As I reflect on Ephesians 4:11-16 I am beginning to get a broader view of the five ministry gifts.
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints; for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: “
Growing up in Christianity I always heard reference being made to this Scripture, especially in the context of ‘the prophetic’ and the ‘office of the prophet’. I am sure that many of you have heard it said that you may have the gift of prophecy, but it does not automatically qualify you to be in the office of the Prophet. It went further to say that you need to have a certain level of the prophetic operating in your life which would show that you have been called to the office of the Prophet in truth.
I am beginning to understand however, that an individual can be highly prophetic and not be a Prophet. The reason is simple; these ministerial offices or the five fold ministry gifts are gifts of LEADERSHIP. Therefore, one does not grow to become a Prophet, Apostle, Evangelist, Teacher or Pastor by the level of the giftings or experiences that he or she has, but it is a call to leadership.
Have you ever heard the saying; “True leaders are born?” Well, there is truth to that statement, especially in this case. The call to any one of these five fold ministry gifts is a call to leadership. This statement is validated by verse 12, which gives the function of these ministry gifts and verse 13, which speaks to the goal of the ministry gifts.
From verse 12 we see that they function to:
- Perfect the saints: The greek word used for ‘perfecting’ here means to prepare, to equip, to bring to a condition of fitness.
- Accomplish the work of the ministry: Work refers to something that is done to achieve a particular purpose. When we hear work, we think employment, we think structure, we think designation of tasks. Therefore, it is not something that is done loosely; anything that is set up to accomplish a particular goal must be structured, clearly defined and organized.
- Edify, meaning to advance the body of Christ spiritually
The five ministry gifts or offices actually mean the five areas of leadership in the body of Christ. They make up the foundational structure of leadership that function in these three (3) ways, to accomplish a specified goal. This goal, we shall discuss in our next devotion.
Father, I thank You for bringing to me a greater level of understanding concerning the existence and function of the five fold ministry gifts. I pray that You will continue to expose this truth to me and help me to be more equipped to serve in the capacity that You will have me to serve. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
By Joanna Lloyd