God has provided five special servant-gifts to ensure the structure of HIS CHURCH would be able to stand against the turbulent times that are ahead.
These gifts were given by JESUS himself before he ascended unto Heaven in order that his BRIDE would not have a spot or wrinkle when he returns as the GROOM.
May the LORD'S Church have the proper structure to pass the tests that will come over the next couple of years Amen.
The Bible refers to these gifts as apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers. Their are five different types of gifted people to mentor the Body. They are all servants. They each provide for God’s people, but each in a distinctly different way. Each must think differently than the others. Each must have different abilities and different revealed understandings of the Word. The shepherd will always understand the Word as it relates to his service. The evangelist and the shepherd may sit in the same gathering, hearing the same Word from the same apostle, yet each will receive the part that feeds his calling.
Ephesians 4:11-13: And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some shepherds, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.
The apostle tends to see the overall larger picture. He sees it first in the spiritual and then seeks to bring it forth into the natural realm. He is like a pioneer. Apostles were a major part of the original formation of the church. In this day the apostles have been restored for the re - formation of the church to its original design and intent. In this re - formation major foundational and structural changes are required that call for the gifts and strengths of apostles.
The prophet is primarily an ear and a voice to people who are dull of hearing and do not hear the voice of God clearly. Prophets were very prevalent and most important in the old covenant when the Holy Spirit did not reside in God's people; therefore, they had no inner voice of God. In this day much of the church is yet dull of spiritual hearing and seeing. For many reasons they do not have intimacy with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit and need prophets to hear God for them and speak direction to them.
The evangelist is a seed sower who loves to plant the word of Jesus in the heart soil of those who have never received it. In the recent past the evangelist has preached the portion of the gospel dealing with being "born again" or spiritual new birth. Evangelists are now beginning to, and will in the future even more, preach the fuller gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached with the same powerful works that Jesus did. The gospel of the kingdom includes the gospel of being born spiritually that we have preached before but also includes the good news of growing up in Christ to rule and reign in this life with Him as kings and priests.
The shepherd is the mentor who sees to the growth and development of the immature as they grow into their gifts and places of service. In the religious church the shepherd was called “pastor” and served as a vicar of God. He was a person who vicariously represented Christ to the people all of their lives. This allowed little or no opportunity for the believers to mature into the priests and kings as God intended. In the relational church Christ and the mature people relate directly and not through a vicar. The sheep grow up to be shepherds or do other works as mature sons in the kingdom.
The teacher is the one who brings spiritually anointed definition to the fine points of spiritual reality. He/she is gifted to take natural illustrations and teach spiritual truths to the immature. In the religious church the teacher often brought dry "church doctrine" of many words and little real spiritual life. In the relational church the teacher is a light bearer bringing spiritual enlightenment in detailed pieces of real spiritual life.
These gifts function in the church, in business, and in all walks of life. The apostle in business may be thought of as one who starts businesses from nothing and serves as C.E.O. In business a prophet might be a troubleshooter. A pastor might be a personnel manager. An evangelist might be a traveling salesman. A teacher might be a technical instructor.
There are many other gifts with each having its unique function in God’s overall scheme. All gifts and parts are needed. And they all need to be in their proper places doing their particular jobs. One of the greatest hindrances to each part doing its job is the lack of understanding and acceptance of the role God has given to each one of them. Often our temptation has been to try to mold everyone into whatever we are. We all need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling Amen.