October 2

Ephesians 4:11-13 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

This passage is known as the five (or four) fold ministry. God designed the church with servants as leaders. These servants have specific gifts. The church widely differs on whether there are apostles today. Apostle means an official representative. Peter described the roll of the Apostle as one who could testify as an eyewitness of the resurrection. In that sense of the word the role of apostle is no more. Some compare the apostle to church planters today.

The role of prophet is also interpreted very differently in the church. Some see it as a similar role to the Old Testament prophet. Others point out Jesus' declaration that John was the last prophet (Luke 16:16). They see prophecy today as the timely Spirit directed presentation of the Word. Still others believe this role ceased after the apostolic age.

Most agree on the role of an evangelist. They are those who are gifted to declare the Gospel in the power of the Spirit, winning many to Christ. The last two, pastor and teacher, are seen as one calling by most Greek scholars. This role is also widely accepted as those who teach and preach the Word, while caring for the flock of God.

No matter what your interpretation of the ministries are, we can all see that their role is to prepare God's people for service. They are to build up the body so that it is unified, mature, and Christ like. These ministries are to assist the church in coming together in the knowledge of the Son of God. The more we focus on Jesus, the more unified we become. Though we may differ on the details, the main thing is knowing Christ.

Remember: A healthy church is one in which the leadership constantly helps you grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.