Fivefold Ministers and the Local Church – Part Seven

Fivefold ministers operate within a specific field of ministry. Paul encouraged the early Christians to boast only “within the limits of their sphere of ministry.” These fields of ministry, assigned by God to us, are our spheres of influence, responsibility, and anointing. Working within the sphere means we are working under His authority. If we move out of our sphere of influence we are then working without His authority which, of course, is very dangerous.

2 Corinthians 10:12-13 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you.”

Paul understood his sphere of influence and reminded the Corinthians that he was only to operate in the sphere God had appointed to him. He only boasted of the Corinthian Church because he was responsible before the Lord for them. His sphere included the local church he was a part of (the Church in Antioch – Acts 13), the churches he planted and who looked to them as their spiritual father, and those who adopted him as their spiritual father and came in under his influence and protection.

Of course, when travelling outside his own home church the fivefold minister must stay within his geographic boundaries as set by the Lord. His sphere of influence or “metron.” But even within this sphere of influence he must wait to be invited in to a local church by the local leadership of that church.

As a fivefold minister, the only way I can effectively minister in another person’s area of responsibility is when I am invited. When I’m invited into their field, I need to understand and acknowledge that someone else has ultimate responsibility for the health and welfare of the people to whom I am going to minister. I must come into that “outside area” to help those who are in authority there acknowledging and understanding that someone else has final authority over their area. It is within my sphere of influence, the geographical area the Lord has called me to minister in; but, I still wait to be invited and called by the local authority over that specific local church or network.

For fivefold ministers, probably 95% of their ministry is in someone else’s field. A fivefold trans-local minister’s attitude must always be one of, “We are here to help others build what the Holy Spirit is building. It is not about building our own ministry, it is about serving the Lord and serving this particular church and local leadership, co-labouring with them in their field. They have final authority in their field.” Approaching ministry with that attitude and understanding, helps the fivefold ministry to be an asset rather than a threat to a local leadership team.

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