SOME THOUGHTS FOR 5-FOLD MINISTRY LEADERS
Somewhere we got the idea recently in some parts of the church that apostleship was something you get promoted to – something you get elevated to – something you have an “enthronement” service for.
You could desire to become a bishop, which is a man appointed position in the church, if you had leadership abilities. (But please – stop all this crazy religious “enthronement” stuff though). But this is not true of the apostle or any 5-fold ministy office. It is Christ who gives those ascension gifts to the church.
You can desire to be a deacon, elder or bishop, but all the desiring in the world is not going to make you an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher.
Now many apostles at some level are also bishops because they are overseers of God’s church'(es). But not all bishops are apostles, unless God has specifically called them to apostleship. There is a lot of confusion in the church about this lately.
When an apostle is ordained or commissioned, it is a recognition of what heaven has decided on already. And in the right timing of the Holy Spirit, it is a public recognition of, and placing honor on that gift.
Now I can appoint/ordain elders as I see fit. I can appoint bishop if I chose. That’s what apostles do. But I can not make anyone an apostle. I can only encourage and help develop the gift God has already chosen. Now God may have an apostle function for a season in one of the other 5-fold gifts to gain experience and maturity.
Paul and Barnabbas ministered in Antioch as prophets and teachers, until the Holy Spirit sends them out from there to other parts of Asia. After that they seemingly stepped into the fullness of their apostleship and were known as apostles. This wasn’t an “elevation” – an “enthronement.” They were simply being set apart for their next assignment which was stepping into the fullness of their apostleship.
But I also need to add, that if you are called to the office of prophet, don’t think you now have to work to get promoted or elevated to apostle as your next step, if God has not called you to the office of apostle. It will be a big mistake in your life and may ultimately mess up your ministry really bad.
If you are a prophet – don’t be a “wanna-be” apostle. Not unless you have a calling to genuine apostleship. The same is true of pastor, evangelist and teacher. Be confident in your calling and confidently and boldly access the grace of your calling.
Now having said that, we have discovered over these past 2 decades of promoting the new apostolic reformation movement, that there are a number pastors who truly have a call to apostleship, and have been very frustrated ministering in a setting that didn’t acknowledge there were apostles still around today.
When these pastors would hear a message about apostles or the apostolic, its like the light would go on in the spirit, and their apostleship would become activated in a greater degree. They realized they were trying to do an apostolic work with a pastoral paradigm. The revelation would liberate them and many would then begin to step into their apostleship, that pastoral ministry had actually given them some preparation and experience for.
Be who God has called you to be. Number one – be secure in your ultimate high calling of God in Christ – and that is to SONSHIP. And then be secure in your ministry calling. Don’t try to be something God has not called you or given your grace for. Be all that God has called you to be.
Its not about a title – not about postions – its about our position in Christ – being a member of his body. Titles, if you use them. should only describe our calling, your function. Be secure that you are a son or daughter of God though Christ. That is the absolute greatest calling. It is why Christ came.