Five-Fold Ministry: Teacher

Synonyms: Trainer, coach, instructor.

Characteristics: Logical, scientific, detailed, reasonable. Enjoys private/group Bible study and use the Bible as a tool to solve problems.

Responsibilities: Helps the body of believers to understand Scripture. Teaches the Scriptures and helps to oversee the studies of those he teachers, with a policy that “not one shall fall through the cracks and be lost” (Dino).

Abilities: Understands Scripture and explains/interprets the truth in an understandable and meaningful way.

Passions: Word of God.

Examples: Jesus Christ, Paul, Barnabas. Who else do you know in this role? Some people from my life in this role include Pastor Rich Holmes, Doug Meyer, Kenny Stanley.

Notice that there is a pastor in my list here. Some pastors are very good at sharing the word and putting it in a way that is relatable and understandable. My husband also falls on this list of people in my life in this role. Before I looked into this ministry, I thought that I was more of a teacher. But I am wrong—I don’t have many of the characteristics listed here. A teacher in this sense does not have to simply be a school teacher or a Sunday school teacher. Dr. Wile E. Coyote (Doug) loves reading the word and spending hours there, discovering what he did not yet know. He loves being in conversation about the word and having other people give insight that he hadn’t thought about before. He has helped me to understand scripture in new ways, and shares what the Lord was teaching him when he was previously reading in the word. Pastor Rich relates the word to real life. We just finished a sermon series on giants, and 1 Samuel 17 was used the whole time to talk about bringing down giants in our lives—giants such as cancer, divorce, financial problems, addiction, etc.

Now that we have touched all five of the ministries, what are you? Which do you most relate with? I ENCOURAGE highly that you dive into whichever gifts you want to know more about on your own, especially the gift you think you have. I also encourage much prayer, asking the Lord what your ministry is, where you can use it, and to perfect it. I do know one thing: There is not simply one place that you can use your gift at. People need them all, all the time! What is your occupation? How can you use your gift there? Above all, seek the Lord for all these things!

Anna E Meyer

Are you a teacher? Do you know a teacher who doesn’t teach as a profession? What ministry of the five (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) do you most closely associate with? How do you know?

Five-Fold Ministry: Pastor

Synonyms: Soul-winners. Oversees, shepherds, and tends the flock of God. Protector.

Characteristics: Protector, hospitable, nurturing, love being around people. Peaceful, disarming, motivating, and counsel with wisdom.

Responsibilities: Care for and protect God’s flock; be worthy of imitation. Serve, inspire, and live as role models for their church. Instruct believers further in the things of Christ and build them up in faith. Admonishes and encourages in order to edify in love, with the patience and compassion of the Father. “He is humbled by the precious gift he’s been given and knows he’s fully accountable to God for each soul He places in his care and does not consider the gift and responsibility a light thing, but rather the most awesome responsibility in all of creation” (B. Dino).

Passions: Discipleship.

Examples: Jesus Christ, Timothy, Lydia. Who else do you know in this role? Some people from my life in this role include Pastor Jason Mueller, Pastor Jim Demke, and Tom Hartsock.

I read somewhere that women rate close to pastors on online tests because their mothering instinct is to protect those under their care and to love and grow their children. I even considered being a pastor at one point because I love doing discipleship. But the three men I have listed above? They are GREAT at discipleship and great at what they do. Not all preachers are the closest to the gift of “pastor.” Some of them teach better than they do some of the other responsibilities that fall under a pastor. There is nothing bad about that at all. I know churches that have a leadership TEAM, not simply one pastor to take care of everything. I think this is smart, if one has the resources. Then, a person that lands in each of these five spiritual ministries can be involved, and all the bases would be covered.

Anna E Meyer

Do you know people who display the gift of pastoring? Are they all pastors, or could they be other people, as well?

Five-Fold Ministry: Evangelist

Synonyms: gatherer, revivalist, etc.

Characteristics: Convicting communicator (which gives power to influence people), has a deep concern for the lost, and has a deep love of God and his people.

Responsibilities: Brings the gospel to nonbelievers and training the saints to effectively evangelize them.

Abilities: Influences people and are adaptable, able to thrive in any situation or culture.

Passion: Winning the lost to Jesus.

Examples: Jesus, Peter, Paul. Who else do you know in this role? Some people from my life in this role include Pastor Rich Holmes, Dusty Hoffman, and Luke Rhoorda.

Evangelists can come in many different forms of people. Dr. Coyote says that he sees our pastor as an evangelist because he passionately talks about being saved and being welcomed into the Lord’s family. Every week, there is a chance for salvation, and whenever somebody makes the decision to ask Christ into their heart, the entire church prays with them. This is not only and evangelist thing, but evangelists are indeed passionate like none other—this is where their heart breaks the most.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I were both involved in Cru, a campus ministry on our campuses. Cru is a ministry that is passionate about the lost. Not only did we learn how to share our faith while involved with Cru, but our own faiths grew a ton, as well. There are ministries such as this all over. They do not exist to condemn, just as Christ did not come to condemn. They simply want everyone to have the chance to hear this eternally-saving gospel. Maybe you are a Christian and aren’t being treated as such, but the other person isn’t sure. While involved with Cru, I met a ton of people who didn’t like God, or hadn’t heard the entire gospel plainly before. They never understood it. Or maybe they had grown up in church, but their hearts hadn’t been as involved in church as their heads. It is not our place to judge; that is for God alone to do. I met international students who had never even heard what this Christianity is all about, and I learned about the faiths they grew up with, as well. As I said: the goal of ministries such as Cru is to ensure that as many people that can have the opportunity to know Christ as their savior and Lord.

Anna E. Olson

Do you know of other ministries or people that display this evangelism? Where those without Christ in their lives cause heartbreak and a reason to do what they do?

Five-Fold Ministry: Prophet

Synonyms: Motivator, encourager, seer, guide

Characteristics: Good at encouraging and preaching; have a strong sense of right and wrong (see things as black and white and therefore have a strong sense of justice).

Responsibilities: To recognize, understand, and proclaim God’s word, speaker of or for God (have the ministry of inspired utterance). “Prophets are the mouth of God to the church, speaking forth life, blessings and all the promises of God as well as providing firm rebukes of error and admonishing of sin” (Brother Dino).

Abilities: Receives revelations from God—prophets sense God communicating with them truths to edify the body of Christ.

Passion: Spiritual things.

Examples: Jesus Christ, Silas, and Judas (Acts 15:32). Some people from my life in this role include Bena Hartsock, Ed Traut, Gloria Jordan.

Much of the church believes that there are no prophets anymore. “There is no need of them since we all have the Spirit now.” It is true that we all have the Spirit. The Spirit talks to each of us differently and directly. Proverbs 15:23(b) says, “How good is a timely word!” Ed Traut, in his book The Truth About Prophecy, says that “every one of us at some time need to hear that ‘timely’ word either as a confirmation or comfort. I have seen more lives changed and people encouraged and inspired through a prophetic word, than through most other gifts or ministries” (13). The fact is that the need for a prophet in the Old Testament and New Testament has changed. In Acts 15:32, we read that “Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”

Prophets don’t prophecy all the time. They must stir up the gift in order to prophecy; it comes on God’s terms, not man’s. One may also work in the office of a prophet without actually having the gift of prophecy. Prophets encourage. They guide the Church to stay on its path, and admonish it if it is wrong. Again, don’t just take my words for granted. Study the Word for it! I received a prophecy once. It sounded something like, “You work really well with kids. They’re going to be blessed by you, I know it.” NOT (In my head, this is going to be a loud, booming, over-exaggerated voice dripping with sarcasm:) “The Lord has summoned thee to work with children, that they may be SAVED! Now goeth and do the Lord’s prompting!” I’ve been diving into learning about this gift specifically, myself, simply because I don’t understand it. I have so much more to say on this topic, but we are talking about the five offices!

Anna E Meyer

Who else do you know that fits in this role?  Share it with them! 

Five-Fold Ministry: Apostle

Synonyms: Church planters, missionaries, messengers, ambassadors of the Gospel, etc.

Characteristics: Visionary leader; good at delegating responsibilities.

Responsibilities: Spread the message of Christ. Establish the church and build it through the Word of God. Plant churches, govern society, be administrators for doctrine and discipline, train others to do their job properly, continually preach on the subject matter found in the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation.

Examples: Jesus Christ, Simon Peter, Thomas.

The apostle can also have different jobs—actually, any of these ministries can accompany various jobs. For example, Paul was a teacher, but he called himself an apostle first. I see apostles as being the leader of something. They have a lot of responsibilities, and the responsibilities of the other four ministry offices are theirs, as well. This is where delegating responsibilities is important. In Acts 6:1-7, the Twelve realized that there was so much going on that they couldn’t do it all. Therefore, seven others were chosen for the ministry of making sure food was brought to the widows and the like. They were chosen and then sent out for this task. Don’t wait to be asked—sometimes, those in charge need all the help they can get—just tell them where you would like to do some ministry!

I know of church planters who begin with the idea of a church, but add many more people to their team to get the church begun. Trinity Harvest, the church I attend in Pikeville, KY, is a church plant. The Ransom Church, the church I attended in Sioux Falls, SD, is a church plant. There are many great and wonderful churches that I have attended in the past that have been in place for more than 100 years; that’s not the point. Church plants still happen, and the lord moves through them, as he moves through any of his churches. I have family who are missionaries, and they spent most of my growing-up years building up a new church in a village in Africa. Apostles are very much active in the Church today!

Anna E. Olson

Who do you know today that fits the description of an apostle? 

Five-Fold Ministry: Intro to a New Series

In recent weeks, God has been teaching me a lot about spiritual gifts and the different offices where those spiritual gifts can be used. For instance, I have a lot of random spiritual gifts. I’ve taken spiritual gifts tests (found online—I just googled them), and I know what I enjoy and what I’m kind of good at. But how am I supposed to use them all together? I encourage people, like to read and write about spiritual things, and my gut is usually correct when I just “sense things.” Most of the time. I love listening to, creating, and teaching music with the goal to let my students become good at something so that they’ll have somewhere they can release stress. Etc, etc, etc.

I was going through Ephesians 4 with the Bible study I’m a part of, and we came upon this gem:

“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” (verses 11 & 12).

1 Kings 18:44 references the hand. The little cloud the size of a man's hand became a big 'ole storm in the blink of an eye!
1 Kings 18:44 references the hand. The little cloud the size of a man’s hand became a big ‘ole storm in the blink of an eye!

What the heck are apostles and prophets? Evangelists are those people who share the gospel all the time and give you little booklets about the gospel, right? Pastors are the people who preach at us on Sunday, right? And teachers are the ones we see every other day of the week if we go to school. Right? NOT QUITE. ON ANY OF THESE. Randy Barnett said in an article I’m referencing for this series, “There is nothing in Scripture that would lead us to believe that any of these no longer exists.” Even the prophet still exists today, although not many people may realize it.

In this series, we are going to focus on these five offices of ministry; we’ll zoom in on each one. I’m still doing a lot of research on these gifts myself, so expect good things. My goal is that in writing about these ministries, I can learn more about them, myself. (That’s what happens when I write about something, usually.) For those of you tuning in after the series has been published, congrats—you get to read them all or skip to the one you are most curious about. For everyone else who is reading my blog posts as I write and publish them, I’m going to try to give you three posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

As I share about a ministry, I would like you to consider who it is that you know who fits the description well. Then go ahead and let them know! Before I began this process, I was pretty sure where I’d land, but then I realized I was quite wrong. By the end of this series, perhaps you will have a better idea of where you land, as well! These posts should not be taken as they are written, though I’ve been doing research. They should be a tool or a kick-off to study these ministries on your own!

And that, my friends, is what I’m most excited about in writing this series. I will be talking about them each in the order they are found in Ephesians 4:11.

Anna E Meyer

For this series, here are some of my resources that I continually refer back to:

Almobayyed, Mona. “What Is the Fivefold Ministry?” eHow. 26 May 2014. Web. 26 Sept 2014.

Barnett, Randy. “The Five Ministry Offices” Randy Barnett Ministries, Covenant Global Church. ND. Web. 26 Sept 2014.

Dino, Brother. “The 5 Offices of the Church – Which Are Yours?” Shepherd Dino, Facebook. 9 Jan 2011. Web. 26 Sept 2014.

“The Five Offices of the Church—30 Bible Basics.” Guarding the Heart, ReviveNations. 28 Feb 2012. Web. 26 Sept 2014.

Traut, Ed. “The Truth About Prophecy.” California: Prophetic Voice Distributors, 1991. Print.