to consider coming into biblical order and establishing all five ministries that the Lord fulfilled while ministering in person before birthing the Church. This way the Church will be healthy and whole, vibrant and alive. With the full five-fold ministry functioning within each local assembly we would see a healthy growth in that local church and, in time, that church would be able to also reproduce and birth an other church. This would, of course, multiply our effectiveness and allow many more people to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Something to think about.