The Fivefold Ministry Restoration
There has been a significant surge of the fivefold ministry restoration taking place on the earth today. We are seeing a fresh emergence of dynamic, godly church government structures being envisioned and implemented. The church's apostolic and prophetic foundations are being re-established, and the vitality of the church is increasing. We are seeing the Holy Spirit speaking to leaders worldwide, to facilitate God's move on the earth, to demonstrate the power of God, and build a glorious church for Jesus Christ.
The Lord spoke to us in 2015 about implementing the fivefold ministry in the church. It released a new blueprint for government within our church organisation which has released many more people into their divine calling and destinies. We spent most of 2015 and early 2016 seeking wisdom, direction, and strategy, as to how to move into the fivefold structure. This is the approach we developed, and we are seeing our church transition successfully into a fivefold structure.
Personally, for me coming from a traditional Christian background, I was used to the terminology of priest and laity. When encountering the scripture in Ephesians 4:11, my eyes were opened to new roles and ministries within the body of Christ for the equipping of the saint.
Romans 1:1 - Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.
Paul specifically emphasises his credentials in no fewer than 9 of his 13 epistles. This must imply it is an essential title, which carries God's will and authority. The term apostle was first used by Jesus (Luke 6:13). Jesus specially adapted this word to apply to certain leaders under the new covenant. Jesus' choice of twelve apostles proceeded to represent the truth that He had come to build a new house of Israel. In the common secular terms, the Greek word means 'messenger' or more distinctly 'he that is sent with a particular purpose or goal'. It is reasonable to conclude that Jesus had a specific purpose in choosing the title "Apostle" for the 12 whom He considered special among His more extensive circle of disciples. Therefore, it seems somewhat odd that for centuries that the church tends to steer clear of using this title. I will touch more on this later.
I believe central to the current move of God among the church today is restoring of the fivefold ministries found in Ephesians 4:11: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. This breaks away from old mindsets of either non-hierarchical church structure or a hierarchical non-biblical based structure. Many see this as The Holy Spirit, preparing a new wineskin for His new wine. The new wineskin represents a new kind of structure. A new structure and government within our church organisation will hopefully release many more people into their divine calling and destinies.
Envisioning the Church
Ephesians 4:11-12 - So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Here we see the offices of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. They don't just have gifts; these people who function in these offices are the gifts to the church. The fivefold gifts are for everyone, although everyone has it at varying levels. For example, all can prophesy but not all are prophets. Christ has already measured for us specific and certain portions of the fivefold anointing.
To release the fivefold, a local church must desire it, purpose it, and release it. Without doing that, we will tend to go and do the same old, same old. I firmly believe that to take people on the journey in achieving the fullness of their calling, to see unity established and people equipped in the church, the fivefold ministry must be functional.
Not every Christian will fully function in the five-fold offices, but every one of us is called to be a priest and king; we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God’s people reflecting His glorious light. We must understand that we are called to Godly service, to equip the saints, to unite the Body and mature in all Godly aspects.
A couple of the core values we established through teaching was:
Each one has a gift – 1 Corinthians 12:7
Each one has at least one gift – 1 Corinthians 7:7
You are God's choice – 1 Corinthians 1:27-30
Gifts and callings are God's grace – Ephesians 4:7, 1 Corinthians 12:11
The call is permanent – Romans 11:29
We grow our gifts – 1 Timothy 4:14
We are accountable – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 & Matthew 25
Our gifts are for the service of others- 1 Peter 4:10
We carry our call with humility – Colossians 3:12
We are to bear fruit
John 15:8- By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Personally, as we remain planted in the Lord, it is to God's glory that we bear much fruit. How we grow is important to God. We must have an expectation to mature, have an idea as a standard to measure, otherwise, it will become ok for us to remain as pew warmers in our congregations. These gifts are shown as supernatural aids to assist the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry, given to us by the Holy Spirit. Every Christian will have at least one of these gifts to some measure and as we serve in that measure, we will grow and bear much fruit.
Not every Christian will fully function in the five-fold offices, but every one of us is called to be a priest and king; we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s people reflecting His glorious light. We must understand that we are called to Godly service, to equip the saints, to unite the Body and mature in all Godly aspects.
At a church level, one of the reasons I want to really look into this topic is that I desire to empower every believer to fully realise their potential. If our model of church is not God’s standard, then there will not be fullness in its structure. Sometimes, asking people to join some established ministries in the church is like asking square pegs to fit into round holes. What I’m trying to say, is that there may be more varied roles and functions than we are aware of and we need to ask God to open our eyes to see our function and that of others. If we can identify our giftings then we can better train ourselves and equip one another. Like attracts like, and people with similar giftings will be attracted to each other. If we can identify, align, and release; then we will see new things birthed in the church.