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.