As we continue looking at the fivefold ministry roles within the local church we see that another task of the fivefold apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher is to release and mentor the callings upon people in the local church until they reach a place of maturity.
Those who are in the fivefold ministry see the local church as a training ground for ministry. They allow people to use their gifts in the church as much as possible even before the gift has matured. Of course, this means that the fivefold minister must be willing to mentor the gifts and the callings upon people. At times, this means bring correction when necessary, even in a public meeting.
When I am training people to flow in the gift of prophecy and they are working alongside of me in a public service, I correct their words if they are wrong. Of course this is done lovingly and with the understanding that the prophetic gift is given by the Holy Spirit but the skills to use that gift need to be learned.
For example, I had a young man with me in a service and he prophesied that God was giving a person the “gift of evangelism.” I stopped him and corrected him. There is no such gift as the “gift of evangelism.” Everyone is called to evangelize. If some have the gift then those that don’t are free not to tell others about Jesus. Obviously this is not the case. So, I corrected him and taught the people that some are called to the role of evangelist which is a gift to the church (Ephesians 4:11) but that there is no such individual gift as the “gift of evangelism.” Some are better at it than others but that is simply because they have been taught and trained and have been telling others about the Saviour and thus improving in their evangelistic skills.
Fivefold ministers will encourage those with the calling to fivefold teacher to work at writing teachings, learning to study, learning how to correctly work with Scripture, and release them to teach in small group settings or when travelling with them. The small group is an excellent place to develop the gifts and callings.
This fathering role cannot be done solely by phone. There has to be personal contact on a regular basis as all mentoring is done relationally. To be a spiritual father means you are caring for the spiritual health and well being of the one you are mentoring. This means having adequate and consistent personal contact. It also means that the person being trained must be willing to submit to the one fathering him. In this way the spiritual father can bring correction and direction; watch their borders to make sure they stay on track; sound an alarm if they see things going wrong; and generally make sure that the young person is moving forward, growing, and learning. Of course, they should also travel with the mentor and thus observe how the spiritual father ministers, how he deals with people and situations, and how they live their lives for Christ while on the road ministering.
The fathering role of the fivefold ministers cannot be overrated. It is seriously important and absolutely necessary for the Church to reach maturity and for the next generation of fivefold ministers to reach maturity and continue to lead the Church into the fullness of Christ.