5 Gifts God Gave the Church
May 11, 2016
In his book The Purpose Driven Church (which I reviewed), Rick Warren explains that there are five purposes for which the church was created. These purposes are: (1) fellowship, (2) worship, (3) discipleship, (4) ministry, and (5) missions. In Ephesians 4:1-16, Paul reveals that God has given five gifts to help the church succeed in fulfilling these five purposes. God has given a model by describing a five-fold leadership team (also known as the five-fold ministry.) These gifts from God are people who help “equip” the church to complete the five purposes which the church is designed to do. Each of these officers help the church to fulfill one of the five purposes of the church.
Apostles are missionaries. They push the church further into the city/culture, keeping them on mission. Apostles help people fulfill the purpose of mission.Prophets point people to God. They are truth tellers who help you see how to integrate the Gospel into your life. Since they place the focus on God, prophets help people fulfill the purpose of worship.
Evangelists bring people to Jesus. They create environments in which the Gospel can flourish. They speak and help gather the harvest. They help individual people come to Christ and share in the joy of baptism afterwards. Evangelists help the church fulfill the purpose of fellowship.
Pastors promote the service of the church. They help people see how God has designed them to serve one another. Pastors care for a flock and as such, they help the congregation discover healthy ways to serve. Pastors help the church fulfill the purpose of ministry.
Teachers help people in the church grow in their faith. Just as a teacher helps a student grow in knowledge and in ability, the teachers help a. Christian grow to become more Christ-like. Teachers help the church fulfill the purpose of discipleship.
Every church has people who can fulfill these five roles. Sometimes, they are paid staff. Many time however, they are laypersons in the church whom God has designed to fulfill these roles. Balanced leadership helps grow the church. This is why God has given these offices and “equipped” to help the church succeed.