Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”
Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist Pastor and Teacher are 5 “Ministry Gifts” given to the Church. An Apostle is a “sent one”, these are people sent on an assignment to a city, nation or certain demographic of people. Paul, for example, was an Apostle to the Gentiles. Apostles can start and even Pastor churches and stand in the work of the other ministry gifts when needed. We call Apostles the “thumb” of the Body of Christ, because the thumb can touch the other 4 fingers. Apostles touch the other Ministry Gifts.
The Prophet is what we call the “index finger” of the Body of Christ, because it points the way! Every Believer can prophesy, but that doesn’t make one a Prophet. Prophets are full-time preachers and teachers of the Word, and are anointed to bring revelation and light to the rest of the Body.
An Evangelist is someone called to bring in the Harvest. We are all called to win souls, and even Pastors are told to do the work of an Evangelist, but Evangelists are fishers of men! They are called and Anointed to preach the Gospel full-time. We call Evangelists the “middle finger” of the Body, because it extends out the furthest.
A Pastor is a shepherd to the flock of God. The Pastor is the “ring finger” of the Body because he is married to the Church. He lovingly and patiently cares for God’s people. He is also a protector and defends the people of God from those with bad intentions or those wanting to hurt the Sheep. If a Pastor warns you about someone or something, it’s wise to listen!
A Teacher is the “pinky finger” because it stabilizes the hand, and stabilizes the other 4 gifts.
The teaching of strong, sound doctrine grounds us and makes us into a strong, stable Believer!
No one can make themselves a ministry gift. They are called and Anointed by Jesus Himself. It’s worth noting that many are also called, but only few are chosen! There is a high price to pay to stand in the place of full-time ministry and it be truly legitimate. The Bible calls these people “Gifts” to the Body.
The devil fight’s these gifting’s in the Body. One major Pentecostal denomination in recent years has said that it will no longer recognize the office of the Evangelist. There are other Denominations that do not recognize the “Apostle” or “Prophet”, saying their roles are done away with. How many people do you know who are offended at preachers? The enemy knows when we start to receive what God has for us through these men and women, his kingdom will be devastated!
Why would it be devastated? Because if you read Ephesians 4, you learn that the job of these 5 fold ministry gifts is to “equip the saints for the Work of the Ministry!” Anointing and impartation flows through these men into our lives and we begin to accomplish heavens plan for our life.
For too long people have left all the work of the ministry up to the Pastor/minister, but it’s God’s intention that the 5 Fold equip the other Saints to do the work as well!
Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…