Five Fold Already Exists
I believe the five fold ministry already exists in our Churches today. When I was a Lay Witness Mission Coordinator, through the board of evangelism in the United Methodist Church, I was amazed to see these five different passions, visions, point of view raise their heads when given an avenue to express themselves in almost all the churches where I participated in different denominations.
Friday night during the first session of the weekend, small groups we asked, “What would you like to see happen to your church these weekend, and what would you like to see happen to yourself. Before they would talk about their personal life, they would share their vision or passion for their local church or the church’s faults. Some would express that their particular church should reach out to new people (evangelistic mindset), others wanted it to be more service oriented like starting a food bank (pastoral mindset), some else would express the need for more young people to come, a rebirth of the church (evangelistic mindset), another would chime in the need tor solid teaching in the Sunday School curriculum (teaching mindset), the topic for the need for a vibrant spiritual growth and life would always arise (prophetic mindset), and someone would be concerned about the life of the church as a whole with its components needed a recharge (apostolic mindset). The mindsets were all there, crying out with the need to either be encouraged, recognized, developed, or released. To the personal question about what each person expected for themselves, a generic answer usually ensued of “getting closer to God” (Which is a major objective of the five fold ministry).
Often the pastoral/shepherding passion revealed itself through small group coffees Saturday mornings, or shut in visitations in the afternoon, or hosting visiting missioners in ones home.
Saturday night’s small group requested each individual draw a “spiritual map” of their journey in faith that would depict where they were in relationship with Jesus. If someone did not have a relationship, the leaders of the group could lead them into the kingdom of God for evangelism was the emphasis of the weekend. The small group would then go into the church’s sanctuary, which was low lit, with quiet music or total silence, and could sit in the pew and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them. There was not set agenda for this part of the evening allowing the most powerful moment of the weekend to occur as the Holy Spirit, being freed of the influence of man, would begin to minister to each person’s uniqueness, their heart’s desires, their passions, their prayer requests, their personal lives that proved life changing. Often I would see the passion, and vision of each of the five fold be rebirthed during these times of personal confrontation between individual man and the Holy Spirit.
I felt the most challenged committee formed for the weekend was the “follow up” committee, because they felt the need to have something in place to keep the Spirit of the weekend alive and continual. Because the Lay Witness Mission is a program, they would try to instill other programs, hoping that they would be life sustaining. Actually this committee, unknowingly, was being assigned the task of “equipping the saints for the work of the service” (Eph. 4), but none knew how to do that or felt they possessed the power in the local church structure to initiate and develop it. This is where most of our churches are today! Who should lead this charge of developing and equipping? How should it be done? Are there programs out there to do it? Is a “discipleship” program enough? We will look at these questions in our next blog.