WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS
The Body of Christ, the Church, is a divinely ordained organism rather than a man-made organization. It is a living, functioning, growing spiritual Body.
Because this is true, the Church need s divinely-given abilities, imparted to divinely-appointed servant-leaders.
We can try to fulfill the needs of the Church using human strength and wisdom – but we will fail! We can try to replace Holy Spirit anointing with our own knowledge, skills or cleverness. But these things will never be enough to establish God’s will and effectively minister His life to His people.
Our Lord is not opposed to education or schooling (Prov 4:7); He just knows that academic achievement by itself is insufficient (Zech 4:6; 1Cor 8:1).
The pattern seen in the New Testament is that God can powerfully use any man or woman, whether they are educated (i.e., Paul, Apollos, Luke, Matthew) or not (i.e., Peter, James, John). If their hearts and lives are fully surrendered to Him and to the power of His Spirit, He will use them!
The Church in the first century and the Church today need the same thing. They both need supernaturally chosen, divinely equipped, servant-hearted leaders!
A. Jesus Embodies The Ministry Gifts
Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, has provided all that the Church needs. This servant-leader gifting that Christ has given to His Church is based upon the five ministry gifts. They are listed in Ephesians 4:11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers.”
These five ministry gifts are supernaturally given by the Lord to certain persons. These gifts reflect the person and ministry of Christ Himself.
- Jesus is the APOSTLE
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” (Heb 3:1).
- Jesus is the PROPHET
“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth …a Prophet mighty in deed and word” (Luke 24:19).
- Jesus is the EVANGELIST
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth [crucified], will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).
- Jesus is the PASTOR
“I am the good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
- Jesus is the TEACHER
“Rabbi, I’ve know that you are a Teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him” (John 3:2).
Jesus is the fullness and embodiment of all these ministry gifts.
B. Five Ministry Gifts Given To The Church (Eph 4:7-11)
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men’. (Now this, ‘He ascended’ –what does it mean, but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”