What is the fivefold ministry? How do apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers function?

Terry Virgo has spent decades planting churches and releasing ministries to support and strengthen the body so all can carry out the works of ministry. This fantastic video is his wisdom distilled into a single session. Here are a few highlights to draw you in to watch the rest:

  • “The shepherd is a key biblical picture. Relational. Belonging”
  • “The shepherds, overseers, elders, bishops, pastors are all interchangeable words for those responsible to care for the flock.”
  • “Jeremiah tells us God will give us shepherds after his heart who will teach us. Must really have both. No good to just love books or people.”
  • “The needs to be a team of pastors and teachers who feed and care for the flock.”
  • “People get saved on a fragment of truth.”
  • “You health isn’t the way you get born it’s the health of the family you join. People come with worldly values. These need to be replaced”
  • “Pastors and teachers shape lives and help others shape lives. Rearrange thinking”
  • “Teachers explain the gospel, evangelists announce it. Billy Graham said when he invited people to come he felt the power of God on him.”
  • “There are Lots of different kinds of evangelists. Some are very good at helping people learn to share the gospel one to one.”
  • “Not every evangelist is a platform man. We need the diverse ministries. The evangelist reaps but also inspires us to reap”
  • “The NT is not very clear what the prophet is. OT prophet speaks for God. Eg Aaron & Moses. Joel now says the Spirit is on all.”
  • “There are three categories: 1. all may prophesy eg Acts 19, 1 Cor 14 Demonstrates we are the dwelling place of God. The mark of the NT church.  2. Those who tend to prophesy regularly. 3. prophets. Eg Agabus.
  • Prophecy is foundational. There are only a few actual prophets. Must be weighed. Authority in NT lies with the others who are to test the words.
  • “The prophet brings the immediacy of the Word to today. Lives with a passion. A burden. Not expositional. A plumb-line.”
  • “Once A W Tozer died he could now be called a prophet! Since his death people refer to Lloyd-Jones as all five of these words!”
  • There are four different categories of apostles: Jesus, the Twelve, Paul, others. Never just the 12.
  • “Some say that now we have epistles we don’t need apostles” their task wasn’t to simply write Scripture. Most didn’t write any!”
  • Apostles play a foundational role: a wise master builder. The architect. Define who we are. Need to do this for the local church (1 Cor 3)
  • 1 Cor 3:10 speaks of Paul laying a specific foundation in a specific group of people. We still need that today.
  • All men and women are meant to do all the works of ministry outlined in Eph 4. Not just a select few doing the work.
  • Too often it’s about personal relationship with God, personal evangelism, etc. But God wants the corporate. The ministries must get right in
  • It’s time to stop arguing about whether apostles exist today and get on with it. Here is the biblical pattern let’s live by it!”

Download the mp3

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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  • Kevin Peterson

    So he is saying that Apostles and Prophets still exist today?
    That’s bold.
    And the reason people will keep arguing with him is that they think his exegesis of Eph 4 is wrong.

    It’d be like a Catholic says “Let’s stop arguing about the Pope. He’s the leader of The Church, so let’s get on with it.”


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