Diversity Is The Strength Of The Five Fold
Churches are known for producing “look-alikes”, replicas. People who come in our church doors are as diverse as the weather conditions around the world. They come in all shapes and sizes, races, nationalities, talents, and interests. They leave packaged! Usually packaged by denominational standards, by moral codes, often by the way they dress, their appearance. In the American political world we label one as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. In the Church world we too have labels: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Baptist, Pentecostal, Mainline, Organic, Missional, Independent, etc. Each group has their own organizations, their own seminaries and educational institutions, their own hierarchy of leadership. Though they may have different doctrines in theology, the people they produce under their banners are looking pretty generic. That is a good thing, for it is ripe for revival!
In the past diversity in the church usually meant future church splits, division. Paul wrote several times, “I heard there are divisions among you.” Often they were caused by the polarization of the diversity present. In this next major revival, the five fold will restore unity as part of its wave or movement. The purpose of the five fold as outlined in Ephesians 4 is “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 the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
The Lord doesn’t want to stifle diversity; He wants to actually use it for the good of the Body of Christ. Every local church needs the evangelistic spirit, the nurturing caregiver, the grounded Bible teacher, the prophetic insight, and the apostolic over sight, the five fold, five different passions, drives, points of view that are in individual believers in Jesus Christ. If each of those five operate out of the I John 3:16 principle of “laying down your life for your brethren,” by unconditionally serving the others and allowing the others to serve them, a unity will be bonded like the Church hasn’t seen in centuries.
Unfortunately, when sitting through most church services, you do not see the diversity among the saints, the common believers, arise because of the preplanned, orchestrated service which renders God’s people to be inactive, passive. In I Corinthians 12 Paul explains how the body has many parts, relying on each other, and the significance of each diverse part. At the end of the chapter he lists some of the diversity amongst the Corinthians: apostles, prophets, teachers, doers of miracles, healers, administrators, etc. There is diversity among them. Now allow the Holy Spirit to mold them into one body, one voice, one purpose, that is not generic, nor sterile, but vibrant, alive, and unique to each individual local church body.
We, the Church, need to get back to recognizing the diversity among us, and begin “accepting” that diversity as a gift from God, not looking at it with fear and trembling. “Acceptance” of one another is a key component in the success of the next revival.
We, the Church, need to recognize each other as “peers” in Jesus Christ, equals in Christ, all capable of following the leading of the Holy Spirit while being grounded in the Word and living the Word. No group is better than the other. No individual believer is above another in stature or in spirit. “The Priesthood of Believers” is also another key component in this revival.
We, the Church, need to allow the Holy Spirit to orchestrate this next revival. A good orchestra has much diversity in its instrumentation. The greater the diversity; the richer the sound. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be the conductor, bringing out unique, diverse solos when needed, but bringing all the members of this orchestra to play in harmony, together, at once, in the richness of a new sound to glorify Jesus and bring unity. If we don’t, there will be no revival! God’s symphony will remain silent. The Holy Spirit is tapping his baton, signaling that He’s ready to lead God’s orchestra in the symphony of the ages.