Five Types of Ministry

One of this week’s Bible readings (Ephesians 4:1-16) lays out how the Church can grow – in numbers, in community, in service, and in love. The foundation of course must be the gospel message, and then we must build on this with the resources Christ supplies by the Spirit.
Each member of the Church has a part to play in the building up of the Body of Christ, says St Paul (Eph. 4:7). We use the gifts that God has provided to the Church. Here, the apostle underlines the importance of five essential ministries that are required for healthy church life and growth.
There are APOSTLES. This is the gift of those who start and plant ministries through mission. Most denominations and the whole church are indebted to the ministry of the apostolic missionaries in every age. In our generation we need the contemporary apostles or church planters.
There are PROPHETS. These are the people who are able to dynamically help the church to listen to God and find the right way. There is a gift of prophecy and some have a strong role in this ministry.
There are EVANGELISTS. These are the gospellers, who are gifted in communicating the message to others. Without evangelists, the growth of the church withers.
There are SHEPHERDS. This is the caring, nurturing pastoral ministry, which helps the members through life’s struggles.
There are TEACHERS. They take the Biblical message and help others to understand it in practice.
There are many particular gifts in the Body of Christ, but it is likely that they will each be found under one of these fivefold ministries.
What is your role in the upbuilding of the Body of Christ, the Church?