Five Fold Overall

Teaching: Five Fold As Passions, Desires, & Points of View


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XVIII

We who have been molded by Western thought may have to view the five fold passion for teaching from a different mindset. We believe teaching to be academic, mental, and intellectual. Educational degrees are essential for advancement up the hierarchal ladder. A pastor of a large congregation is expected to have a Doctor of Divinity degree and be able to orate high quality sermons and extensive theological exegeses.

The first century church embraced the Jewish Lamad method of teaching from the heart through experience. David, “a man of God’s own heart,” learned to experience God. The 12 disciples were not Jewish theologians, but only reported “what they had seen and heard” when “hanging out” with Jesus.

Westernized theologians do not trust experience over “correct” Biblical doctrine, so they minimize a believer’s experience that may look contrary to their personal theology. They are skeptical in trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit among laity, advocating trusting church leadership and their Biblical interpretation over the leading of the Holy Spirit. This mindset is contrary to the book of Acts where the apostles reported only “what they have seen and heard.”

In America it is important to “know” data about something rather than experience it. Students are tested and evaluated on facts and measurable data rather than on their experiences. As a teacher, I know field trips are far more effective than lecturing. “Experiencing” a lesson gives insights academics can’t, yet the church still teaches mainly through sermons which leaves no room for inquisitive questioning for understanding. It is a proven fact that a well prepared, practiced sermon can be highly entertaining but not very effective in impacting the lives of passive pew sitters.               

As a public school teacher, I have changed my method of teaching according to the age of my students. You should do one method of teaching for each minute of a person’s age up to eighteen. Kindergarteners last five minutes or less. A senior focuses no longer than eighteen minutes. A good teacher changes approaches, styles, and methods of activity often during a class period to keep interest and productivity. Almost every sermon that I have heard in my fifty years was longer than eighteen minutes. As a pew sitter I have found myself losing concentration, focus, and even fighting sleep.

Sermons, as academic exercises, can be “about” forgiveness without anyone “experiencing” forgiveness. Peter learned forgiveness from Jesus after denying Him three times. Jesus allowed him to reaffirm his confession three times asking, “Do you love me?” Peter replied, “Yes, I love you.” Thomas never doubted again after Jesus let him experience touching his wounds and scars. The Samaritan women experienced Jesus as living water and being the messiah.

The Lamad method of experiencing, which has been aborted by Western intellects, must also be embraced if we are to understand the five fold as a living organism. The Church is still working on the teaching mindset.


Shepherding: Five Fold As Passions, Desires, & Points of View


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XVII

What is the passion of the shepherd?

A shepherd is driven to nurture and care for his sheep. He lives, sleeps, and eats with his sheep who intimately knows his voice and become obedient to it. Human newborns are helpless, self-centered, and demanding. Their life is consumed by eating, sleeping, and pooping! “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (II Corinthians 5:17)”  Everything in Christ is new and unfamiliar. Guidance, nurture, care, and education is needed in this new faith walk called Christianity.

Jesus spent three years living, working, and walking with only twelve men to nurture, care, and prepare them for the future. He did not send them to a rabbinical school, a Torah College, or a Jewish seminary. Because He personally nurtured, cared, and taught them, they “experienced” Jesus. Jesus “invested” in them by taking His own personal time to walk and talk with them.

The “personal relationship” with Jesus as my Savior and Lord has become known as my “salvation experience” because it came from the evangelistic point of view. A shepherd would emphasize the continuation of this “personal relationship” in order to grow into a mature man in the image of Christ.

Jesus manifests himself through His Church, so “personal relationships” need to continually be established with an evangelist, shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle to maintain spiritual growth. Every Christian needs his peers, the Priesthood of Believers, the Body of Christ around him/her to assure that growth! The five fold is about building relationships to take one from their spiritual birth to being released as a mature man in the image and fullness of Jesus Christ!


Evangelism: Five Fold As Passions, Desires, & Points of View


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XVI

 Would the church be shocked if it discovered that the five fold is not about governing, structuring, planning, or reorganizing, but it is about releasing the gifts and establishing relationships in common ordinary believers in Jesus Christ?  How radical would that concept be? Can we think of the five fold as gifts given by an ascended Jesus for His Body, His Church, or must they be tangible offices within a hierarchal structure?

Does an evangelist have to be a professional, a church leader, a person set apart to give a message of rebirth to a lost and dying world, or can it be a common, ordinary believer in Jesus Christ who shares his passion is to win the lost for Jesus? Not having a shepherd’s passion to nurture and care, nor a teacher’s passion to make the Word living, nor the prophet’s passion to draw nearer to God, nor the apostle’s passion to see the Church as a whole is not a flaw of an evangelist’s character; it is a weaknesses because of the dominating passion that drives him to seek the lost and win them for Jesus.

What if the five fold is for the Priesthood of Believers? Every believer in Jesus should want to share Jesus with their lost and dying friends, family, and neighbors, yet there are individual believers who are driven to evangelize. They can’t help themselves because winning the lost is all they think about. It is what pushes their button. Newborns in the faith often demonstrate evangelistic zeal because once they were lost, but now they are found. For them it is real; it is personal! Wallowing in the joy of their salvation, they want their loved ones, friends, and neighbors to also drink of it. They want to tell anyone, everyone about what “they have seen and heard” about this Jesus and how it has changed their lives. Their exuberance is contagious. Every believer needs a newborn believer around them to prime their pump to share Jesus with others.

We need one another in the body of Christ, or we are not a body.  Evangelism can be lonely profession. Often one must “raise” their own financial support before beginning or be willing to survive on freewill offerings.  It doesn’t take long to discover that church planting is not just about evangelism, for new converts need nurturing and care to walk this faith journey called Christianity. They need a good Biblical foundation and learn how to read the Word on their own and how to listen and be obedient to the Holy Spirit who was sent to teach us all things. He needs a brother to coordinate his evangelist zeal with the diverse passions of his fellow brethren.

If the church planter is driven by the passion to win the lost, to evangelize, he may not be the strongest shepherd, teacher, prophet, or apostle, and his work, and his church plant could suffer or fail. He needs other believers with the other four passions as equal peers to supplement his work, for encouragement, and for his own spiritual development. Every evangelist needs a shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle to speak into his life, to lead him into becoming a more mature man in Jesus Christ while maintaining unity in the Body.


Structure: Control of the Five Fold


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XV

Dr. Bill Hamon in his book Prophets and the Prophetic Movement: God’s Prophetic Move Today (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1990, p.24) teaches that in each of the last five decades of the twentieth century, one of the five fold ministries has been reemphasized or restored:

Decade                 Five Fold Ministry         Movement/Revival

1950’s                     Evangelist                               Deliverance, Evangelism

1960’s                     Pastor/Shepherd                     Charismatic Renewal

1970’s                     Teacher                                   Faith Teaching Movement

1980’s                     Prophet                                   Prophetic Movement

1990’s                     Apostle                                    Apostolic Movement

 Each movement brought a spark of life back into the organism as believers flowed in the newness of the Holy Spirit. Mistakes were made during the learning process, so the organized church tried to bring correction and maintain control.  To stifled any movement of God through the laity, organized leadership gave themselves titles, created offices, and minimized the influence of the common believer.

Evangelist: Billy Graham brought accountability and respectability to the office of the evangelist in the 1950’s. Prior to Graham, large evangelistic crusades with huge staffs, large budgets, and gigantic tents bled local church funding who supported them. The Billy Graham Association brought stability and introduced the world to the “televangelist”, bringing world wide exposure into everyday homes through television. The Church was experiencing the gift of evangelism in new ways.

Pastoral/Shepherding: The Jesus and Charismatic Movements of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s were faced with an explosion of unchurched conversions as well as the rise of cult activity and chaos. The Fort Lauderdale Five, five respected pastors, formed a “shepherding” movement to maintain control. Unfortunately they later had to repent of leadership abuse in spite of their good intentions as the Church worked through the gift of shepherding.

Teacher: Every pastor, speaker, or teacher had their sermons “taped” on cassettes or “burned” onto CD’s during the ‘70’s Word and Faith Movement. Jesus Festivals and Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association meetings were famous for taping speakers. The Word Movement forced the church to adopt new technology as satalite dishes brought live “feeds” of teaching seminars to local churches, as the church embraced the five fold gift of teaching.

Prophet: Small schools of the prophets released the “gift of prophecy” through the Charismatic Movement in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Mark Virkler and Bishop Bill Hamon taught the laity how to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and flow prophetically. When abuse arose, the organized church stepped in to monitor and correct any “weirdness”. In the twenty-first century, only mega-prophets with big ministries exist, as the church is still working through the prophetic gifting to the church.

Apostolic:  With the release of four of the five fold giftings who were dominant when released and with the misuses in figuring out how they worked, the organized church took control of each movement in an tempt to bring stability and order. The church has realized that the apostle, one who sees the church as a whole, was vastly needed. Unfortunately the “office” of the “apostle” has been institutionalized even before it could be released on its Priesthood of Believers. The Church is in the midst of working through the gifting of apostleship.

A Look At Ephesians 4?


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XIV 

To understand the five fold, please read the entire passage of Ephesians 4:1-16.

The first three verses emphasize Christian character, which Paul qualifies as walking in “humility, in gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, and preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. Unfortunately, Christian attitudes are often judgmental rather than gentile, patient, and tolerant.

The next three verses Paul clarifies “preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” as being “one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” “Unity” and “oneness” is central to every believer and their trust in the Holy Spirit.

In verses 12 through 16 Paul explains “Christ’s gift” of “grace” by recounting how Jesus “descended into the lower parts of the earth” conquering sin and death, then “ascending on high”, taking with Him “a host of captives,” those previous saints who had waiting for their Savior while in the Bosom of Abraham. He not only raised the dead, but “He (also) gave gifts to men. He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.”

 What were these gifts? “ He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” I believe these gifts are believers who want to win the lost, to see rebirth, who want to shepherd the sheep, to nurture and care for them, who want the Logos Word, the written Word to become the Rhema Word, the living word, who want to not only draw near to God by hearing his voice, feeling his heartbeat, and being obedient to that voice, and who want to see His Bride as a whole entity, a living organism, the Church! His gifts to us, the body of Christ, are the passions, desires, and points of view of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors (shepherds), and teachers that can indwell any believer in Jesus Christ.

Why? “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Jesus did not leave his believers on earth as orphans, but promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and teach them. He also did not abandoned his believers but gave them gifts, the tools, to “equip” them for the purpose “of service” to “build up of the body of Christ,” to “attain unity in faith,” to “attain of the knowledge of the Son of God,” and “to mature man to the fullness of Christ.”

What are the results if the Church accepts these gifts? “We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” Each of the thousands of different Christians sects have their “wind of doctrine” that defines their uniqueness. Each believes they have the elite truth of correct Biblical theology, and all others are in some kind of error. If one looks at the wide scope of Christian theology proposed by the hundreds of Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries just in the United States, one would be “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.”

We are to “speak the truth in love,” but with all this diverse theology, what is that truth? The first century Church had the Apostle’s Teaching, a simple gospel, a simple message of what they “have seen and heard”. They taught Jesus! They also warned of wolves in sheep’s clothes would come “by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” and distort that truth. If there ever was a time the Church needs the “Apostle’s Teaching” it is today.

Paul admonishes us Christians in our faith to “no longer be children, tossed here and there,” but “to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” CHURCH, it is time “to grow up”! To grow up, the church needs to embrace a spiritual metamorphosis, a transformation from structure back to relationships by which the Church was originally birthed! It needs to return to being a living organism.

One of the purposes of the five fold is to bring UNITY to the Body of Christ. The Church, “the whole body,” can “be fit and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, which causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” What are those joints? They could be the Five Fold giftings, passions, desires, and points of view that are available for every believer.

There, in sixteen verses, Paul introduces and outlines five gifts, five passions that Jesus gave the Church upon his ascension into heaven to equip his Bride for His return to her!  All the Church needs to be effective and united are in those five giftings and passions. 


What is this Priesthood of Believers?


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XIII

 The Priesthood of Believers is all about the “priesthood,” the body of Christ as a whole, the Church, not the priest, the individual believer. The organism is more important than the individual components. It is a community of faith composed of God’s people as equal peers who give and receive from one anther. Jesus Christ is its High Priest, and it is lead by the Holy Spirit. It is a diverse group of people with different giftings, drives, passions, and points of view who still can come to a consensus because they are willing to lay down their lives for one another.

The Priesthood of Believers has no divisive classes or domineering hierarchal leadership structure since it is linear relational. Accountability comes through the giving and receiving through peer relationships. Respected leadership is earned by one’s willingness to lead when walking ahead, protect when covering one’s back, and encourage and reassure when walking beside another believer.

Why is the principle of the Priesthood of Believers so important to revival? The Priesthood of Believers is all-inclusive, all believers in Jesus Christ. Acts 2:16-18 states: ”But this is what was spoken of old through the prophet Joel: ‘It shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;  Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."

God is “pouring forth My Spirit” on a lot of different people: “on all mankind, your sons and your daughters, your young men, your old men, even My bondslaves, both men and women". The Priesthood of Believes is an inclusive group through Jesus Christ. There are no class distinctions, sexual preferences, or elite groups. God’s Spirit is not just on the clergy, the professional, the ordained, or the privileged, but is IN “all mankind” who profess Jesus Christ, the Priesthood of Believers! Revival happens at the grass root level.

The five fold is five diverse passions and points of view, when evoked separately, can be divisive and destructive, but when given and received as encouragement and support can be powerful tools bringing Christian maturity and unity to the body of Christ. When believers recognize their five fold giftings, they cannot “outsource” them to another. Every believer is responsible for what he has been given. There is no room for passivity.

A church unwilling to abolish the clergy/laity divide will not be receptive to the five fold as a grass root believers’ movement. They will want to retain their titles and offices while accusing the laity of not submitting to their authority. A church willing to end to its clergy/laity divide and willing to submit to the Holy Spirit as its authority will be willing to embrace a cocoon stage and be open to transition.

If God’s people are the Church, then God’s Holy Spirit must work through all of them, not just a select few. All of God’s people are called to respond to the Holy Spirit. That responsive, all-inclusive group of believers in Jesus Christ is the Priesthood of Believers.



Johnny Appleseed, the Evangelist


Five Fold Spirit Of Evangelism

This book was read to me often as a child!

Johnny Appleseed, an American frontier legend, is known for wearing a tin pot for a cap and planting apple seeds throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Ontario. Jonathan Chapman, alias Johnny Appleseed, planted nurseries rather than orchards and left them to a pioneer to sell the trees on shares or sold the land and orchard to a settler. A frontier law required 50 apple trees to be planted if one wanted to settle a land claim. Chapman would plant 50 or more trees then build a fence around them to prevent animals from entering. He owned more than 1200 acres when he died. Chapman was also an avid missionary for the New Church (Swedenborgian), visiting remote frontier cabins wherever he went. Ironically, his tart green apples were excellent for making hard cider, and many of his trees fell to the ax during the Prohibition period of American history.

Johnny was known for planting seeds, literally and spiritually. Being transient he left the maintenance, upkeep, reaping and transaction of selling trees and apples to local settlers. He was never at one place very long, for he would move on in an effort to plant even more trees and establish more nurseries.

He, like a five fold evangelist, majored in planting seeds and birthing.  His constant movement to a new location to establish yet another new nursery or grove of apple trees left the pastoral care of his trees to others who would reap the benefits.

Evangelists are relentless in their zeal to plant spiritual seeds and win new souls to Jesus Christ. It is not that the maintenance of these nurseries was not important; it was the drive, the zeal to plant new trees and birth new souls that drove Jonathan Chapman forward. That pioneer spirit is what drove Americans to this new frontier and drives evangelists to birth new ministries even today.

Often an evangelist is a pioneer, forging ahead into an unknown wilderness to birth a new life or a new business. Sowing seeds is his method; birthing newness and life is his ambition. John Chapman, alias Johnny Appleseed, did both.


What The Church Can Not Afford


Embracing the Five Fold– Part XVI


….. because we can not afford NOT to embrace the five fold and its benefits.

If the five fold is the passions, desires, and diverse points of view in the Body of Christ among its Priesthood of Believers that already exists in the Church, the Church can not afford to continue to be passive about ignoring these five giftings among its laity that is called to birth, care, nurture, and equip the saints for the works of service, then release them to serve!

Now is the time for the Church to again listen to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit sent from the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ to teach the Church, his saints, all things.

Now is the time for transitioning from religious traditions to building functional peer relationships for support and accountability.

Now is a time of building up the Body of Christ as a Priesthood of Believers, peers in Jesus Christ, to have believers grow individually into the image of Jesus and corporately unifying the Body of Christ.

Now is a time for equipping through care, nurturing, teaching, and drawing near to the Father; then recognize the time for releasing.

Now is the time to realize the need for some serious structural changes in the way we do and govern the Church by continually building relationships.

The present church cannot afford to continue to enable its laity and still expect them to be active. It cannot afford to keep the laity passive when they are to be salt and light to the world. It must not only recognize the clergy/laity divide, which is not Biblical, but begin to embrace one another as peers in the Priesthood of Believers.

The present church must also realize that it cannot be faithful to its traditions if it wants to embrace change, revival, and unity. Radical Christianity demands new mindsets!

The 21st Century Church needs to invest in its people, the saints, not in its staff, the paid professionals. God invested in His people through the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross. If believers in Jesus Christ have been called to lay down their lives for their brethren, then the 21st Century Church has got to start having its leadership be tolerant of other Christian camps and begin accepting and embracing one another, supporting one another, equipping one another, and releasing one another in their spiritual journeys with Jesus.

It is time for the Church to again embrace the Holy Spirit for its guidance, wisdom, and teachings., a time to again trust the Holy Spirit, and a time to learn how to trust one another.

If the 21st Century Church is in a time of transition, it’s people cannot afford to remain passive, stagnant, and inactive, for now is the time for “Acts”-tion, the returning to when the Church was alive, active, challenging through change, and influencing the world for Jesus.

Church, let’s embrace change, transition, redevelopment, a retooling, a revamping, a regenerating, responding to the call and voice of the Holy Spirit in individual Christian development as each believers strives to be more Christ-like, and the church becomes unified.

Church, let’s admit the five fold is already among us, part of our spiritual DNA make up. We can afford to embrace the five fold because! Jesus paid the price, now are we willing to pay the price of "laying down our lives for the brethren"? 

Let’s do it!


Home Grown Always Tastes Better Than Canned…


Developing Local Leadership For the Local Community– Part XV


….. because home grown leaders are birthed, nurtured, taught, equipped, and released by the local church, the priesthood of believers, to serve their local community. 

Today’s church leaders emphasize developing disciples out of the laity, but they do not promote developing lay leadership that would replace them. Why? They quote the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 which commands to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” They equate disciples with everyday believers who are the laity, but they believe that leadership does not lay with the laity but with the clergy, thus laity does not “qualify” for leadership.

The five fold is drastically different. The purpose of the five fold is to equip the “saints”, the disciples, the laity, for works of service. Jesus had twelve disciples, who were not Pharisees, Sadducees, or Jewish leaders, but common ordinary laity, fishermen, tax collectors, etc. Jesus “equipped” them for “works of service” and empowered them with the Holy Spirits. Their “Acts”-tions proved them to be evangelists, shepherds, teachers, prophets, and apostles as they began to lead this new movement, first from their hometowns and Jerusalem eventually to all parts of the known world. They were homegrown boys raised and equipped by Jesus in their home country of Israel.

Later Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee of Pharisees, gets literally knocked off his horse when confronted by Jesus, converts to becoming a believer, and spends time “deprogramming” his Pharisaical beliefs while “redirecting” his zeal, his passions, his drive into the five fold giftings of serving others through Jesus. He becomes an evangelist, a teacher, a shepherd, a prophet, and an apostle by the actions of service he does.

Paul goes into a city, visits the synagogue first trying to convert his fellow Jews, gets rejected and “redirects” his zeal toward the gentiles who receive him. He spends two years or less “equipping the ‘local’ saints for works of service”, then leaves them to begin a new work in another city. He develops homegrown people, new disciples in Jesus, into leadership to fully replace him when he moves on to a new location. He does not call in the “Big Boys” from the Church at Antioch” to come lead his new church as their “pastor”, their clergy, but raises local leadership from the local laity.

Jesus loved sowing and seed parables because he knew that once a seed was sewn, takes root, it grows if properly cared for, becomes mature and ripe, and is harvested.  Why hasn’t the church learned that once a seed is sown and takes root (a person accepts Jesus as his/her Savior), they too will grow if nurtured and cared for properly (through the five fold). A purpose of the five fold is to “mature” a saint into the image of Jesus and have him/her ‘grow up’ in the faith. When mature, ripe, ready for harvest, the local church needs to release them to do the works of service for which they have been trained.

It is the job of local church leadership to “care & nurture”,  “equip”, and “release” fellow peers, believers in the faith, the Priesthood of Believers to do their calling of “service” to others. It’s local leadership training and equipping hometown believers in Jesus how to “serve”; then allowing them to “serve”! Like the woman at the well, when she met Jesus and realized he was not only a prophet, but the Jewish messiah, she ran and told her hometown friends.  Even the demoniac, once released of his demons, wanted to also go with Jesus, but was commanded by Jesus to stay in his hometown.

Through the five fold, we can “equip”, train, care for, nurture, develop and release hometown people to more effectively reach their hometown friends for Jesus! 


If Taking Care Of Others Is Mandatory…..


Now What? How To Maintain the “Organism”– Part XIV


….. because it requires us to be our brother’s keeper through service and love.


In the previous blog we have established that taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God. Jesus, his disciples, the early Church, and the Church today has been commissioned to take care of others. Serving others is central to the gospel! The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 paints a picture of judgment as hanging on the balance of those who serve and those who don’t.

“How do you serve others without having it become an institution later on down the road?” has been a questioned asked by the church for centuries. How do you keep the Church as an organism, a living being, from becoming an organism, institutionally structured? Answer: By keeping it simple by everyone serving each another.

If we can get past the mentality that the five fold is NOT about offices, titles, and positions in the church, but passions, drives, and points of view of individual believers in Jesus Christ, we can begin to understand this simplicity.

If a believer has a passion, is driven, to win the lost for Christ, he is filled with life through rebirth. We, the Church, need to nurture that life by equipping it, encouraging it, then releasing it with the support of the other diversely different giftings and passions the Body of Christ has to offer. An evangelist’s single vision, driving passion, is to win the lost, to bring birth and new birth. Seeing the big picture of the entire Church, like that of an apostle, is too overwhelming for him/her. He/She doesn’t even think about nurturing the “newborn” in Christ, nor how the “newborn” needs fed on the Word of God, nor how to teach them to hear the voice of God on their own. They immediately look for more who are lost, so they can be found. More who are spiritually dead, so they can have a new birth in Jesus Christ.

Since the Church is composed of people, Believers in Jesus, who are evangelistic, nurturing, teaching, prophetic, and apostolic, it can effectively serve others to meet any need that the Holy Spirit brings before them without forming an organization. They are an organism who just “does it” out of obedience to the Holy Spirit! Any one of the five can rise when needed with the support of the other four. Jesus never founded nor formed an “institution” called the church, he just equipped and empowered a small group of individual believers whom He released together through the power and leading of His Holy Spirit who would change the world. That’s the Jesus way!

Jesus equipped them with spiritual gifts, the five fold passions, authority, and the power of the Holy Spirit and released them to make the Logos Word a “Rhema” Word, just as He did when He ministered on earth. That “living organism” is the Church! It is all about “living”: living relationships as a living organism experiencing a resurrected life that is alive in Jesus Christ! It is that simple.

Rather than flow with the life of the organism, that is the leading of the Holy Spirit through the use of spiritual gifts and five fold passions, man chose to organize structurally, eventually creating institutions. Organizational institutions kill the simplicity of the simple truth that individual believers, themselves, yet together, must serve, serve, serve others! It is not an option; it’s mandatory! That is how the Church should function.


Being Your Brothers Keeper Is A Requirement


Taking Care Of One Another In the Body of Christ – Part XIII


….. because it requires us to be our brother’s keeper through service and love.


Genesis 4: 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Ever since the time of the fall of man through sin, man has refuted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Man has become self-centered, taking care of number one, oneself.  Even in the church today, though unspoken, the question remains, “Am I my brother’s keeper,” especially if my brother is not from my local congregation, sect, or denomination, or even if he is not a Christian.

But the Bible says, “I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God. One of Jesus’ last acts on earth was to take care of his mother, Mary, a widow, giving her to John even though he had several brothers and sisters.  The early Church created deacons to “serve” widows, orphans, and the poor. When Jesus spoke to the 5,000, he didn’t leave them hungry but fed them. His first miracle was water into wine at a wedding. When he saw a mother whose only child had died, he raised her. Serving others was central to Jesus’ ministry.

Serving others is the keystone to the five fold. Each individual gifting is not to isolate itself in its gifting from the other diverse giftings in the Body, but serve and support the other four. The giftings of birthing, nurturing, caring, teaching through daily life, drawing nearer to god and hearing his voice, and working together as a family are all gifts for the purpose of serving each other. Every believer in Jesus needs an evangelist, a shepherd, a teacher, a prophet, and an apostle around him to help him/her grow and mature spiritually into the image of Jesus Christ and to bring unity to the corporate Body of Christ.

Unlike Cain who murdered his brother then tried to justify his actions, IJohn 3:16 exhorts us to lay down our lives for our brother just as Jesus laid down his life for us in order to expose the gospel.

The Church is a community of believers, not an organized institution. Faith is when individual believers just lay their hands on the sick who become healed rather than building huge health conglomerates whose bottom line is finances. Service is giving a cup of water to a child or a stranger who is thirsty, not building a huge welfare system with food stamps.

Will you hear Jesus say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  The righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matt. 25:34-40)

Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God.


Trust And Obey; Who Me?



Trust And Obey For There Is No Other Way To Be Happy – Part XII


….. because it forces every believer, me, and the entire priesthood of believers, us, the church, to ask the question, “Do I totally trust the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and can I trust my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord?”

In my youth, I remember singing the old Hymn Trust And Obey. The chorus rang out, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust in obey.” Wow, what truth! But…..

Who do you trust?

 I remember singing the old Hymn Trust And Obey. The chorus rang out, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust in obey.” Wow, what truth! But…..

Who do you trust?

Who are we to trust?

Can you trust your priest, pastor, or church leader to treat you as a peer, or will he be demanding and lead an abusive hierarchal structure?

Is the Bible, the Logos Word, to be trusted, or do you question its authenticity?

                 Can the Holy Spirit be trusted, or will following Him just make everything weird?

                  Do your trust your brothers and sisters who follow Jesus Christ, or do you mistrust them as being hypocrites and fear being hurt by them?

                  If one can’t trust the Bible, the Holy Spirit, his brothers and sisters in Jesus, and his church leadership, how can he obey them? In battle, you must trust your commanding officers who lead you into a conflict and obey their orders. You are not to shoot them in the back and disobey all orders, yet Christians are known for doing just that.

“Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust in obey.”

                The church isn’t happy because many have lost trust in their Bible, the Holy Spirit, their leadership, and each other!

                  The ffive fold is all about trusting four other very diversely different people in Jesus whose passions, drives, and points of view are vastly different from yours. Your natural desire is to not trust someone who is different from you, but by not trusting them, you produce division and skepticism. Trusting one another through the five fold will bring individual maturity in Christ and unity in the Body. Only the supernatural can do that, so the question remains, “Can you trust the supernatural”? Can you trust that which you can not see, touch, taste, hear, or smell because your trust has to be built on “faith”, that which is not seen, touched, tasted, heard, or smelled? To your natural sense of reasoning, faith makes no sense, so can it be  trusted?

                  So I sing the chorus again, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust in obey.” Really, can’t there be another way in spite what the chorus proclaims? But I want to be happy especially in Jesus? I guess my only option is to “trust and obey”, so I guess I better get start right now!


Every Believer is Special, Gifted, & Equipped


The Great Commission, Golden Rule, & Love One Another – Part XI


….. because every believer is special, gifted, and equipped through Jesus to do the Great Commission, the Golden Rule, and to love one another.

The Great Commission: (Matthew 28:19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Golden Rule: (Luke 6:31) Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Love One Another: (John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Ephesians 4:8,11-13 states “8 When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” Jesus is in the gift giving business. He gives the gift of salvation, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the five fold giftings, etc. for the purpose of equipping His saints to fulfill the Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations.”  If Jesus is going to release us, to be sent by Him, He will first prepare and equip you, then send you.  “11 Christ himself gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The five fold is all about the Golden Rule. You are to “serve” others, sacrificially, as Jesus did even to the point of giving your life. Each of the five is to give their passion and desire, that which drives them to others in support and to fulfill the calling of the Great Commission. They must also be reciprocal in receiving back the diverse giftings of the other four to bring nurture, care, and accountability to their lives.

Of course all this is done out of love: God’s agape love and man’s philo or brotherly love. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are commanded to “love one another,” no matter if our brethren are different or diverse . We are commanded to ACCEPT them as PEERS. IF WE DO, “everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

As Christians we do not have a good track record of loving fellow brethren outside our spiritual camps. This caterpillar mentality must cease, for it has never brought good fruit, only division, hurt, and dissention. We need to go through a cocoon transition so we emerge as a butterfly, fully accepting one another in love. The fruit will be maturity in Christ-likeness for individual believers and unity in the corporate Body of Christ. That is what the five fold is all about.

Today’s Church needs the five fold to birth, nurture, develop, care, teach, and to draw us, the Priesthood of Believers in Jesus Christ, near to Jesus, by making disciples by equipping each one for service, then being released, “sent out”, the Great Commission.  Jesus “invests” in each believer by equipping them, giving them gifts for service, so we, the Church, must also invest in each other through service.

So “go” and “do” through ‘love”, then you have fulfilled all three of these verses.


Being A Missionary At Home


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part X


….. because it equips the local body to serve the local community through Jesus.

I could never understand the mentality of short term mission trips. Christians come to help clean up impoverished, underdeveloped neighborhoods, built new building structures (usually church buildings), help with children’s Bible Schools, help build orphanages, visit the elderly, etc., yet they do not do the same in their own local communities at home when at home. Why?

I marveled at watching a local church get the invitation to use a vacated community center for anything they wanted, no strings attached, but all they could come up with was ideas for programs since no one in their church lived in that community. They were ready to treat the “project” as they would a “mission’s trip”. They would come into the community when convenient, but not commit to living in that community to live out their faith daily through common experiences with those who lived there.

Church doesn’t have to be held in a building to which you drive to, meet for an hour or two, then leave for a week. Church can be held in your home, like the first century model. If held in your home, you are anchored in your community or neighborhood.  The five fold would be perfect to be an effective ministry locally.

A person with an evangelistic passion would want to win the lost and birth the ideas the Holy Spirit would give the five fold group. The shepherding person would care for his/her neighbor, bringing cover dishes to the sick, meeting physical needs of the poor, minister to the hurting, and give advice and direction to those seeking. A true five fold teacher of the Word would not be an ivory towered theologian, but would want to make the Logos Word, the written Word, a Rhema Word, or a living Word in the personal lives of his/her community. A prophetic person would want to have his neighbors draw near to God, find God for themselves, commune with God when they have discovered him, and join in joint worship with their Christian neighbor. The apostolic person would marvel in what the Holy Spirit is doing through the many diverse members of the Body and network them to become more efficient and supportive in ministry. All this in their homes. All this in their own personal neighborhoods. This happened at the birth of the first century Church, and it can happen again. They identified their gatherings by naming them after their designated locations, communities, neighborhoods (ie. Church of Corinth, of Philippi, of Rome, etc.).

                  Before the days of automobiles, churches were local, and were very much part of the local community social life. Today, on Sundays, Christians pass each other when driving to the church of their choice several miles away because there they “preach the word”, or have awesome worship, or have a dynamic youth ministry and children’s ministry, or are contemporary or traditional, or whatever….. We have fallen into the attitude that church is all about what we want, not about serving others. It is not about loving your neighbor as yourself when your neighbors doesn’t drive to the same destination.

                  Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us what to birth in our own local neighborhood, how to effectively win the lost by showing “grace” by sacrificially loving them through service while demanding nothing from them, how to make the Logos Word a Rhema living Word that touches lives, how to make God real to them to draw them into His Presence, and how to minister to the whole man through the whole Body of Christ. That’s the mindset that birthed the Church; that’s the mindset that will revive the Church!


From Enabling Apathy To Promoting Equipping


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part VIII


….. because instead of enablement and inactivity, it promotes equipping and releasing of believers in Jesus to actively pursue service.

As a 21st Century Church we are not doing a very good job at what we call discipleship and promoting the Great Commission. American Christians have gotten lazy. Keith Green sang his “Asleep In The Light” song in the 1980’s; its prophetic message still rings in my ears. The average American Christian has chosen not to make Christianity its daily way of life, opting to be passive, and allowing themselves to be enabled by its leadership to the point of inactivity even while you are attending a church service or gathering. Like Keith called us out on over3 ½ decades ago, it is like we are a sleep in the light! What will be our wake up call?

The leadership team at the church I had attended is made up primarily of men who had Bible Degrees, not “uneducated” people, like Jesus’ 12 disciples. The Sanhedrin was amazed that these “uneducated” men of Galilee could speak with such authority. We, the church today, have made “education” a prerequisite to leadership, which is not what Jesus did. He had no Pharisees, Sadducees, or church officials on his leadership team of 12. He had men who may have come across as dumb, stupid, and always inserting foot into mouth, but men who were willing to follow Jesus, and later be taught by, and obedient to the Holy Spirit in all matters.

Jesus had poured three years of his life into building relationships with these 12 men. He walked, talked, and debated with them, took them of field trips of faith and a journey that would mold them into becoming leaders that would change the world. He never started a Bible College or seminary, not even built a church building; he invested in people by investing in relationships. Being Jewish, the 12 grew up being taught the Law, the Torah. They already had a Jewish Biblical perspective, but Jesus had to teach them how to make this written Logos Word, alive, relevant, a Rhema Word. He equipped them for their up coming faith journey, teaching them not only through parables but also personal dialogue, feeding the needy, healing the sick, taking care of widows and orphans, etc.  When they fought over position, he brought them back to relationships, emphasizing service, even washing their feet as an object lesson. He equipped them, and prepared them by giving them the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and then released them for ministry. He promised them that they would not do this alone, but sent the Holy Spirit to be their “suitable helper”.

The book of Acts is not boring, but filled with action; there is no apathy or enabling but is filled with constant activity. Jesus gives gifts to men, and they use them, effectively. Jesus’ preparations and the equipping of the saints for the works of service propels a spiritual movement that changes the then known world.

The five fold calling is to “equip the saints for the works of service.” The 21st Century church needs to refocus it direction of equipping the staff for professional development to equipping its saints for works of service. Building relationships should take precedent over building programs and staff. People serving people; peers serving peers through sacrificial service, acceptance, grace, and mercy are the keys. Equipping the saints is more than taking a discipleship course or doing a Bible study on discipleship, it is about involvement, practical everyday experience, and community life. There is no room for apathy or enablement. It is a call to act-ion. The Church needs the five fold!


Accountability: We Need For A Suitable Helper


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part VII


Genesis 2:20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found….. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman ….., and he brought her to the man,…. 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

  As independent as we like to think we are, man still has the need, the desire for fellowship. Loneliness is not a good thing! Even though Adam communed with God, there was still a void. Adam had a need, and God loves to meet our needs! In fact, God’s ways, His plans, the way He meets needs often surpasses the request given.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule ….. over all the creatures …..”  27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

                  God saw beyond Adam’s need. Adam needed more than companionship, he needed others to help rule over all the creation God had made. He could not do it alone. True, he was lonely, but he was also overwhelmed. God understood, for in Genesis 2:22 it says “But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” He was doing everything alone; he needed a “suitable helper”. God’s answer: union with Eve! She not only filled his loneliness but was a compatible, “suitable” helper! They now ruled together by serving one another.

                  But Paul in his letter to the Ephesians takes it further.  Ephesians 5:29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

                  It is all about relationships! Paul goes beyond Adam and Eve’s relationship to sharing a profound mystery: it’s about Christ’s relationship to the church! Who is the Godhead’s “suitable helper” here on earth? The Church! It is through the Church that God chose to rule over the earth and to be protectors of His creation. God has provided a “suitable helper” in his eyes.

                  I believe God has given the Church the five fold in order to be the “suitable helper” He has created it to be because the five fold is build on SERVICE, serving one another, helping one another, aiding one another, sacrificially, the being willing to lay down your life for another as Jesus did for His Church!

                  As a Church we have to begin to allow believers in Jesus Christ who function as evangelists to birth, who function as shepherds to nurture, who function in a teaching role to make the Logos, written Word, a Rhema, living Word, who function in the prophetic to draw near and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who function apostolically by seeing the Church as a whole, networking the many parts of the Body of Christ for the common good. Each of the five ARE NOT entities unto their own, but parts of the Body of Christ who are to be “suitable helpers” to one another through service.

                  If the prophet has a Godly dream, he needs an evangelist to birth it, a shepherd to nurture it, a teacher to bring the truth of the Word of that dream alive, and an apostle to network everyone toward the completion and fulfillment of that dream. The prophet CAN NOT do it alone. He needs the body; he needs “suitable helpers”.


Accountability: We Need Each Other


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part VI


….. because it makes believers in Jesus accountable to one another through service.

I believe one purpose of the five fold is to bring unity to the Body of Christ, to draw one another toward each other through service that will build up individual Christian growth and corporate unity. The church, I believe, will not experience true revival until it admits that “we need one another.”

God created man to draw near to him. God empathized with Adam’s loneliness when he said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will give him a ‘helpmate’.” Communing with one another is a basic need in humanity.  God met that need before the Fall. Sin brought separation, rejection, distancing, and a desire to “have one owns space”, withdrawal, and a desire for independence. God’s plan was for unity, acceptance, a drawing near, a desire for fellowship, a coming together, a dependence on one another. God’s plan is all about relationships. With sin, relationships were broken, Adam & Eve hid from God, and their son Cain killed his brother Abel. The Cross of Jesus Christ offered redemption. Relationships were mended. Man again could draw near to God, and redemptive people were now told “to lay down you life for your brethren” as Christ did on the Cross.

The five fold is all about “laying down your life for your brethren” (IJohn 3:16) through service in spite of your differences, diversity, your uniqueness, your individual callings and challenges. You are commanded to love those different than you; in fact you are commanded to even love your enemy. It is not an “us” verses “them”, where “we” are Biblically, doctrinally, and theologically correct, and “they” are in error, false prophets, or false teachers. It is about “us” serving “them”, and “them” serving “us” as equal brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, peers, one body, one Priesthood. The five fold CAN NOT function properly until this attitude becomes reality.  

The very diversity that has divided us is the very diversity God wants to use to unite us. We look at our differences as points of contention, but until we get to the point of NEEDING ONE ANOTHER, we will continue to be divisive opponents, not brethren. As I have pointed out in so many of my previous blogs, an evangelist needs a shepherd, a teacher, a prophet, and an apostle around him. Everyone of these needs the other for a balanced ministry. We need the whole package: the birthing, the nurturing, the teaching, the living out of the gospel, the drawing near to God, and the networking of all these in serving one another and drawing from one another. That is accountability; people laying down their lives for one another through service.

For a body of believers to be truly functional, it needs to develop this desire to serve one another, peer to peer, and to draw from one another, peer to peer, rather than counting on a professional ministry to do it for them. If “we”, the Priesthood of Believers, are the Church, then we got to begin to act like the Church and accept one another as equal peers and begin to serve one another, not oppose one another, and quit acting like Cains. I believe the five fold can be a tool for this coming together, this acceptance, this service, creating accountability.

When your are willing to lay down your life for a diverse Christian brother or sister whose giftings are different than yours, and they are willing to lay down their lives for you, then the church will experience an accountability that it has not experienced since the first century when the Church was born and during its infancy. That relationship of peer acceptance in Jesus is the key to establishing true accountability among the brethren. That is what the five fold has to offer.


Diverse Plurality Brings Activity


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part V


….. because it prepares the body, a priesthood of believers, the Church, to serve.

The purpose of the five fold is to equip the saints for works of service. The saints have not been called to be passive, pew sitters, stand byers, non-participants. They are suppose to be doing the work of the gospel through service! What a revolutionary mindset. Are they suppose to pay someone else to do it for them!

If we look at the above statement, we see “body” is a group of people. “Priesthood” is also a group of believer(s)! It is the plurality of believers together that serve! You never see “priest” mentioned in the New Testament, only the “priesthood”, the functioning body of Christ, the Church. The many individual peer believers working through service together brings individual growth and unity among the believers as stated in Ephesians 4.

That is why Jesus Christ gave himself, the Church, apostle(s), prophet(s), evangelist(s), pastor(s), and teacher(s). He gave plurality, diversity, creativity, the “supporting ligaments” that “grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Each believer, each peer in Jesus Christ does it part so the corporate whole, the body of Christ, the Priesthood of Believers, the Church, serves!

The Church can serve through “birth” because He gave it evangelists. The Church can nurture growth through living care through shepherds/pastors. The Church can teach truth, the Logos Word, not legalistically, but through experiencing it, the Rhema Word, that gives life by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach through his believers. The Church can encourage man to “draw near” the Spirit of the Living God through the service of its prophets. The Church as a whole can function in unity as a whole through the diverse passions and spiritual giftings through service through the networking of its apostles. It is not about only one person, Jesus, yet not about the individuals who make up that person through the Church, the Body of Christ, but through many individuals, peers in Jesus, the Priesthood of Believers.

When individual believers in Jesus Christ, the Priesthood, is released to manifest their passions as evangelists, shepherds, teachers, prophets, and apostles, and free to flow in the spiritual giftings God has given them, corporately they are an empowered, movable force called the Church! Satan and his kingdom of darkness cannot withstand the power, dominion, and authority of an united Church that is lead by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ who serves!

The Church will not remain in its caterpillar stage of a two tiered system of clergy and laity, but after being in a cocoon of revival and reconstruction, it will come out as a Royal Priesthood, empowered to soar. Every believer, every peer in Jesus Christ, every priest in this priesthood will follow the orders of their High Priest, Jesus Christ, through the leading of His Spirit. The Church will be known for its activity, not it passivity, its ability to move forward, not it being lethargic. It will move with authority and power because of these five fold passions, spiritual gifts, and the ability to hear the voice of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

The passive nature of the 21st Century Church will be looked upon as another chapter in the History of the Church. The Dark Ages led to the Reformation and Age of Reason and Enlightenment. This passive age is leading the Church to an Age of Preparation for the Bride, the Church, to meet its Groom, Jesus, at the Great Banquet Wedding Feast.

The church has to first pass through the cocoon stage from being a historic, lumbering structure to be retooled, remodeled, and “reformed” into a Butterfly.


Apathy to Activity


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part IV


….. because it replaces enabled apathy with Holy Spirit led activity for believers in Jesus.

Which church would you want to attend?

One whose Worship Service tells you when to stand, sit, or kneel, when to sing, pray, be silent, or listen, when to financially give generously or greet one another cordially. You can volunteer to be an usher, children’s worker, or nursery attender, or you can just show up, follow directions, and leave having no social contact but entertained. The music will be excellent. The sermon delivery will be professional; all done orderly. Bible quotes and lyrics to songs will be projected. Not much is required of you, nor is much expected from you. The Senior pastor and staff will do everything in a professional manner. An enabled apathy will settle over the congregation as everyone knows their place and expectations.


One that will only be a hymn or chorus sing followed by a sermon unless the congregation comes prepared to give. If prepared, one may share a scripture that came alive during their private devotion; another may sing an original song or a song everyone knows and joins in. A poet may read an original poem; an artist may draw or paint. Peer believers in Jesus may be led to pray, offer healing, comfort or encourage one another. Some may release spiritual gifts to edify the body of Christ, while others may release giftings to aid in their peer believers’ spiritual growth. A formal sermon is not necessary because sharing of scripture and its application may be given by believers or the sharing of narratives of how Jesus came alive in people’s lives may be shared. Invitations for salvation, empowerment, healings, may be given by fellow brethren . There is no formal agenda, only individuals and the body of Christ jointly listening to the Holy Spirit’s lead. The service in unpredictable, but the anticipation high that God’s Spirit is among his people, and Jesus will be manifested through them. The leadership is not on a platform, but among the people, not seen, but arises for encouragement, support, edification, and correction when needed. This service is not passive, but active, only if the congregation has decided to participate and give back to the Lord what He has already given them. If the people are apathetic, a hymn sing or choral response of songs and a planned, prepared sermon is given. If the people are active, a theme, a sewn thread in the tapestry of worship will relay the Holy’s Spirit’s theme.

The first choice is today’s typical Sunday service in most churches; the second is what would happen if the church empowered and released their people as peers to minister to the Lord and to one another. The first service is very predictable. The second is unpredictable because the Holy Spirit is in charge; leadership and their peers, the people, follow only what the Holy Spirit leads. The first choice appears to be dead and dry; the second choice appears to be full of life. The first choice requires nothing from you but your finances; the second choice requires your all: body, soul, and spirit. Finances are not needed unless the Spirit calls for them to meet the needs of the body, the poor, and the widows and orphans.

Two drastically different choices! An orlderly caterpillar structure that lumbers along, or an unpredictable butterfly structure that flies. The church today needs a cocoon stage for transition!


To Serve Through Your Passion


Why I Would Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part III


….. because it releases believers in Jesus to serve others through their passions, giftings, drives, and points of view..

Today’s local churches have a bent, usually caused by the passion, giftings, drives, and point of view of their current pastor since he is in charge of everything. His church may be known as evangelical if he’s evangelistic, a caring church if he thrives on shepherding his flock, a “Word” church if he strives to be Biblically correct, a prophetic church is he is free in worship, and apostolic if he emphasized church planting or church growth. But that all is conditional on the pastor. What happens if all those passions, giftings, drives, and point of view already exist in a church, but they lie with the laity, the congregation, the believers in Jesus Christ? What would happen if they all got released?

Evangelism, emphasizing birth, would arise winning the lost to Christ and producing new converts to the faith in spite of the pastor’s strengths or weaknesses. Nurture and care for every believers spiritual growth and development would come with brothers and sisters coming beside these new converts to walk out their faith journeys with them. Those who not only know the written word but live it out in their daily lives could teach this Logos and Rhema word to the new believers, strengthening them, giving them a firm foundation. Those with prophetic desires can encourage the new believer to draw nearer to God through worship, reading the Word, and learning to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit for themselves. Finally, those who can see the big picture of the Church as a whole, the body of Christ, the Priesthood of Believers, and network these other four together in the development and maturity into the image of Christ of each individual believer while brining unity in the body.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4)

Christ gave “himself”, the Church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, (all plural, not singular) for the purpose of “equipping his people for works of service”. The people are “to do it”. The Church is a place of continuous activity. The books of Acts records the “Acts of the Apostles”, not the theology, doctrine, status, office, and title of the apostles. It is a running narrative of action, all lead by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Almost every church I have visited, attended, or worked with has people already in their congregations who have evangelistic, shepherding, teaching, prophetic, and apostolic passions just looking for an avenue to be released. Church leadership has a tough decision to make today. Do they remain in control, or do they allow these people of God, these believers in Jesus Christ, this Priesthood of Believers, to be released, let go, in their passions to become “active” believers, supporting other believers with diverse giftings, and leading when their gift, passion, or point of view is needed. That is the challenge in this cocoon stage: transferring the energy of the church from controlling leadership with a passive congregation to releasing the energy that is already in them to become an active congregation. That is the miracle of metamorphosis.