Bringing together the five-fold giftings for the good of the church
Over the past few years the Lord has been speaking to me about the restoration and working together of the prophets, apostles and other five-fold ministries. Over the past two years the Lord has allowed me to release this word here and there, but now it’s time for it to be released in a wider capacity.
We are in an era of time where spiritual gifts have been restored to the Body of Christ and amongst those being restored are what we in some parts of the church currently call the five-fold gifts – apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists. Like the photo of the team in the header of this word, God is bringing the five-fold gifts together to begin to strategize and work as a team to see the church come to a place of maturity and to equip them to minister.
Restoration of the apostles and prophets
I believe one of the things that the Lord is currently doing is a restoration of the working relationship between apostles and prophets. Scripture tells us that the church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. I believe this first of all refers to the original apostles and prophets who laid their lives down so that the church could be founded. I also believe that these two gifts (along with the other five-fold gifts - teachers, pastors and evangelists) have a vital role to play in the days ahead in seeing the church come to maturity and in training them for their work of ministry so that the church (and society) may be built up.
For many centuries, while spiritual gifts were available to the church, they were very rarely seen in action, except by one here and one there, and in most cases the average person didn’t use them or know that they could. This has been changing since the mid 1900’s when the charismatic renewal saw the restoration of spiritual gifts to the church in a huge way.
The critical gifts of apostle and prophet are currently still in the stage of being properly defined and restored and we are learning how to walk in them. Since the early 1980’s we have become more comfortable with the concept and ministry of prophets, but the understanding of what an apostle is, and how they function, is still being formed, and many people have different ideas on their role, their position and even the need for them.
Meanwhile, in the midst of that restoration, there is also a call from the Lord to begin to work together for the sake of the church and the Kingdom, so we are in the process of rediscovering and learning to walk in these restored gifts and relationships.
During this time of learning both apostles and prophets will need to walk in humility, and both must be willing to listen and hear each other’s hearts, even above their words. The enemy would try to abort this coming together by causing pride and offence around their placement and their position. The enemy will tempt the apostles to lord it over the prophets (and the other five-fold ministers) and he will tempt the prophets to believe that they are misunderstood by the apostles and are seen by them as having less importance. Resist these temptations, be deliberate in processing with each other to come to a place of understanding each other, so your work together can have synergistic results.
It is a time to check our hearts and see if there is anything in us that would play into the enemy’s hands and to put aside any selfish ambition. I believe the Lord is saying, “It is not about you, it is about Me and what I am doing. Do not make it about you and your gift, your position, your placement, influence and authority. Your role is to serve, to equip and to build up My church, so that they may come to maturity and do their work of ministry. If you will do this, if you will learn from, and champion, each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose, then My church will be built up, My Kingdom will come and My will will be done. Do not allow misunderstanding of each other’s heart and language to form stones you trip over, where offence can be established.”
The five-fold working together
Out of this coming together of apostles and prophets to serve the church there will be a coming together of all the five-fold ministries, a new strategizing and a working together. There will be a coming together to pray, repent and confess that we have not fulfilled our calling to bring the church to maturity and to equip them for their work of service so that the Body may be built up. There will be a repenting for our independence, and even at times suspicion of each other, and there will be a new commitment to do that which the Lord laid out in Scripture for us to do.
We will have to grapple with questions like,
What is an apostle and what is their role? Most of the other five-fold roles have been reasonably well defined now, although the role of prophet is still not fully understood by many. Apostle is the last one to come into focus and we are still sorting out our understanding of their role and placement.
Is the role of an apostle a hierarchical position of authority, or just a functional role? Can, and should, it be both? What does Scripture mean when it says, “...first apostles, second prophets,” etc?
What does it mean for the apostles and prophets to be the foundations that the church is built on?
What does working together as five-fold ministers mean? What does it look like?
How do we work together yet maintain our individual calls and assignments?
How do we best utilise our gifts to build up the Body and train them for their work of ministry?
How do we recognise and train emerging five-fold ministers?
Does every church need input from the five-fold gifts? Does every church need all five in place in their church?
Out of this will come the maturing of the sons and daughters of God, their training and equipping for service, and the building up of the church and the extension of the Kingdom. I see a great release of the Kingdom of heaven into earth. I see hope and faith rising in the church as they see, and take advantage of, the training opportunities provided them by leaders. I see the people in the church each finding and taking their place and ministering to the community like never before; families being healed and restored, suicide disappearing as people realise their worth, ideas and innovations in all fields, homelessness, hunger and poverty being eradicated, and more. It has started and will continue until the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, and Christ returns.
P.S. If you witness with this as a word from the Lord please hit “like” and “share” buttons and share it with others to get the word out there. Thanks heaps!