My Lead Pastor shared something with me in his sermon prep, and he spoke about it during his message, and I want to share it with you. I think it’s great, and I want to share what he shared with me.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers. Ephesians 4:11
In each of these terms, there is an office. The office of Apostle is no longer in function, one of the requirements to have the office of Apostle was to see Jesus. Now I suppose that Jesus could appear to someone as He did to the Apostle Paul, who calls himself one “abnormally born”, but that office was established at the beginning of the church. I personally don’t believe the office of Apostle is something that is open, but what about the gift.
What our Lead Pastor shared with us is that there are some who have the gift of Apostleship. They are church planters, missionaries, those individuals who are forging ahead in unreached areas, reaching and teaching and establishing churches and ministry. They are doing the missionary work like Paul. In scripture, we see Barnabas, Apollos and others who didn’t have the office of Apostle, but seemed to have the gift and the calling on their lives.
The office of Prophet, when we think of prophet we think of people telling us the future. That is not the foundational role of a prophet. A prophet is like an evangelist of Christians. Evangelists tell the unsaved to repent, the prophet tells God’s people it’s time to stop doing what you are doing that is sinful and repent. The prophet communicates God’s message to people. Much of what many pastor’s preach is prophecy. My lead pastor doesn’t admit that he has this gift, but I see it in him, the ability to communicate God’s word to the people and touch them where they live, that’s a gift.
We all know about the gifts of evangelism, pastors (which is care, not preaching) and teachers. These gifts are foundational also to a church, we must have people who care for and shepherd other believers. Often Sunday School teachers, those who work in hospitality, and hopefully the pastors all have the gift of pastor-ing or shepherding. In many areas, these gifts combined a little to help a person in leadership.
So, there areas have an office. There is the Office of teacher, pastor, evangelist. The office of Prophet and Apostle doesn’t really exist in this day and age. Because some of the offices are closed, that does not mean the gifts are not displayed in the church. Are we recognizing the gifts of our people, are we using them, are we empowering and equipping them? We must equip them to equip other, disciples making disciples. What do you think?