I read a post by a minister friend the other day on Facebook that I fully agree with: “Five-fold Ministry offices of Ephesians 4:11-13 exist but very rarely operate as a team, let's believe for the creation of these this year.” However, after reading this statement it really made me think: “Why don’t we see them operate as a team?”
I believe one would be hard pressed to find a Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith, Deliverance, Apostolic or Prophetic Believer that did not believe in the Five-fold Ministry or Ascension Gifts of Christ for the Church today. With so many streams of the Ecclesia believing in their existence: “Why is it we do not see the full manifestation of them?” I have several thoughts along that line that I would like to share from what I have witnessed over the last 35 years in the Body of Christ.
I can recall back in the hay day of the Word of Faith movement back in the early 1980’s that Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin taught on the Five-fold Ministry Gifts. Many Ministers from many camps or streams have taught these gifts ever since; yet my minister friend still needed to make the post on Facebook that I quoted to start this Blog some 35 years later. This Ought Not Be!
When I was growing up my Father was a Pastor of a local church. Shortly after I was married in 1982 and moved to Tulsa to attend Rhema Bible Training College, he left the Pastorate and started operating as a Missionary/Evangelist, yet many stilled referred to him as a Pastor. After some years, he received his Doctorate of Divinity and moved to Trinidad to operate predominantly as a Teacher and Administrator as the President of a Bible College, yet some still referred to him as a Pastor. Several more years passed and he and my Mom began to be recognized by many in the Body of Christ in certain circles or streams as Apostles; yet some still to this day refer to them as Pastors.
My own experience in ministry is somewhat different yet the same as well. I started in ministry operating in the Office of the Evangelist, yet some called me Pastor. After some 25 years or so God began to transition me into the Office of the Prophet, and to my surprise, folks began to call me Prophet. In March of 2016 after about 16 years of functioning as a Prophet, I was commissioned as an Apostle by my pears. Folks began to call me Apostle. Then God had me step into the role as the ‘Set Man’ or ‘Senior Leader’ of a local church, and guess what folks are calling me? You guessed it…Pastor!
How can this be? Could it be that with all our teaching on the Five-fold Ministry Gifts, folks still do not understand them? Are we not as smart as we think we are? Here are some of the Hindrances to their Manifestation as a Team as I see them:
Calling Everybody Pastor: We have this tendency in the church that if somebody is a preacher or minister they are automatically called Pastor, even if they aren’t. If you are the ‘Set Man’ or ‘Set Woman’ of a local church than you are a Pastor, even if you are not.
False Humility: We have people who are Apostles or Prophets who are afraid to refer to themselves as God has called, appointed, and anointed them; so, they refer to themselves as Pastors as if they are being humble. Apostle Paul said: “I magnify mine office” and “I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle.”
Apostles & Prophets Are Super Saints: Many have this thought that if one is an Apostle or Prophet, they must be some sort of Super Saint, always walking in the anointing and power of God never having a flesh moment and we just could not attain to that. Nothing could be further from the truth! Peter and Paul were Apostles that clearly had flaws and issues that are not hidden in Scripture. Moses and Elijah were two the greatest Prophets yet they also had flaws and issues a plenty, which Scripture also reveals. If all of them did so will Apostles and Prophets today.
Tradition: Jesus in speaking to the religious leaders of His day said: “…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition.” The Traditions that we hold onto…how we have always done it…how it has always been…impedes the progress and the manifestation of ‘Current Truth’ even though we want to experience it and know it is so.
Envy & Jealousy: Ministers that are insecure in their own calling, are threatened by others in other offices leading them to envy and jealousy of their Brothers & Sisters. This behavior is destructive and leads to the belittling of others and their calling; while making, themselves feel equal and adequate. This is nothing more than the enemy’s comparison trap which must be avoided at all costs.
Poor Understanding Of The New Testament Pattern: For all our teaching, you would think that folks would understand what Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:28 about FIRST APOSTLES, SECOND PROPHETS; but alas that is still not the case. Pastors are hardly mentioned at all in the New Testament and Apostles are mentioned repeatedly. Yet we see an abundance of Pastors, or those called Pastors (who might not be Pastors) and very few Apostles. Somehow, we have it reversed and are out of order as far as the New Testament Pattern goes. The New Testament Church was meant to be APOSTOLIC; NOT PASTORAL!
Lack Of Honor: A quote by a Man of God I greatly admire and honor comes to mind: “What you Honor you draw to you; what you Dishonor you repel from you.” Because we have not learned to Honor one another’s gifts and anointing(s) we are repelling each other’s gifts and anointing(s). If you don’t Honor my gift, you repel my gift; if I don’t Honor your gift, I repel your gift. With us acting like that please tell me: How can we be a Team?
Our goal is to see the Five-fold Ministry Gifts or Offices flow as a Team. My Minister friend said: “Let us believe for the creation of these this year.” I say: “Let us remove these Hindrances and watch them Manifest!”