This is the second of a two-part series on the five-fold ministry.
Yesterday we discussed Apostles and Prophets; today we cover the remaining five-fold ministries: the evangelist, pastor and teacher.
Evangelists: Gather in the lost. Theirs is an emphasis of preaching the gospel to sinners. There will be a certain “fire” to an evangelist’s preaching. It could be termed as “revival-type preaching.” The word “gospel” means “Good News!” Therefore, an evangelist will carry a message that is narrower in scope than the other five-fold ministries. An evangelist is not called to expound doctrine and theology. Many have been side-tracked by getting out of their anointing.
Evangelists are an equipping ministry, like all of the five-fold gifts. They are given to train believers how to win souls. Too much responsibility is given to the evangelist to win the world by themselves. Their job is to train us all to fulfill the great commission (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20).
Philip is the only one so-named an evangelist in the entire New Testament (Acts 21:8). Philip began as a deacon and God promoted him. He went to Samaria and held public meetings in which multitudes were saved. God worked miracles through Philip that got the people’s attention:
The multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
A true evangelist will have the operation of miracles in his ministry. Signs still point men to Jesus!
In the middle of this revival, Philip obeyed the Lord and went to the desert to win one man to the Lord (Acts 8:26-39). True evangelists have a passion to win souls, both publicly and one at a time.
This ministry is instrumental to the growth of local churches. An evangelist should work in coordination with the local churches in any designated field. Christ’s command is not only to convert sinners, but to disciple them. An evangelist should also have a home local church that he is submitted to and from which he works.
Pastors: Literally “shepherds.” Pastors tend the flock of God, taking direct oversight. I Peter 5:2-3 exhorts pastors: “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock ”
Pastoring is a ministry of feeding, leading and guarding the sheep. The authority to lead is predicated by the ability to feed. Having a good heart does not qualify one to be a pastor, nor does an educated mind. The ability to feed the sheep comes from the calling and anointing of God. While the other four gifts may itinerate, the pastor’s primary responsibility is the local church. Thus we have the heavy emphasis that is placed on this office in respect to the local church. Pastors are the primary care givers to ,the local congregation.
Though pastors are in the primary leadership position in the local church, they cannot do their job without the other four ministries. A congregation needs to be influenced by all five of the ministry gifts to be brought to maturity (see Ephesians. 4:11-13).
Teachers: Ground God’s people in the Word of God. These are not Sunday school teachers, but anointed ministers that bring clarity and understanding to the Word of God. They are avid students of the Word themselves, studying to show. themselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15). Someone who has no desire to study is definitely not called to be a teacher.
A teacher must guard against becoming just another “echo.” The teachers in Christ’s day were just echoes of the rabbis. God wants a teacher to be a voice not an echo! When Christ the Pattern Teacher taught, people were astonished at His anointing: ‘And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:28-29).
Teachers desire to see others come up to their level of understanding and even surpass them. A teacher is not a lecturer that impresses everyone with his knowledge. If no one is learning then no one is teaching! To preach is to proclaim; to teach is to explain.
A teacher should be a sound theologian, well-rounded, not just teaching one subject or doctrine: A teacher should also be a sound hermeneutician, that is, be able to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (II Tim 2:15b). Some who call themselves teachers have never developed these skills. The Body should not have to suffer in doctrine just to have the Spirit! Qualified teachers know how to expound the whole truth in a rightly divided manner in the power of the Spirit
These five offices serve the Body of Chris as equipping ministries. Ephesians 4:11 says that only “some” are called to these equipping ministries. It is also stated that only God can do the calling: “And He gave…” In the original Greek this is in the intensive form, literally saying, “He, Himself, and no other gave.”
It is possible for a person to be called to more than one office at a time, in I Timothy 2:7 Paul refers to himself as an apostle and a teacher. It is also possible to “graduate” to a higher office than previously used in. This is usually the case with the office of apostle. Paul was called a prophet and a teacher before his apostolic setting apart:
I Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost
Notice that Paul had been standing in the office of prophet and teacher. At this point Paul had been saved for approximately ten years. When the Holy Ghost spoke, He spoke in terms of separation to a calling that Barnabas and Paul (Saul) had not previously stood in. From that point forth it was “Paul the apostle.”
As previously stated, all of the five-fold offices are equipping ministries. Let us be reminded of the goals of the five-fold ministry, as listed in Ephesians 4:12-16:
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
The Body of Christ is to do the work of the ministry. The ministry of the believer and the priesthood of the believer is never minimized or diminished by the flye-fold; the five-fold serves to maximize the ministry and priesthood of every believer. If any of the five-fold ministries is neglected then the Body becomes less effective in essential areas listed in Ephesians 4:12-16, such as: a) the work of the ministry; b) edification; c) unity; d) knowledge; e) maturity; f) doctrine; g) truth; h) love; and i) the working of every part. These are key areas that the Church cannot afford to be slighted on.