Church Health – The Dynamics of the Fivefold Ministry Gifts

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Article by Charles Jarman

As I think about a Sunday morning service, I see a correlation between the various positions and the fivefold ministry gifts found in Ephesians 4 where some are called to be apostles then prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers and various positions. With each role playing its part, we are able to raise up effective church leaders and develop strong church health.

The gift of the apostolic could apply to the worship leader. The apostle and the worship leader listen to God to get direction and see the blueprint for the ministry they’re called to as they lead with the right people, resources and materials, bringing about the outcome that they see. They’re setting the pace as they get the divine download. Both need to get down before the Lord and pray as they seek and listen for His leading. However, they can not do it alone. They need to be paired with other parts of the team to accomplish the vision that they see and are called to.

The prophetic people also have their hand on the pulse of what is happening. In this regard I see a correlation between the prophet and the back-up vocalists. The back-up vocalists are under the direction of the worship leader as the prophet is under the guidance of the apostolic leader. While this is true, there is a measure of freedom in hearing Holy Spirit and being able to be creative in our response to Him. The people with the prophetic calling and the backup vocalists lead the charge. They both call and lead people into a more dynamic, risk taking, passionate and connected relationship with the living God, in such a way that puts us on the cutting edge.

Evangelists can often come across as bold, resembling the drum. The drum is dialed back in the worship service and is rarely if ever unleashed to its full potential. The evangelist is the member of the fivefold that could naturally demonstrate in power the good news of salvation. This is not to say that the other four could not do so but there seems to be a special dispensation on the evangelist. I also see the evangelist as being similar to the violin. The evangelist is able to pull on the heart strings and a passion is stirred to improve things; the evangelist can stir up people and motivate them in a way other members of the fivefold might not be able to.

When I think about the pastoral gifting, my mind goes to two often unthought of members of the service. I am referring to security and the ministry team. Both of these groups care about people. Both want to see the flock fed, strengthened, and healed. Both want to see real needs met in a real way. Both, in different ways, want to see the flock protected.

Last but certainly not least is the teacher. I believe this gift set is seen in those who do the offertory, the closing of the worship and the main message as they teach in each. The teacher is one who steadily applies truth and accuracy in every situation. They also help the other fivefold ministry gifts to have an accurate plumb line.

The fivefold ministry was given to equip the saints to build the body of Christ. As we understand what gift(s) each of us has been given we can better understand how to work together so that people are set free, grow in faith, reach others and see Jesus get His full reward.

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