What is the five-fold ministry?


The five-fold ministry is the leaders of the church delineated in Ephesians chapter four.  These five different leaders are essential for the government of a healthy church.

Ephesians 4:11 reads that he “gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.” Notwithstanding, in most churches, there are only pastors. Sometimes there are teachers or evangelists but seldom apostles and prophets. These two are the unknown leaders shrouded in mystery, and traditional churches often wish to ignore that part of the verse or think of it only in the context of the first apostles and prophets mentioned in the New Testament.

However, the passage goes on to read in verse 12 and 13 that the reason these leaders are given to the Church is to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Obviously the Church has not reached such unity and measure to date. Therefore, these leaders are still a necessity in this age.

Thus it can then be asked where these five types of leaders are and why are they not in the churches? Why are churches led only by a pastor and his associate? This has been the typical model for many years. However, it does not seem to be the biblical model.

Much is changing in this age where churches are establishing this model of government. Some churches have succeeded, and some churches have aligned with churches that have it so that they can come under it and have the benefit of it.

The laity need not prod their leaders to provide this kind of leadership, but they should be open to its occurring in their church. This can help foster a unified transition to a new model of leadership that really is less of a model and more of a Kingdom government.

A Culture of Honor

A great resource to read on this topic is a book by Danny Silk entitled “A Culture of Honor.” This book expresses the importance of a five-fold government and how each member of that five-fold operates to bring heavenly life into the church.

Ephesians 4:14-18 continues, “then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

The only way the Church can look like this is if this culture flows from the leadership down into the Church, providing the supporting ligaments joined and held together, thereby enabling the Church to come into unity. Each part of the body will then work creating a fluid whole that will shine like the stars, glorifying God.

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