Consensus And The Five Fold – Part II
Ephesians 4 introduces us to the five fold: ie. apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, and teacher. All five are gifts he gave to men, believers in Jesus, that are very evident in the first century Church. I define the five fold as “passions and functions” in every believer in Jesus that “drives” or “motivates” them toward service to build up the body of Christ, to bring unity in faith, and to develop Christian maturity. Unfortunately, the institutional church has categorized them organizationally into “titles” and “office” of leadership held by church officials, which was not their original intent. They are “gifts” given to “believers in Jesus Christ” that become their passion driving them toward service.
Historically, when each is predominately emphasized individually, division has become its fruit, for they have been given as a “body” ministry to produce unity when used together and to bring maturity in being Christ-like. Although they are five different passions with five different functions, they have been created to support, serve, and receive from one another. They are “Body” gifts to equip the saints for service and to mature them into the image of Jesus Christ.
All five are necessary in the development of a believer’s spiritual growth. All five are necessary in the creation of a healthy, growing, spiritually active church. All five perspectives, passions, and points of view bring diversity to the Body of Christ. Every individual believer and every local church needs an evangelist for birthing, a shepherd for nurturing, a teacher for making the Logos Word become the Rhema Word, a prophet to hear, discern, and be obedient to the voice of God, and an apostle to “see over” what the Holy Spirit is already doing and directing, not “overseeing” by micromanaging. The Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer, must always be in control, for He gives the comfort needed to nurture growing Christians towards being Christ-like, the teaching to reveal Truth, the clarity to hear the voice of God and be obedient, and the discernment, wisdom, and direction to bring it together. The five fold is all about listening, yielding, and be obedient to the Holy Spirit.
If the five fold can be so divisive, how can it ever bring unity and maturity? Jesus told his disciples, “With men that is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) Unity and maturity can come about by: 1) first, allowing the Holy Spirit to be in total control. He calls the shots; we are just obedient to his directions; 2) each believer, though diversely different from one another must “lay down our lives for the brethren”, individually and corporately; by 3) submitting in service to and from one another, giving away our giftings to serve others, and willingly receiving the giftings from those so diversely different than from ourselves as equal peers in Christ. If we do these three things, there will be a “consensus” among all the diverse parties present and a direction of unity drawing the group towards it.
Let’s examine more closely how consensus is the key to the effectiveness of the five fold in our next blog entry.