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.