Fivefold Ministry Functions
All Ministry comes from Jesus… In his seminal letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul introduces us to
THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY
This is also known as “The Ascension Gift Ministries” because they were given when Christ Ascended into Heaven
Ephesians 4:7-16 (NKJV)
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Every person in the Body of Christ has received grace for some aspect of the 5 Ministry Giftings. We see this in the gift of prophecy and the Prophet. It also applies to the apostolic anointing and the Apostle, the pastoral anointing and the pastor, etc.
The key to understanding Fivefold Ministry is FUNCTION or PURPOSE and not title…
The title is there to describe the FUNCTION…
The Apostle Governs:
He is like the Heart revealing compassion & strategy for advancing the Kingdom
The Prophet Guides:
He is like the Mouth communicating guidance
The Teacher Grounds:
He has the Mind of Christ to bring wisdom and understanding
The Evangelist Gathers:
These are the Hands that are always reaching out to souls
The Pastor Guards:
These are the Feet leading the sheep to pasture and the paths of righteousness
Our hand serves as an example for the Fivefold Ministry too:
- The Thumb represents the Apostle: This finger is the only one that touches all others and is the finger that enables us to grip.
- The Forefinger represents the Prophet: It points…
- The Middle finger represents the Evangelist: it is the furthest reaching
- The Ring finger represents the Pastor: married to the sheep he is always with them
- The Pinky represents the Teacher: this finger is the one that gives balance to the hand
The 5 G’s of Ministry
Apostles and Prophets lay the foundation of the house. The Teacher builds on that foundation with the stones the Evangelist gathers and then, the Pastors cares for the house. Of course, the “house” means the people of God.
The Apostle “Governs” or oversees the House bringing vision, order and government. He/she develops leaders and raises up “sons in the Gospel”.
The Prophet “Guides” and administrates in the House. He/she declares and confirms vision for the house and facilities. They bring direction and counsel also.
The Teacher “Grounds” and equips the saints through their gifted teaching ability. They bring balance to the vision of the house.
The Evangelist “Gathers” by training workers/witnesses in outreach into the community.
The Pastors “Guards” the House, caring for the people overseeing visitation, etc. They are concerned with the everyday aspects of the community of faith.
As such, we can see how the 5 Ascension Gift Ministries function together as a Team!
Here are some other functions of each Ministry:
The Apostle is to be “Godward” and minister to Him. As he/she does they receive vision and then they go and plow the ground.
The Prophet has what we would call a “watchman on the wall” or “crows nest” ministry.
The Teacher grounds as they reemphasize the vision of the House and balance it with the Word. They break up the fallow ground.
The Evangelist gathers and also sows seeds.
The Pastors guard by example leading the prayer and care ministries and harvests the crop.
Are all Ministries Equal?
Although each Ascension Gift Ministry is vital to the Church there is a “Governmental” aspect to ministry. We see this in the Fivefold Ministry in one of Pauls letters:
1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set in the Church, firstly Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that…”
The Apostle is primary, the Prophet secondary and the Teacher is third. All are equal in the fact that each one is a member in the Body of Christ but there is “order” and “government” in the ministries also. The Apostle is guarded by the other four because his anointing is the “primary” anointing.