Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church


Ministry Gifts

Ministry Functions

Functional gifts are used to equip the saints.
God ordains people into different jobs of the ministry. Those people are gifted and matured for that work. Some ministries are for a season, then God will move that person into a different ministry depending on the need of the Spirit.

Eph 4:11-12

  • 11 And he gave some,
  • [1] apostles; and some,
  • [2] prophets; and some,
  • [3] evangelists>; and
    some,
  • [4] pastors
    and
  • [5] teachers ;
  • 12 For the perfecting of the saints,
    for the work of the ministry, for the
    edifying of the body of Christ: (KJV)

The structure and organization of the church has been shared by God with man. What God has given us is an organism. We are grafted into the living vine of Jesus Christ. We have been given certain liberties in organizing ourselves. The organism of the body of Christ is natural, the organization of the body of Christ is artificial. The artificial organization should effectively serve the natural organism. The functions of ministry is organic. The office of ministry is artificial. God always ministers to the body organically by the function of ministries. The artificial organization is also used by God when it stays close to the organic function of ministry.

The church of Jesus Christ began with the apostolic ministry first established by the Lord who sent them out to preach the gospel. Traveling apostles were followed by traveling prophets, evangelists, and teachers. There were so many that believers needed guidance in how to deal with them as congregations in homes were to established. Consequently the epistles were written and other non-canonical books such as the Didachae or the Teachings of the
Twelve
on how to recognize and care for genuine ministers of Christ.

Bishoprics for the first 3 centuries were not official, but recognized unofficially as the their fruit proved their maturity. Servants, or deacons, were quickly acknowledge (Acts 6:1-6) but were not paid for their service. Only when Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian and commanded the entire Roman Empire to be Christian did the official hierarchy begin. The Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox governments were established and institutionalized. But God still organically ministered to His people. These people in and out of the institutions, whom they later canonized as “saints.”

The Reformation of the 16th century Europe saw a drastic restructuring of church government as believers departed from the Catholic Church. John Calvin in Switzerland was a leader in the new church government, which combined the state with the church. John Knox of Scotland gave the presbyters power in the local church, whereas George Fox of Quaker fame almost had no government as he tried to allow Christ to move through all believers.

From the Reformation the Pastoral system of church government began to emerge as small congregations multiplied in distant lands. Biblical precepts are adhered to as much as the system allows. Regrettably, the system has built factors that hinder and diminish the organic life of Christ in His body.

Apostle: Missionary

It is believed by many that the apostolic ministry ended with the first century church. This is the doctrine of the Catholic church that replaced it with Apostolic Succession of the Popes. It is commonly believed that to be an apostle, one had to have had a direct contact with Jesus when He was in the flesh. Paul is counted as an apostle because of his experience on the road to Damascus. However, the Bible indicates that many others were regarded as apostles who were not listed with the 12 the Jesus worked with. For example, Andronicus and Junia are called apostles by Paul (Rom. 16:7). The word “apostle” in Greek is apostolos which means “one sent out, as an ambassador of Christ”. This is why missionaries today are modern apostles.

It is the call of God to lead, inspire and develop new church families of God by bringing the Living Spirit of God to their hearts and the proclamation and the teaching of true doctrine. Apostles combine the functions of Evangelists, Teachers & Pastors in their work. Apostles minister to the body of Christ (local church) and have the capacity to reach a second culture or second community.

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: (Rom 15:20 KJV)

Motivational Gifts: Exhorter, minister, prophecy, administrator
Spiritual Gifts: All the gifts to establish new churches.
Additional Body Functions: Evangelist, prophet, pastor & teacher

Prophet

The function of the prophet is one of holding leadership accountable to God’s Word, and will speak the Word of the Lord to both the congregation and the leadership staff. Consequently, the prophet has to remain objective and somewhat detached in order not to be influenced by men, and to be devoted wholly to God. The New Testament prophet is not judgmental, but is motivated by the spirit of love. Prophets should have the motivational gifts of prophecy, and the spiritual gifts.

Old Testament Spirit: Accountability

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (I King 17:1 KJV)

New Testament Spirit: Restoration

54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9:54-56 KJV)

Motivational Gifts: Exhorter, administrator, & teaching
Spiritual Gifts: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues
Additional Body Functions: Apostle, pastor & teacher

Evangelist

All are called to share the Gospel to unbelievers, but Evangelists are called of God to build up the body of Christ with new believers, and to lead the body in evangelism outreaches.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. ……35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.(Acts 8:29-31, 35 KJV)

Motivational Gifts: Minister, exhorter, teacher
Spiritual Gifts: All the gifts. The gifts are for confirming the Word to the lost.
Additional Body Functions: Missionary, teacher

Pastor

Many are in the office of the pastor, but not many are pastors. A pastor is one who genuinely cares about the welfare of the people, and sees to their growth in Christ. Pastoral care can come from those in an office, but usually the function of the pastor is experienced by fellow mature believers who know your life and are involved in your life.

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.(1 Pet 5:2-3 KJV)

Motivational Gifts: Mercy, teaching and administration.
Spiritual Gifts: Faith, healing, discernment of spirits, interpretation of tongues
Additional Body Functions: Teacher, administrator

Teacher

Teachers are called of God to communicate the truths of God’s Word so that others can apply the Word to their lives. A good teacher will always lead students to knowing Christ personally, and use scripture as the guide for testing the spirits.

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. (1 Cor 4:15 KJV)

Motivational Gifts: Teaching and exhortation.
Spiritual Gifts: Prophecy, discernment of spirits. word of wisdom, word of
knowledge
Additional Church Functions: Pastors, ministers, administers

2 to “Ministry Gifts”

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