© 2022 Philip M Spence
The five callings which the Lord bestowed upon certain people in the church are the ones needed for the effective, stable, and powerful administering of the Kingdom of God here on Planet Earth. The purpose of each of the fivefold is outlined by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Paul states that all five gifts (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher) have a similar overall purpose, but because each calling is unique, and carries a specific grace, each one will make its own contribution which is an essential part of the whole.
The fulfilment of the King’s purposes for His Kingdom depends on the effective synergism of these five graces. I am going to suggest some ways in which each of the fivefold can function in order to produce Kingdom outcomes.
This is by no means a complete or exhaustive treatise of the synergy of the five-fold ministry, but I am sure that with further study many more keys to effectiveness would be discovered.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the initial purpose of the fivefold is to equip the people of God to effectively serve God and His church (Ephesians 4:12). Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers are not called to do all the work. Their role is to train and release the people of God to do the work of God.
The people who are to be equipped are called saints. The word translated ‘saints’ means those whose lives are pure and holy. This is the essential criteria for being a candidate to be equipped by the fivefold.
The Greek word translated ‘equip’ is ‘katartismos’ which means a complete furnishing. All five gifts are needed to completely furnish God’s people to be able to fulfil God’s purposes.
Apostles will equip people to be visionary. They will impart a Kingdom perspective that will cause people to walk by faith, conquer, and rule. Apostles will establish order, clarify the cause, and mobilise people to fulfil Kingdom outcomes.
Prophets will equip people by spiritually activating them. They will train people to be led by the Spirit. They will uncover blockages to effectiveness and give guidance that will cause people to be fruitful. Prophets unlock the Kingdom potential in the saints.
Evangelists will equip people by imparting a passion for the lost. This will manifest in a sense of urgency in the light of eternity, and a boldness to deliver people from darkness into light. They will train people to overcome their fear, and to boldly speak out about the hope and joy that a Kingdom life brings.
Pastors will equip people by restoring their souls so that they can become restorers of others. They will shepherd the people of God through the ups and downs of life and guide them into becoming stable and strong amid the storms of life. Pastors will equip the flock to be healthy and multiply.
Teachers will equip people by grounding them in the word of God. They will unpack the Apostles' doctrine so that believers understand its application and implementation in life and ministry. They will produce a firm foundation in the saints.
Paul states that all five of these callings will, in their own way, build up the body of Christ to maturity and stature (Ephesians 4:12). The Greek word for edification is ‘oikodome’ which is an architectural term. It literally means to construct a home from the foundations to completion.
The fivefold ministry graces have been given to the church to fortify and strengthen the people of God so that they have a strong foundation and are able to fulfil the purposes of God.
Apostles will edify people by bringing right order into their lives. This will include building them up in their faith and teaching them to walk in authority. They will build them up by modelling and encouraging a dominion lifestyle.
Prophets will edify people by showing them how to live in the power of the Spirit. They will activate people to live and walk in the Spirit instead of in the strength of the arm of the flesh. They will build up believers by their words of exhortation and encouragement.
Evangelists will edify people by working with them to be fruitful in winning souls and doing miracles. They will build them up through inspiring them to be outward looking, fearless, and to be intentional in reaching out to influence lives for the King.
Pastors will edify people by encouraging them to mature so that they can fulfil their Kingdom potential. They will build them up by teaching them to depend on the Lord, and to rely on Him through the dark valleys. Pastors will build up believers through love.
Teachers will edify people by building a foundation of the principles of God’s Word into their hearts and minds. This will fortify them against doubt, fear, and unbelief which reduce the effectiveness of the people of God.
The concept of establishing means to consolidate so there is a strong foundation on which to build. When something is established it will stand. When people are established, they become resolute. There are several elements in which the people of God are to be established (Ephesians 4:13-15).
The first element that causes the people of the Kingdom to be established is unity. This is crucial because where there is unity, God speaks blessing into being in the same way that His words caused creation to occur (Psalm 133:1-3). Unity is oneness in our faith, in the Spirit, in the bonds of love and faith, and in accurately understanding the ways of the Lord of the church. The body of Christ becomes unstoppable when it comes together in unity.
The second area of establishment that Paul speaks of is maturity. He teaches that all of the fivefold will produce big people with a great capacity. Through the influence of the fivefold, the people of God will become complete in the Lord.
The third facet of being established is stability. When people are stable, they are constant. Their lives are consistent. They have outgrown the ups and downs of immaturity. They are no longer blown this way and that by the wind. They have set a course, and nothing will divert them from it.
The fourth element in this picture is transparency. People who are united, mature, and stable can be open and transparent with each other. They love each other and are secure enough in that love to receive the honest perspective of their brothers and sisters.
The final piece of the establishment concept is what I am calling ascendancy, which means that life is upward for Kingdom people (Proverbs 15:24). Firstly, we pursue unity, and then we grow up into maturity. Having then become stable, we lift each other up through transparency. It is in Christ that we rise together.
Apostles will establish people by laying a strong, righteous foundation in their lives. They will do this by creating and maintaining a Kingdom focus and culture. Apostles will also establish believers in their calling.
Prophets will establish people by giving them direction and teaching them to receive direction from the Holy Spirit. They will help people to consolidate their spiritual walk by teaching them to receive revelation from the Lord.
Evangelists will establish in people the conviction that we are all called to be witnesses of what we have seen and heard. They will establish believers with a sense of mission, and a passion for the harvest.
Pastors will establish people by building in them an understanding of who they are in Christ, and who Christ is in them. Pastors will encourage Christlikeness, the fruit of the Spirit, and wisdom from above in the lives of Kingdom people.
Teachers will establish people by teaching them to stand on the foundation of the Word that has been built in them. Teachers will also establish believers by showing them how to feed on the Word for themselves.
The concept here is that the fivefold unifies the body and is a catalyst for life and power to flow through every part of the body, in order that it can become a growing force. The fivefold brings order and connectivity so the body can function to its full potential and be empowered to fulfil Kingdom purposes (Ephesians 4:16).
Apostles will empower people to stand under fire. They will teach them how to exercise their God-given authority. If there is disjointedness, Apostles will put things in their right place so that the body of Christ becomes strong and effective.
Prophets will empower people by training them to discern how the Holy Spirit is moving and how to partner with Him. They will activate the people of God in the ways of the Spirit of God so He can manifest Himself through them (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Evangelists will empower people by training them to move in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and power. They will model a miracle lifestyle, and train believers to do works of power. The Evangelist's empowering causes believers to be supernaturally enabled.
Pastors will empower people by encouraging them to be moved with compassion. They will empower believers to care for others, meet needs, give encouragement, and demonstrate Christ to the world.
Teachers will empower people by training them to wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. They will empower people to use the Word of God against temptation, and the schemes of the evil one. Teachers will empower people to stand firm on the word of God in every life situation.
The final purpose of the fivefold is effectiveness (Ephesians 4:16). Here we read that where there is right order in our connectivity, there will be effective function which guarantees fruitfulness and fulfilment.
Apostles will cause people to be effective by helping them to grow to be the head and not the tail. They will model a prevailing lifestyle and impart a prevailing spirit into the hearts of the believers they influence. They will establish right foundations for effective Kingdom living and function.
Prophets will cause people to be effective by inspiring them to live and walk in the Spirit. They will teach them how to be led by the Spirit so that they only do what they see the Father doing, and only say what they hear the Father saying.
Evangelists will cause people to be effective by motivating them to live an outwardly focused lifestyle. They will inspire people to live in the light of eternity. They will also impart and stir a passion to bring people into the Kingdom.
Pastors will cause people to be effective by encouraging them to love God, one another, and the hurting. They will inspire and train believers to be self-sacrificing. Pastors will help people to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, as an example to other disciples.
Teachers will cause people to be effective by training them to live the Word of God. They will ground people in the Word in a way that will demonstrate stability, depth, and strength. They will ground them in the truths and principles of the Kingdom so that they develop stature as people of God.
The fact that we have the fivefold does not guarantee effectiveness. It is the synergy that comes from being united under the King, and learning to function together in a complementary way, that will bring about a governance and administering of the Kingdom that will produce this effectiveness and glorify the King.
The above is an excerpt from the book The Governance of the Kingdom. To download your copy, go to Amazon.com or click the button below: