5 Fold Ministry -Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers (Eph. 5)

One of your 5 a day (2)…

Yesterday we had a look at the five fold ministries which should be active within our Churches for them to flourish, with the Apostolic gift leading is forward, the evangelistic gift leading us out, the prophetic gift keeping us looking to God for direction, the pastoral gift causing us to look to the needs of those around us and the teaching gift to take us down deeper into scripture and to who God is.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” Ephesians 4:10.
Yet I came across this which I thought also added some interesting dimensions to the five fold ministries…
In many ways the absence of Christian lingo actually helped me think about these roles in a very different way.

The Entrepreneur (the apostle)

The Questioner (the prophet)
The Recruiter (the evangelist)
The Humaniser (pastor)
The Systemiser (teacher)
(Taken from “The Shape of Things to come” by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch).
The Entreprener.
It made me think about being entrepreneurial as Churches and Christians and yet so many Churches we see are risk adverse, wanting to play it safe… We don’t value the blessing of entrepreneurs, people who think differently and see the world differently, but without them we will do what we always have done and we will get what we always have got.
Do you as a community welcome entrepreneurship or is the status-quo basis the dominant force?
If you are not an Entrepreneur how can you encourage someone who is, how could you help them be heard?
How can you support and encourage out of the box blue sky thinking to be listened to and be heard and taken seriously?
The Questioner.
The questioner, having had three students on placement with me and a kind of intern and new colleagues, the most frustrating but often the most fruitful question is the very simple “why do we do it like this?”
The word “WHY?” Is so important in our Church communities and yet sadly the answer is normally “I don’t know, we have always done it this way!”
Even if you aren’t naturally a questioner, can you help build a culture where the “why” or even the “why not” questions are welcomed and engaged with.
The Recruiter.
The person who invites people to the team or to the party, so often great events fail because no one is invited and no one is drawn on the team… Perhaps you don’t feel like a “world changer” but you are good at getting people involved, including people, widening the circle… You might never have thought of yourself as an evangelist, but it was a person like you who gathered a little group together and asked a farm lad Billy to drive a van to hear a firey preacher Mordecia Hamm (the driver Billy Graham was converted and millions have since heard about Jesus.
If you are not a recruiter, how can you encourage someone who is? Perhaps someone in this situation needs affirmation, often I think these type of people are the real unsung heroes of Churches.
The Humaniser.
So often Churches are faceless institutions busying themselves behind the scenes, we need the pastors to put a human face of love on a this institution… To embody vision, and to live it out in and amongst real people in a real way. There is a saying about love making the world go around, and we realise as Churches we may have great strategy, be asking the right questions and have great people turning up, but as St. Paul reminds us “if we have not love, we are nothing but a clanging gong or a resounding symbol”.
The Systemiser.
I know I love my blue sky out of the box entrepreneurial thinking, but I know that I need a detail person to come along and turn the wild dreams into a reality by taken step by step implementation sorting through the detail to make it happen, we need both in our Churches… I have been in Churches who live in the fuzzy bubble of “wouldn’t it be lovely if” and I have been in Churches that have systems for everything but no life, yet the most fruitful and wonderful place is where dreams are being turned into a reality which normally requires very different people to be working together.
If you are a big entrepreneurial thinking you need to invest in the systemizers and value and cherish their gifting, and systemizers need to value to big thinkers… Realising that God has out the keys of his Kingdoms growth in the DNA of the diversity of his Church.
I believe Mission works at its best when diversity works together.
It’s a celebration of difference, that which can be deeply frustrating in the other can also be the seed of transformation and future fruitfulness.

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