The Ministry of the Fivefold Pastor – Part Four

A fivefold pastor has three basic needs in ministry. For a fivefold pastor to be effective in the on-going development of the Kingdom and the local church, he should have these three basic needs met and these gifts functioning alongside him in ministry.

1> The fivefold pastor needs insight – a teaching gift. So he needs a fivefold teacher whom he can work with. Since his primary gift and calling is to teach people how to care for one another, he emanates love, comfort and security. However, even though the fivefold pastor can and must teach, he needs the added insight a fivefold teacher brings to his ministry so that people are firmly grounded in the Word of the Lord and the basic Christian doctrines. A fivefold teacher’s insight into the weaker areas of the group will help to give direction to the type and amount of teaching that is needed, focusing on the weaker areas so they can be turned into strengths.

2> A fivefold pastor needs foresight – otherwise he will get caught up in just the immediate needs that he sees in the local church and forget the direction that the local church should be going in. He needs a prophetic voice speaking into his life, the life of the leadership team, and the life of the local church.

3> A fivefold pastor needs oversight – he needs someone with an apostolic gift who can see the bigger picture. This person is available to assist through difficulties and speak encouragement in the midst of trials. Many fivefold pastors have given up on a local church during a difficult season because there was no one there to encourage them and help them see what was taking place in the larger scope of things. An apostle on the team can give hope and courage and stir faith in the heart of the fivefold pastor and the people while giving wise counsel and insight into the life of the local church. The fivefold pastor also needs the apostolic individual for vision and to know where the local church should be going.

A fivefold pastor needs the teaching, prophetic, and apostolic gifts speaking into his life and ministry so as to bring about God’s full plan and purpose for His people. At times, the fivefold pastor may feel threatened by the ministry of these other fivefold ministers but when he sees the need in his own life and ministry for input from other team members he will look to them for help. When he sees that the others in the fivefold ministry are not trying to build their own ministries but are simply helping to co-labour with him, he can trust them. The others in the fivefold are meant to come alongside and assist him in the purpose God has given to him as a fivefold pastor ministering within a local church structure.

The Ministry of the Fivefold Pastor – Part Three

A true fivefold pastor carries a father’s heart and, therefore, has a desire to see people released in their spiritual gifts. He believes in everyone because they have been created in God’s image and God created them with tremendous potential. A fivefold pastor works at tapping into that potential, harnessing the gifts and callings, and releasing every person into a meaningful ministry. Fivefold pastors take into consideration where people have come from and encourage people to go higher and farther in God. “You can do it” is their battle cry.

True fivefold pastors are not threatened by others who have the same spiritual gift or even a greater measure of grace. Instead, as spiritual fathers they have a genuine desire to witness the Body of Christ becoming mature. They desire others to go far beyond them in experience and anointing. They think in terms of, “How can I see this individual grow and excel in the Lord? What does this body (church) need to move forward in God? What can be done to see more people involved in ministry?”

A fivefold pastor carries the genuine God-given desire to bring healing to the flock. They have a heart to see people healed so that the Body of Christ can reach maturity. His desire and heart’s cry is to see people be all that they can be in Christ and for them to reach their full potential in God.

A fivefold pastor will not rule (see Romans 12:4-6 for motivational gifts) by lording it over others but in humility lift the people before the Lord. A fivefold pastor must have the heart of a servant, and he looks for those with a servant’s heart to train in pastoral ministry so that the body can minister to the body. This “pastoral gift” is seen in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-12:

“Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil:we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”

Notice the parenting language that Paul uses here. He behaved as a father to those whom the Lord entrusted into his care.



The Ministry of the Fivefold Pastor – Part Two

We are looking at the ministry of the fivefold pastor…

Fivefold pastors have the God-given ability to connect long-term with a local church taking on the task of teaching the sheep to care for one another. In this way they are committed to the spiritual welfare of the local church. As he teaches and trains the people and works with the eldership team this helps the believers to feel secure and loved. The sheep are carefully nurtured and the flock is maintained as a result of the training the leaders and people receive from the fivefold pastor.

Fivefold pastors have the authority to work within the local church structure. This authority has been given to them by the eldership team that invites them in to minister, train, and equip. Their sphere of influence is limited by the mandate that they have been given by the local elders. The local elders have ultimate responsibility and are accountable for the health of the local church and God’s people. A fivefold pastor will often focus more on the eldership team than the people because as he equips the elders they are then able to train and teach the sheep in his absence.

The fivefold pastor trains and equips the body for ministry. The traditional pastor role – the concept of a local church pastor – dictates that he does most of the ministry. At least that is the mind-set of many people in the congregation. They believe that is why they support him. They hire the professional to do the work of the ministry for them. However, that is not the way it is set forth in the Scriptures. The pastor is a fivefold pastor who teaches the saints to minister to and provide pastoral care for others in the body. The focus of the ministry is thus not “up front.”

In the church that man has built there is a gravitational pull of ministry toward the front of an assembled congregation. Everyone who has ever ministered publicly has felt it. It leads to the misconception that the most valuable positions of ministry are centre-stage positions. People begin to think that the only way to get proper ministry is to walk up front and receive special prayer from the person on stage. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember, of the forty power encounters that took place in the book of Acts, only one of them took place in the temple. The rest took place in the marketplace. Listen to that again… All but one of the miracles took place out on the streets, in homes and with the people. But, in the Church world today, we think that there must be a full worship band playing, with ministry only taking place at the front of the auditorium. I am not making light of the anointing and dynamics of that venue, but there does need to be a conscious effort by fivefold pastors as well as the other fivefold ministers to continue to not only equip the saints for ministry but to gently nudge and encourage ministry into the hands of the people as we send them back into their world to minister. We are going against the Christian gravitational pull.

The early apostles didn’t have time to do all the work. They were too busy praying and studying the Word (Acts 6:3). The people were expected to be doing the ministry. When believers within a congregation understand that they are the ones who can minister, the congregation begins to grow. Believers will realize they have an important part to play and consequently will take ownership to it. Without that understanding they are looking to the pastor to make it happen.

The elders of congregations are in place to see that training and equipping takes place regularly. They do not have to do all the training and equipping themselves. For example, if the group is not growing, the elders can decide to bring in a fivefold  prophet and allow the prophet to blow out the cobwebs that have stifled growth. If the congregation does not have a vision for multiplication, a fivefold apostolic gift can be called in to stir things up by bringing attention to the greater purposes of God, rattling the cage of complacency and open people’s eyes to the surrounding world.

Apostles have the ability to stir the passion of Jesus in our hearts and spirits in such a way as to cause our flesh to get out of its comfortable mode of complacency and move into the exhilarating mode of action! Christ gave us the fivefold ministry team to train and equip His body that we would not be anemic, tossed to and fro, but firmly grounded, stedfast, fulfilling the Lord’s purposes for our generation. The fivefold pastor plays a major role in this equipping and maturing.

The Ministry of the Fivefold Pastor – Part One

1 Timothy 5:17 states: ” Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching.”

When we think of the ministry of “pastor” we immediately think of the local church and the leader of that church usually referred to as the pastor. However, we are studying and blogging on the fivefold ministry and so the Ephesians 4:11 list of fivefold ministry roles, including pastor, is referring to a trans-local gifting of pastor.

Like the other fivefold ministers this gift of pastor also travels from place to place equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. Their task is not to be the pastor but to teach the people, the priesthood of all believers, to give pastoral care to one another. There are 59 “one another” verses in the New Testament and only through an active ‘body ministry” (see 1 Corinthians 12) can all the needs of the people be effectively and fully met.

God never intended for a local church to be run  (and often controlled and manipulated) by a solo leader called a pastor. There are no local pastors in the local churches in the New Testament. The life of the local church is in the hands of the “elders” as we see stated in 1 Timothy 5:17 above.

The fivefold pastor comes in, like all of the other fivefold ministers, to train and equip the saints so that they can do the work of the ministry. In this case, caring for one another. Being a pastor is not an office or position. It is a calling from the Lord to travel trans-locally and equip the church. Charles Simpson once wrote: “Being a pastor is not an office. If you are looking for an office, go downtown and rent on. Being a pastor is a call from the Lord!”

Fivefold pastors GUARD the sheep. They come in to a local church and help the people to see the needs and concerns of others. He teaches them how to care for one another and thus he guards the sheep from outside influences and from wolves rising up from within. He specifically finds the elder or elders who have a pastoral call upon their lives and begins to disciple and mentor them so that they can oversee the pastoral work in the local church. The fivefold pastor then teaches and trains them so that they can have good pastoral oversight over the people. He specifically looks at the eldership to see which elder or elders have the pastoral grace upon them to lead, train, and oversee in this area. He then works more directly and more in-depth with these “pastoral elders.”

It is the responsibility of the local “pastoral elders” to protect and guard the flock. It is their responsibility to provide protection, support, love, and care. But, again, they are not doing all the ministry – they are overseeing the pastoral work in the local church. The people do the pastoring, caring for one another as each is a minister and has gifts that they can use as they are released and given permission to touch lives for Jesus and in His Name.

The work of the local pastoral elders is set out in 1 Peter 5:1-4. It states, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

The role of the pastoral elders then are:

1> Shepherd God’s flock as they give direction, protection, and correction.

2> Serve as overseers as they watch out for the spiritual wellbeing and health of the people of God. They are guardians of the flock.

3> They are willing servants not because they must but because they desire to be.

4> They are not paid to do it and have no love for money and are not controlled or ruled by greed.

5> The pastoral elders do not lord it over people or attempt to control and manipulate them.

6> They are examples that others will want to emulate.

They are truly under-shepherds serving under Jesus who is the Head of the Church. It is a call from God – elders are not elected or appointed – they are called by God to oversee the life of the local church.

The fivefold ministry of pastor then comes in to train and equip the people in giving adequate and good pastoral care. He comes in under the authority of the local elders. And, he also notes which elder or elders has a pastoral call or edge to them and begins to train and equip them to be the leaders in pastoral care so that they can give oversight and further training to the people after he leaves to go and minister elsewhere.


The Ministry of the Evangelist – Part Five

Fivefold evangelists desire to see others in the Church receive a burden for evangelism. You can tell the difference between an individual who has taken the call that is on every disciple to “go into all the world and make disciples” and a fivefold evangelist. A fivefold evangelist ministers to you in a level of grace that encourages you. After their evangelistic message or their training to evangelize, you cannot wait until you can go out and share Jesus with someone. A fivefold evangelist releases a gift of faith into the heart of the people and they realize that they can actually “make disciples” and share Jesus with others. This is very evident because they are called to “equip the saints.” Many other evangelists are good at crusade meetings and local revivals but there are missing the equipping element that is seen in the ministry of all fivefold evangelists.

When others share the need to go out and win the lost you may feel guilty that you are not reaching more people for Christ. False guilt in not a motivator, but if it is conviction from God – now that can be a great motivator. A passion for the lost and faith that the Lord has given to you the ability to tell others is a great motivator. This is what a true fivefold evangelist imparts into the hearts and minds of the people under his ministry. There is never a feeling of guilt and shame – always a sense of “I can do this.”

A fivefold evangelist trains and equips the saints in the “how to” of evangelism and releases a knowing deep inside that they can all tell others about the night and day difference that Jesus has made in their lives.

The Church today lacks an evangelistic fervour because of the extreme lack of the ministry of the fivefold evangelist. This role within the fivefold ministry team is the one who comes and gives practical training in reaching the lost. They will also motivate people to come to a place of faith, excitement, and anticipation of sharing Jesus with others. Their anointing is needed as it empowers people to go into their neighbourhood and work places and share the Lord with those they are relating to.

Fivefold evangelists also disciple others who have the call of fivefold evangelist. They will train, equip, and mentor those who are called into this fivefold ministry and then release them into the harvest to win others and into the Church to train others. Fivefold evangelists want to see themselves multiplied. They are not only interested in bringing others to Christ; their deep desire is to train and release many more like-minded and called individuals. This is true spiritual parenting.

Fivefold evangelists are also called alongside the other fivefold ministers to bring the Body of Christ to a place of maturity and perfection (Ephesians 4:13). They carry zeal and a holy fire that ignites the Body of Christ drawing them into a lifestyle of ministry. Fivefold evangelists especially are co-workers and extensions of the apostolic ministry (2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:2) They help to extend the frontiers of God’s Kingdom.

Each of the fivefold gifts carries a different personality. It is not always easy for fivefold ministers to relate to one another due to the strengths of their gifts and the fact that each views life, ministry, and the Church from the strengths of that particular gift. But it is a good thing that one of the dynamics of Jesus’ presence in our lives is the ability to walk together in unity. There is room for all the ministry gifts of the fivefold team.

While the ministry of the evangelist is one of the most widely recognized gifts in the Body of Christ; there is a vast difference between an evangelist and a fivefold evangelist. Both are seriously needed in the Body of Christ today. We need both kinds of evangelists to win the lost as they run major meetings in churches and in communities. But only fivefold evangelists impart zeal for souls to be saved and to equip the saints with wisdom and anointing to win the lost.

A fivefold evangelist starts by sharing Jesus with others. As they continue to see more and more people coming to a personal relationship with Jesus it becomes clear that there is a gift and a calling at work within them. He begins to share his experiences with the church of which he is a part. They are energized and excited by his testimonies and stories. People invite their unsaved friends to their house or local church while this young evangelist is there, and through the course of the evening see their unsaved friends led to the Lord. A fivefold evangelist continues to walk in submission the local church leadership making himself available to encourage others in sharing Jesus with their unsaved friends. He begins to share his anointing and his knowledge.

As times goes on, and he is found faithful, continuing to labour alongside of others within the church, the leadership team of the church may ask him to do some teaching on evangelism. He willingly agrees. Others are encouraged and motivated to share their faith through his ministry. The young evangelist begins to see this budding gift and calling in others and nurtures that gift in them, encouraging them to begin to use their gifts more frequently. The leadership team, observing his faithfulness and effectiveness, begin to see in him the calling of the fivefold evangelist and ask him if he is willing to enter into the leadership team of the local church. Then they begin to connect him with more mature fivefold evangelists who can continue to encourage the young man’s gifts and calling to grow and be released. He begins to be mentored by more mature fivefold evangelists and his calling begin to be released and recognized outside the local body as he continues to grow and mature.

Just like other fivefold ministries, a fivefold evangelist starts by faithfully using the gifts the Lord has given to him, not looking for position or looking for a title, but only desiring to be used by the Lord to bring others to Christ.


The Ministry of an Evangelist – Part Four

(see yesterday’s blog…) We cannot use ministry for selfish gains. According to 1 Timothy 6:6, “… godliness with contentment is great gain.” Remember, when you start longing for material things they begin to possess you.

When you are striving for possessions, you will be tempted to use ministry as a means to get them. If you are an evangelist and move in the power gifts, the temptation will be greater because the opportunities will be more frequent to benefit personally from your ministry.

A large part of the ministry of the evangelist is to the unsaved. Their passion is to bring people to Christ. D.L. Moody once prayed, “Lord, give me the ability to lead someone to You every day for the rest of my life.” One night he was crawling into bed and realized that he had not led anyone to the Lord that day. He immediately got out of bed, went out into the street, and found someone, leading them to the Lord. That is a pure evangelist.

Fivefold evangelists have a supernatural ability of knowing where an individual stands spiritually, and starting from that point, they begin to preach Jesus to him or her ((Acts 8:35). I love this about a fivefold evangelist. They can start anywhere, talking about anything, and end up talking to the individual about Christ.

In Acts 8:35, an Ethiopian eunuch was reading from a passage in Isaiah, and asked Philip to explain the scripture to him. Verse 35 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this scripture preached Jesus to him.” Philip is a prime example of an evangelist because he has the ability to start anywhere and preach Jesus.

Fivefold evangelists have a God-given supernatural ability to bring the conviction of Christ (conviction of sin) to people, both individually and in large crowds, to the point where they feel compelled to come to Christ (Acts 8:37). After Philip finished sharing with the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch wanted to get saved immediately. “Here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?”

A teacher can teach for an hour on the need for people to give their hearts to Jesus, explaining the atonement and the resurrection of the Chirst. He will ask for those who want to get saved, and there will a small and measured response. But an evangelist can preach to the same crowd a much shorter message and say something like, “You need to get saved tonight.” Quite often there is a large response and people will be eager to get saved. It is supernatural – not trained or learned. It is a gift from God. Its origin is Jesus, and it is meant to bring people to Christ.


The Ministry of an Evangelist – Part Three

The qualifications of an evangelist are the same as that of any other fivefold minister. They must be of sound character and persons of integrity. They are to be full of the Holy Spirit and power. Philip, the evangelist, was full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:8; Acts 6:5).

Evangelists must be sound in doctrine since a large part of their ministry is preaching the Word (2 Timothy 2:15). A fivefold evangelist knows how to preach with authority and power. Many times an evangelist is not one who has lots of notes and points in his message. He simply opens his mouth and preaches Christ. Unlike the teacher who spends hours putting a sermon together with notes and point after point, an evangelist studies but often speaks more from the well within vs. a prepared text. He normally will have a clear sense of where he is headed in his preaching, but it is not laid out as plainly as a teacher’s message would be.

So, an evangelist needs to study to keep his well full so that as he teaches and preaches, he is drawing from a deep well that has revelation from previous weeks of spending time with the Lord. This is simply part of the nature of how their gifts and calling operates. This is part and parcel of their ability to start anywhere at any time and preach Christ and Him crucified.

As with any of the fivefold ministry gifts, a fivefold evangelist must first be affirmed by the leadership team in his local church and serve his local church in modelling evangelism as a life-style. After he has proven himself there, he may be released to the next level of ministry – trans-local.

One of the different aspects of the fivefold evangelist is that the Lord will affirm evangelists by signs and wonders that follow them. These signs and wonders are for setting captives free and for drawing people to Christ (Acts 8:6, 13).

Individuals with a strong emphasis on signs and wonders are often called power evangelists. Signs and wonders are meant to be a tangible expression affirming that God is present desiring to minister to people. When Jesus laid hands on the sick, He often said, “The Kingdom of God is near you.” Signs and wonders bring us to the place where our hearts are separated from reasoning and free to respond to His Lordship because we cannot deny His power at work.

Evangelists with signs and wonders following their ministries need strong moral fibre and character so they do not misuse their anointing. Otherwise they would not be able to fight the temptation of accepting exorbitant favours, gifts, and finances from people served by their ministry. Misusing their anointing can taint them as they get caught in the trappings of ministry instead of purely doing the Lord’s work.


The Ministry of the Evangelist – Part Two

Obviously not all are called to the fivefold ministry role of the evangelist spoken of in Ephesians 4:11. In fact, most of us are not. Nevertheless, we are all called to “go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Or, as 1 Peter 4:10 states, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” So, not everyone is called to be a fivefold evangelist but every one is called to evangelize using the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit received when a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit and receives the power to be a witness (Acts 1:8).

Let’s state something clearly here. There is no such thing in the Bible as the “gift of evangelism.” If there were then some of us who don’t have the gift would be excused from having to tell others about Jesus and sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom. Everyone is called to evangelize and there is no special gift of evangelism. Telling others about Jesus is simply part of your love for Him. This love overflows and you speak boldly about what you believe in and love deeply.

To be a fivefold evangelist (a calling and a role) you need to have five aspects working in your ministry.

  1. You have a discernible and operative set of gifts that enable you to evangelize as all Christians are personally called to do …
  2. You are called prophetically into this fivefold ministry role of evangelist by those who share this role and ministry as well as by an apostle or prophet who sees the calling upon your life.
  3. You have the supernatural ability to see this calling in and on others and are willing to disciple and train the next generation of fivefold evangelists.
  4. You have the ability to activate this gift and calling in other individuals releasing them into their ministry as they reach maturity.
  5. You are able to teach the Church how to evangelize the current generation within their own culture and society.

Fivefold evangelists are carriers of an anointing.  They carry a passion and desire to see people saved. They have a call of the Lord that has supernaturally equipped them with the ability to lead others to Christ. They are anointed to teach and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:23) and to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:20). That is the heart of an evangelist – to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, drawing unbelievers to the saving knowledge of Jesus and demonstrating the power of His Kingdom. The demonstration of that power sets free those who are oppressed by the devil. They also have a deep desire and drive to train other believers to effectively reach the lost for Christ just as Jesus, the Evangelist, trained His twelve disciples to reach the lost of His day ( Matthew 10:1-20).



The Ministry of the Evangelist – Part One

The fivefold evangelist (Ephesians 4:11-12) has an anointing that allows him to win souls and train others to do the same. They have a passion for souls, and the fire that is in them to see souls saved is contagious.

The fivefold evangelist is another aspect of who Jesus is. He is the evangelist of evangelists. There was no greater evangelist than Jesus. Jesus preached of Himself to a dying world: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to he Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Evangelism means to announce the Good News. Why is the Good News? Jesus has come. That is what He was proclaiming during His time here on earth. Jesus Christ has come and paid the price for your sin. Jesus Christ is the evangelist and His ministry on earth was to spend the Good News that He had come to save all of mankind (Luke 19:10).

When Jesus ascended into Heaven He gave each of His five ministries to different individuals (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) and continues to do so today. The fivefold evangelist is a vital part of the leadership of the Church worldwide today. His ministry is much needed and not always well recognized. The gift of the fivefold evangelist and thus the ministry of evangelism within the local church is deeply needed in the Church today. Statistics tell us that we are not growing in most nations.

In North America church growth is really “transfer growth” rather than “conversion growth.” In other words, people are just moving from one church to another – most often from smaller churches to larger churches.

In other areas of the world people simply are not evangelizing and so the Church is not growing proportionately to the population. There is a great need for the ministry of the fivefold evangelist in every nation today. And, a need to understand what his ministry really is.

So, we should be crying out to God asking, “Where are the fivefold evangelists?” Jesus said that He gave “…some to be evangelists.” It is their responsibility to train and equip the rest of the Body of Christ, releasing them to do the work of the ministry, specifically to evangelize and win the lost. So, the problem in most nations today is a lack of training and equipping to evangelize. A lack of fivefold evangelists.

So often we think that the person with the ‘gift of evangelism’ should be the one to lead people to Jesus and the rest of us are simply not called to this ministry. There is no such gift as “the gift of evangelism” in the Bible. All believers are called by Jesus to ‘seek and save the lost’ and to ‘go into all the world and make disciples’ (Luke 19:10 and Matthew 28:19). And the fivefold evangelist is called to train and equip the believers to do this specific aspect of ministry in the world today.

From the Scriptures it is clear that fivefold evangelists are called to be training and equipping while they are also doing the ministry of evangelism themselves on a personal level. They must train others in order to “…prepare God’s people for the works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up until 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 4:11-15).

Part of the “fullness of Christ” is that every believer would have a heart for the lost – for those who do not know Christ. Hence the fivefold evangelist comes on the scene to stir our hearts to share our faith in Christ. Acts 1:8 says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be My witnesses…” Evangelists stir our hearts to seek the Holy Spirit so that we can flow in the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) and thus be supernatural in our witness to the unsaved.

More next time…




The Ministry of the Prophet – Part Seven

Prophets need a place to share the things they are seeing and hearing. Rather obvious, surely! And, a leadership team or a fivefold ministry team must provide a safe place for prophets to speak to the church. Whether this is a regularly scheduled and appointed time or an “as needed” basis, it is important that they have a place to “download” what they are hearing from the Lord. Otherwise, they will speak in the wrong place at the wrong time out of frustration, and there will usually be a mess to clean up !

The words that are brought forth also need to be responded to properly. One of the most destructive things a church leadership team can do to a prophet is not to respond to a word that the prophet gives. The prophet is left in the dark not knowing if the word was accurate, all wrong, or just ignored. Leadership must decide if it is from God or not or if the timing is wrong. A prophet must learn to be the delivery person of the word and then let it go. He cannot be responsible for what the leadership does or does not do with the word received. He cannot take it personally if the word is not accepted immediately or acted upon. In other words, a prophet cannot “own” the word.

“Owing” happens when the prophet begins to feel a personal responsibility to see the word acted upon. He gets very frustrated if the leaders do not do what he prophesied. At this point, he has just crossed the line. A prophet is meant to deliver the word to the correct receiver. It is up to those who are responsible for the church where the word was given to apply and implement it. That is a gift of prophesy at work.

The Lord always has a solution to a problem. Let’s not take the prophetic gift and the ministry of the fivefold prophet for granted as we strive for accuracy in the prophetic words God gives. The prophetic gift remains an extremely important and much needed gift in the body of Christ. Jesus has given us the fivefold ministry gift of prophet so we can become more mature in the prophetic and hear what He is saying to the church today.