The Five Fold Spirit Cries Out

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

I am convinced that God wants a metamorphosis, a total transformational reconstruction of his Church through the leading of the Holy Spirit. When facing the unknown, particularly the supernatural, man gets nervous. God does not need man’s approval, for He is in total control. Man’s natural tendency is to hold on to control and to familiarity. Historically, the Sanhedrin functioned this way against the prophets of old, against Jesus, and against the new Church. Throughout history, religious officials have often opposed movements of God.

Can we trust what visibly we cannot see and is not tangible, which defies logic and reason, the supernatural, the Holy Spirit? In times of uncertainty, in whom do we place our trust?  ”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, for by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible,” (Hebrews 11:1-3) so any movement of God has to come out of the “word of God” by “faith” because ”what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Trusting the invisible Holy Spirit and the Word of God is how men of old gained God’s approval. There is no other option but to trust the invisible, the Rhema Word, the Holy Spirit.

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23,24)

That is why the five fold is so relevant.

The apostolic cries out, “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

The evangelistic spirit announces, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8)

The teaching spirit cries for the Logos Word, ”For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”(Hebrews 4:12)

The prophetic spirit proclaims a living Word, ”For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (I Peter 1:23)


The Shepherd Connection


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

Let’s examine how the shepherd can relate to the evangelist, teacher, prophet, and apostle to bring maturity to individual Christian growth and unity to the Body of Christ. Strong relationships are reciprocal, so lets see what the shepherd can give to the others and receive from them and why they need each other.

Shepherd/Teacher: The shepherd and teacher can work hand in hand because their focus is on “maturing” the saint into the image of being a  godly, Christ-like person. This faith journey must be grounded in the Logos Word, the Bible, yet lived out in practical everyday life as a living Rhema Word. Who better to walk out this new life with a shepherd than a teacher? Since “all things are new” when being born again, a teacher is necessary to instill Biblical principals as a foundation. A convert who has a shepherd on one side and a teacher on the other walking with him is a fortunate person. The five fold can offer that!

Shepherd/Prophet: When facing the challenges of everyday life, one can lose focus and be distracted. The shepherd works daily with a a new convert’s spiritual walk, but the prophet keeps one’s focus on God, his Son, Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit. The shepherd teaches one to walk with God; the prophet teaches one to hear from God through the voice of the Holy Spirit. The more righteous the walk, the more obedience to the voice is required, the more mature a Christian becomes into the image of Jesus. The shepherd and prophet need one another in their own practical daily walks and spiritual journeys.

Shepherd/Apostle: Even with all the nurturing that you have received, did you ever ask how you “fit” into the picture of your local church or the Church as a whole? As the shepherd works with your development toward becoming a “mature” believer in Jesus, the apostle specializes in networking the pieces together, seeing over what the Holy Spirit is doing in each believer’s personal life and the life of the Church as a whole. As the convert grows, the apostle “sees over” the walk he had with his shepherd and networks him with other teachers and prophets. The apostle doesn’t control the sheep nor tells the shepherd what to do, but he “serves” them to assure the growth of the sheep and the spiritual health of the shepherd.


The Evangelist Connection


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

Let’s examine how the evangelist can relate to the shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle to bring maturity to individual Christian growth and unity to the Body of Christ. Strong relationships are reciprocal, so lets see what the evangelist can give to the others and receive from them and why they need each other.

Evangelist/Shepherd: An evangelist’s strength is in birthing. His passion is for the lost to find their way into the kingdom of God. Nurturing and caring for new converts is his weakness because his passion drives him toward winning the lost. Every evangelist needs a shepherd beside him whose strength is to nurture, guide, care, and “parent” these new converts in their faith journey. Since the sheep may get sick, wonder off, or even die, it is mandatory for the shepherd to be available 24/7 for his sheep. Personally, an evangelist needs a shepherd to speak advice into their own personal life to temper their zeal. The shepherd, on the other hand, needs the evangelist’s zeal to motivate his own life.

Evangelist/Teacher: An evangelist needs a teacher to ground his personal ministry in the Logos Word, the Bible. If it isn’t scriptural, it’s questionable. Also the teacher can make the Logos Word real by making it a Rhema living Word, applicable to everyday life, not just theological. This is to prevent new believers from becoming Pharisees, followers of institutionalized, structural, lifeless religion. Jesus was severely critical of Pharisees. A teacher needs an evangelist to keep his faith fresh, active, and alive. An evangelist needs a teacher to walk with him through his daily faith journey. Their passions are necessary to keep a believer in Jesus a living organism.

Evangelist/Prophet: To prevent legalism, the evangelist needs a prophet whose passion is to draw near to God. Rather than relying on programs and events, the evangelist needs to rely on the Holy Spirit to produce creative, relevant ways to share the gospel to win the lost. Personal prophecy can be an effective evangelistic tool as Jesus demonstrated with the Samaritan woman at the well. Words of wisdom and knowledge can be beneficial to winning the lost.  Since the evangelist majors in birthing, who better to work with than a prophet who majors in the spiritual. Prophetic evangelism could revolutionize the way the Church does ministry.

Evangelist/Apostle: An evangelist has a narrow view of seeing only a lost and dying world that need Jesus. An apostle sees the big picture, the Church as a whole. The apostle sees birthing as only the beginning of a process towards maturity in Jesus, so he directs new converts to the right brothers or sisters to be nurtured, cared, taught, and spiritually guided. An apostle needs an evangelist to birth vision and projects the group as a whole will develop.


How The Five Fold Works Relationally

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

If the five fold is to be a viable option for church structure, the Church will have to be a fluid, living organism for the Priesthood of Believers. The five fold must be viewed as passions, desires, and points of view by common believers in Jesus. Formal structures are not important; the building up and maintaining of peer relationships in Jesus is. If you pattern building a church solely on the blueprint of a five fold structure, it will fail, but if it is built upon the strength of five fold’s diverse passions who support, encourage, and stand by each other by willing laying down their lives for one another, the five fold will be an effective, powerful force of transformation unlike the Church has seen since the first century. Let’s examine each of the five passions, desires, and points of view.

Evangelist: An evangelist, who carries the weight of a sin depraved, dying world who needs Jesus, majors in “birthing”. They seek and serve to save anyone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. Often new converts exhibit evangelistic zeal because of their newly found joy and peace in Jesus and want others to experience it.

Pastoral/Shepherd: The shepherd, who majors in nurturing and care, loves to do what Jesus told Peter to do, “Feed my sheep!” (John 21:17) Just like an evangelist wants to hang out with the lost, shepherds love to hang out with the sheep. They eat, sleep, walk, and talk to their sheep giving them guidance, directions, and keep them spiritually healthy to grow. They are people persons who think of others before themselves. There is no formula to be a good shepherd; all one needs is to care, love the unloved, hug the unhugable, accept the rejected, and invite the outcast.

Teacher: When we think of a Christian teacher, we think of a Bible scholar, but that is our Western mindset. The Jewish mindset is the Lamad method of “experiencing” what you learn from the heart, not the mind. Jesus taught the Lamad by walking with his twelve disciples teaching them how to “experience” the kingdom of God. That is why he taught in parables. Five fold teacher use both the academic and experiential approaches.

Prophet: A prophet’s desire is draw near to God, so listening to and being obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit is central. He longs to be in the flow of the Holy Spirit in whom he has put his trust. He cherishes making the Logos, written, Word the Rhema, living, Word. The Word without spiritual life becomes legalistic, bringing bondage. Jesus gave his “life” in order to release the “spirit life” in man from any bondage.

Apostle:  An apostle majors in networking believers and “seeing over” what the Holy Spirit is already doing. Unlike hierarchal leadership, a believer with an apostolic passion is never “above” those he “serves”, but next to them as equal peers in Jesus. He is to never “lord over them,” but kneel in service by washing their feet. Jesus did this as an example for us. A believer with an apostolic point of view never controls anyone because he is never ‘in control”, the Holy Spirit is! He just “serves” as a shepherd to the Church!

In all five of these giftings, the Holy Spirit must be in control, for He does the work through us; that is what is unique about the five-fold.


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.


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.

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.


Hierarchy Divides


Why I Wouldn’t Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part III


….. because the senior pastor heads our ship and his staff is onboard; the priesthood of believers, the laity, the saints are not “trained” professionally to lead.

                  I remember Mylon LeFevre singing, “How would you like to take a trip on that good old gospel ship?” which for me through my childhood, adolescence, and most of my adult life was the local church, often headed by a senior pastor (if a large congregation) or a pastor (in a smaller congregation) who captained the ship.

                  Senior pastors would often amass a staff of associate pastors, a worship pastor, a youth pastor, a small group pastor, a home visitation pastor, etc., etc. as well as a janitorial and secretarial crew to maintain the building and church office. All were aboard; all the pastors were professionally trained through Bible Colleges and/or Seminaries.

                  Because of the system, I’ve seen pastors come and go; it is not a permanent job to serve one congregation for a lifetime to birth, nurture, care, and release those in your congregation. The captain of the ship was often replaced every three to ten years. Pastors would abruptly leave, often not leaving time for a congregation to grieve; often leaving due to a conflict or disagreement. If retired, they did not stay, but moved on, so that they would not be a threat to the next pastor. Congregations always hoped for new direction, new life, and new leadership from each new pastor. The direction of leadership by the pastor defined the theological direction of that church. Many families remained in the local church for generations, but their leadership came and left, which caused the local church to build archives of previous pastors and their influences.

                  The westernized, institutionalized church has made higher education, and/or seminary training a prerequisite for professional training. Those with Masters Degrees and Doctorates were rewarded with larger congregations and greater pulpit presence and prestige. Today, the westernized church can’t conceive what it would be like without a dominating professional clergy presence leading its churches. This mentality would want to prevent any influence of the five fold by members of the congregation to permeate its present existence; they would oppose it.

                  Ephesians 4 does not call for “intellectual training” as the key component for “professional leadership” that establishes a professional clergy class, but calls on the elders, those older in the faith, to “equip” their fellow “saints”, not the professional staff, “for works of service.” Equip them for what? Evangelize and birth, shepherd and nurture, teach and train, embrace the prophetic by drawing closer to God, and seeing the Big Picture, the Church as a whole, with its many members, and network them into a body, a family, the Church, bringing maturity to individual believers and corporate unity to the body of Christ.

                  Training the laity to do what the clergy claims is their rightful duty would be looked upon also as heresy. Although Jesus never founded a Bible College or Seminary to train his disciples, did not stress the intellect but taught through parables that were not understood unless taught by the Holy Spirit and experienced by the believer, the institutional church still clings to its academic requirements as being central to their establishment.

                  Jesus promised that “where two or more are gathered”, there you would find Him. The Church exists when two or more believers gather in unity to exalt the Father God through His Son Jesus by His Holy Spirit. None of that needs to be done professionally; neither does “equipping the saints” for “works of service.”

                  To exalt the “saints” to be equals or superior spiritually to their professional leadership, the clergy, would be rejected and too labeled heretical by today’s church.


Teaching In A Five Fold Peer2Peer Relationship


 The Five Fold = Peer2Peer Relationships – Part IV

John 4:19, 23-24 (AS) – The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” …..”But an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Matthew 23:8 (NIV) - “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

John 14:26 - But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Acts 4:8,13 - Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…. Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus

 I have sat through 65 years of sermons, thousands of hours of Sunday School classes, hundreds of hours of Bible Studies, hundreds of more hours at Jesus Rallies in the ‘70’s & 80’s and Conferences in the 90’s, even hundreds of more hours listening to teaching cassettes, radio and tv preachers, and have even earned a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies, but am I a qualified Bible teacher? Since I am not “ordained” or a “paid professional”, I am not considered clergy. I teach as a volunteer when asked. I feel the stigma of just being called “laity”. I have had little opportunity to fill a pulpit or exercise my teaching skills in church in spite of being Lay Speak Certified through the United Methodist church and being recognized as Teacher of the Year after 40 years as a public educator.

Since I had a college degree, as a public school teacher, confined to a classroom with textbooks, I discovered the easiest way to teach was by lecturing. I learned the most effective teaching came through hands-on field trips and through student self-discovery. Lecturing, via the sermon, has been the teaching technique of choice by the church who covets their pulpits. Although informational, this technique left no room for discussion, rebuttal, or inquiry. Unlike Jesus, who took walking field trips with his disciples to experience everyday kingdom of God principles, I was instructed, through the sermon, how to do those principles, but they were never modeled by the preacher since I only saw him on Sundays standing in his pulpit often wearing a garb he never word any other time during the week.

Teaching middle school students for 40 years, I have witnessed that middle-schoolers prefer peer acceptance and peer pressure over the academics, for at that age they are purely social creatures hunting for their identity. Being a teen is all about “peer acceptance.” What you remember about 8th grade is not the academics but the “relationships” you built. You remember your bf’s, best friends, your favorite teachers, and who were the bullies. High School is all about being relational, so much so that high school alumni meet every five years for class reunions, not to review the academics, but to reminisce the “good times” they had relationally.  Relationships are also important at the college level where frat and sorority parties and tailgating on weekends out weight the academics.

Then why hasn’t the church recognized the importance of peer-to-peer relationships? Instead it opts for the academics of correct doctrine and theology taught through lecturing sermons over building relationships among peers. Even at the seminary level, intellectual knowledge of theology and doctrine trump the teaching of relationship building with future congregations. The believer will never become the clergy’s academic equal peer.

Unlike seminary training, Jesus walked with his disciples, built relationships while talking to them when going to Jerusalem to celebrate festivals and feasts, picking grain in the fields, breaking break, feeding 5,000 at one time then making them collect the spoils. He took them with him to wedding receptions and dinners hosted by tax collectors! He never founded a rabbinical school of higher Jewish education. These “uneducated and untrained” disciples loved the social life with Jesus! He included the in Passover meals, walked with them through the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed with them, and even led them to the Cross. It was there they decided to flee leaving Jesus to face the Cross alone.

 Jesus never encouraged his disciples to earn a B.A. or B.S. Degree in Religion, nor prepare them to become “clergy”. His disciples earned B.A., “Born Again” and B.S., “Born of the Spirit” Degrees by accepting Him as their Savior at Passover and accepting His Holy Spirit to be their teacher at Pentecost. To Jesus “accepting” and “receiving” is all relational!

 In Acts 4: 8 & 13, Peter and John are labeled “uneducated” and “untrained” by their religious superiors.  These leaders recognized them as having been with Jesus. It was this “relationship” with Jesus, not an educational degree that gave these men “confidence.”  Jesus promised His Holy Spirit would speak through them when they were interrogated. “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…” Peter, who before Pentecost, was rash, inserted foot into his mouth, now when being led by the Holy Spirit spoke with confidence and authority.

What qualifies one to become a five fold Peer2Peer teacher? His willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient! The way he reveals what he has seen and heard makes him a teacher. Every moment can now be a teachable moment! No formal classes, courses, lectures, or sermons are needed, only hands on, everyday practical applications of kingdom principles is needed. Everyday can be a personal field trip with the Holy Spirit.

It is humbling to realize that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is the teacher, and that Spirit can arise from one’s own soul like a gushing well of living water since the Spirit resides in every believer. The Holy Spirit is the “revealer” of “Spirit” and “truth” as promised to the Samaritan woman at the well. These gushings, these teachings, these revelations bring life.

Let me make it perfectly clear: The five fold Peer2Peer teacher must be grounded in the Word, both written, the Logos, the Bible, and the living, the Rhema. Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us. He, the Logos Word became the Rhema Word according to John 1.  When the Logos Word was fulfilled through Jesus, “It was finished”, so Jesus returned to the right hand of the Father to intercede for these new saints. In His place was sent the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Logos Word, to become the Rhema, active living word, in every believer in Jesus Christ! Everything a five fold teacher teaches is grounded in the Logos Word.  It is the goal of the five fold teacher to make this Logos Word become a living Rhema Word through faith in Jesus Christ. This is done through relationships; this is done through “experiencing” Jesus Christ.

 The book of Acts records what the apostles “experienced”, what they “witnessed”, when they followed the Holy Spirit. It begins with Peter teaching in the Temple after Pentecost, sharing Old Testament scriptures to ground believers in the validity of this new “experience” that they were having in Jesus. The rest of the book records what the apostles witnessed, seen, and “experienced” as the Holy Spirit went from just being the Logos Word to manifesting Himself as a Rhema, or living, Word in their own personal lives!

 The five fold Peer2Peer teacher is not to be called “Rabbi”, or Pastor, or Professor, or have a title, but is a common, everyday believer in Jesus Christ who is willing to be a vessel in Jesus to allow His Spirit to arise from within themselves and invest kingdom of God principles in other fellow believers! Matthew 23: 8 (NIV) records: “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. We Christians are not to have titles or offices, but have a relationship with one Teacher, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, as equal peers, equal brothers, members of a Priesthood of Believers!


How To Move Away From Church Politics Pt.3

The Spinning Wheel Of Diverse Ideas

In the last blog, we recognized the role, passions, and point of view that drive the evangelistic, shepherding, teaching, prophetic, and apostolic spirits that can be in a church leadership meeting. No one passion or role dominates the others if they are going to work in unity. As the model of a five fold diagram suggests, each distinct passion of the five fold reaches out to the other four and receives or submits to them, thus creating a star shape in a pentagon of accountability. A key to the success of this model lies in the circle around it, for the pentagon can rotate, and the passion or the point of view needed at that moment can arise to the occasion with the other four being supportive. As the circle rotates, different passions and points of view are shared and a solution is found. It is in the relationships of giving and receiving/submitting of the five to one another, yet releasing each individually to “do their thing” or release their passion that is monumental in keeping unity, yet achieving success.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.  Hot potato problem: The Tuesday Evening small group that meets at Matt & Mildred Miller’s has the same 8 people in it as when they created the group three years ago. They recognized their group has become “very close” but have become accused of being “cliquish”. The group has become stagnant, lacks motivation, and they are asking leadership for help.

After the leadership team have prayed and sat in silence, listening to the Holy Spirit, the evangelist in the group rises and identifies the problem. He discerns that Matt Miller, their leader, is a true shepherd, nurturer, who cares for those in their group, thus they have followed his lead, allowed him to shepherd them, producing their small group as a safe nest and have become introverted as a group.

The prophet now rises as the five-fold circle rests on him. He gets the world “expand” and exhorts the group “to reach out to others producing new streams that will water their group.” He continues to exhort them to “expand beyond just the care of a shepherd, and begin to instruct and guide these new ones. A teacher in the group will arise. He will walk beside them as a shepherd leading his herd as he instructs.” He continues to prophesy, “and one of you will network these new ones into various aspects of the five fold bringing life.”

The teacher in the leadership group now arises in the circle of the five fold to share scriptures pertaining to the kingdom of god and its expansion, scriptures about the shepherd and his sheep like the parable of the shepherd who left the 99 to find the lost one. The shepherd of the leadership team confirms that they could take the nurturing Mat Miller instilled in them and now walk “beside” these new ones in their group in instruction in practical day-to-day experiences.

The remaining leader with an apostolic bent confirms the possibility of all these suggestions if the group first identifies the giftings in their group who has the passion for evangelism, shepherding, teaching, prophesying, and networking. The person with the networking passion can then coordinate the others in their united attempt to nurture the influence of these new ones, releasing each in the group to go with their passion. The five look at each other in agreement, are unified on their recommendation, no longer looking at the Miller group as a potential problem but as a promising prospect, and released them to be obedient in following the Holy Spirit’s guidance!

The Miller group begins by releasing the evangelistic spirit: inviting others to join their group, some from within their existing church structure, some nonbelievers who they personally know. They begin “loving” on them, caring for them, nurturing them, fellowshipping with them, sharing the power of the gospel with them, inviting them to enter God’s kingdom and love. Several respond. Now the group responds by allowing the shepherds and teachers in their midst to begin to walk out their new faith through daily living. The prophetic members of the group teaches the new ones how to listen to the Holy Spirit for themselves and share what they hear with the group. The Holy Spirit begins to speak to the group and instructs them to “expand even further” and they begin to reach out to the homeless now that they have a base of nurture, care, and resources in their group to do so. The group grows, expands, is full of life, and moves forward changing lives. In just six months they have grown so huge they decide to split into two, so they can keep the feeling of an intimate small group, and further “expansion” begins as they continue to grow in strength, spirituality, and numbers.

What was once looked upon as a problem has now become a success story because of the “voices” of many, the diversity of different points of view in helping the group, and being willing to release the passions of each member in the group with the support of the others. That is the potential of the five-fold in problem solving.

How To Move Away From Church Politics Pt.2


The Holy Spirit: A Problem Solver

In the last blog, we saw that our mindset toward leadership must change if we are to move away from politics when in church meetings. We need to moved toward being a “servant” instead of trying to be “savior”, having the buck stop with us at the top of the pyramid of hierarchal power. Leadership must be linear, beside one another, laying down one’s life for one another through service and being served. We will only begin to move away from church politics if we instill these principles.

Church business meeting’s agendas often address current “hot potatoes”, topics that have become controversial in the church. It seems like most local church leadership meetings that I have been part of are centered around “putting out the fires” of controversy that seem to lift their heads. You spend more time on “fire prevention” and “fire fighting” than on anything else, and it drains you.

To understand how the five fold can be an effective “problem solver” model you have to understand the role, the passions, the gifting, and the points of view of each of the five fold present so you know their strengths and weaknesses:

The Passion, Drive, & Point Of View toward Evangelism: The evangelistic spirit is all about birth and rebirth. It takes what is lost and gets it found! It draws people to Jesus as the only answer. It demands repentance from the old; the embracing of the new. Once that process happens, it moves on to another lost cause/or person to be found. Evangelists can recognize what is “wrong,” leading people to Jesus to make it “right”. Often the evangelistic spirit can identify the problem, define it in its simplest form (sin), and present it to the group. Now they know what they are facing. The evangelist is usually not good at problem solving, but knows how to lead people to Jesus who is the problem solver. When the group focuses on Jesus, it releases the evangelist to move on. Once a group comes to a consensus, the evangelist is an excellent source then to “proclaim the new”, give “birth” to the solution, begin the process of birthing results to solve the problem. In conclusion: the spirit of evangelism is good at identifying the problem, defining it, moving others toward Jesus for the solution as their “Savior”, then releasing it to the others. Upon their consensus, jumping back into the picture, they love to birth and proclaim.

The Passion, Drive, & Point Of View toward Shepherding: The shepherding spirit is all about caring, nurturing, developing, grooming, and growing others into the image of Jesus Christ.  The shepherd will want to solve the problem from a caring, nurturing point of view. They know the solution may not be instantaneous, though it could be, but probably a process of day-to-day learning experience of adjustments and changes. Walking beside or through the solution is mandatory for the shepherd who walks with his/her sheep and knows their voice, habits, life style, wants, etc. He gives practical applications to the steps needed to solve the problem. Nurturing properly is important to him. A shepherd is a very practical, disciplined person who takes one step at a time. Shepherds are usually not in a hurry, but patient, moving in harmony with their herd. In problem solving, they see that the process leads to the solution desired as a series of steps, a walk, a journey toward a destination. They are instruments of grace, taking their lambs out of thickets, lifting ewes out of ditches, fighting of predators who thrive on problems caused by dumb sheep. They extend mercy even in the harshest of times. Their attitudes extend hope in hopeless situations, and love to the unlovely. They are the practicality of the problem solving process.

The Passion, Drive, & Point Of View toward Teaching: The teaching spirit is all about having everyone “experience” the solution, actually changing mindsets, attitudes, and patterns by “living it out”, not just intellectually knowing it.  “Knowing about” forgiveness is far different that “experiencing” forgiveness or “extending” forgiveness to others. We are to not only be “hearers of the Word, but doers,” so the teacher is there to make sure the linear “walking out” the solution will be Biblically based but practical in life.  Jesus had to allow Peter to sink first before allowing him to walk on water to teach the Biblical principle of “faith”. I’ve learned there are two kinds of students in life: “obedient” ones who do what they are told without questioning and the “stove touchers” who have to “experience” touching the stove to know “why” and are willing to endure the pain to learn that truth. In the end they both learned not to touch hot stoves, but the teacher has to know how to lead both groups toward the lesson to be learned. In problem solving, the teacher often is the person defining the steps and methods how to solve the problem for those who blindly accept the solutions and those who will buck it to find out “why” before resigning to the solution.

The Passion, Drive, & Point Of View toward the Prophetic: The prophetic spirit is all about relationships. Prophets want intimate relationships, usually between man and god. They want others to learn to seek the Father, get into the Presence of Jesus, listen to the Holy Spirit, and intimately enter into worship with all three. In problem solving within the church it is so important to understand “the mind of Christ” by revelation through the Holy Spirit to get a solution. The woman at the well is a good example, where Jesus “understands” her background by revealing it to her before addressing the real problem, her relationship with God. Peter had to understand “the mind of Christ’ by having the revelation of the sheet with unclean animals being acceptable before going to the House of Cornelius. This ability to know “God’s will”, his “revelation” on the problem is crucial in finding “His” solution.

The Passion, Drive, & Point Of View toward the Apostolic: The apostolic spirit is all about discernment and networking. The apostle is not the C.E.O, the Big Cheese, the Head Honcho, only a person who gets “revelation” of seeing the big picture in its entirety. He is known for discernment and knowledge. He “hears” the evangelistic voice, the shepherding call, the teacher’s objectives, the prophet’s discernment, and pulls them all together. He not only sees the problem clearly, but sees the revelation of the answer in its entirety and knows how to network the others into bringing a proper, godly solution that will bear great spiritual fruit. Unlike a C.E.O., he does not take the credit nor leads the drive toward its solution, but humbly gives the credit to the entire group, calling each in his or her own way to use their gifting toward the solution.

Now we have seen what is in our group, we can move forward toward a solution.


Five-Fold Prophetic Word Continued

 Part III: The Prophetic Five-Fold Word of 1993:

     On the evening of April 15, 1993, while sitting quietly in my living room, I asked the Lord a question, “What is the five fold ministry all about.  How is it to work? “

     Here is what I wrote down that night: (Continuation of the last two days blogs)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     In Acts 2 apostle Peter sees a glimpse of the whole Body as people begin speaking in the native tongues of many languages of nations of their known world.  Little did Peter know that he had much to learn about vision of apostleship (House of Cornelius, acceptance of Gentiles, etc.), but the apostolic vision came upon Him (vs. 5-13)

     When questioned, Peter kicked into the prophetic (vs. 14-21) as he quoted Joel 2:28-32  and shows its fulfillment.

      (Versus 22-36) Peter flows as a teacher, explaining the prophecies of Joel using Psalms 16:8-11 as a teaching text, and explains the purpose of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When he proclaims Jesus as the Messiah, it “pierced their hearts”.

     (Versus 37-41)  Peter, the evangelist, manifests himself as he leads 3,000 to the Lord’s gracious salvation.

     (Versus 42-45) illustrates the pastoring that took place in those early days to the 120, then 3,000, then 3,000 plus as they grew.

     The results was the birthing of the five fold ministry and its fruits:

          1)  Unity in faith - continuing with one mind (Acts 2:46);

          2)  Knowledge of the Son of God - Peters sermon of Acts 2:14-42;

          3)  Maturity - fellowshiping with gladness and sincerity of heart (Acts 2:26);

          4)  Measure of Stature - having favor with all the people (Acts 2:46);

     Acts 2 is only a measure compared to what we are about to see:

          Pastoring:  Who would have ever dreamed of Pastor Cho’s church reaching the 3/4 million mark?

          Evangelist:  If Peter could have seen into the future at how Billy Graham has been used with massive meetings and satellite TV international hookups, he would have said, “What is only 3,000”!

          Prophecy:  As we are currently witnessing this movement, the Lord is exhorting, encouraging, edifying, purifying, and challenging His Body as the Church is again “hearing from the Lord”

          Apostolic:  The Holy Spirit is birthing vision of Jesus and His Church in men and women who will “see over” the work of the Holy Spirit who is doing the work, not try to “oversee” the work of the Holy Spirit and interfering with it, and will have their spiritual eyes open to the revelation of Jesus Christ as He prepares to return for His Bride.

     We are truly living in an exciting time:

          The Evangelist will need the prophet to give him/her direction and spiritual insight to break down the darkness of a city and bring revival.  Old evangelistic modes will be replaced with new strategies planned and implemented by the Holy Spirit.  The evangelist needs the pastor to nurture the new converts, and the teacher to teach them while the apostle watched over them to “guard this new body” and develop it toward maturity”.

          The Pastor needs the evangelist to birth his flock; the teacher and/or the prophet to nurture and verify the flock, and the apostle to help it mature into the “fullness of Christ”.

          The Teacher needs to hear the apostle’s vision, and the prophet’s fresh word, then dig into the Word, the Bible, to verify it and teach its principles.  He/She needs the evangelist and pastor to prepare the ground and planting of the seed for his watering through the Word.

          The Prophet needs the pastor to balance his/her assertiveness; the teacher to authenticate the Word; the evangelist to initiate the word, and the apostle to verify the fresh word.

          The Apostle needs the prophet to give a fresh Word to verify his vision or revelation of Jesus; the teacher to check it out through the word; the pastor to see if his “heart” lines up with the Word as a shepherd, and the evangelist to birth the Word.

          Together they function 1) in unity 2) in revealing the knowledge of the Son of God; 3) maturing or preparing the church, the Bride, for her Groom, and 4) measuring the stature or having the church as the Revelation of Jesus Christ shining, bringing respectability.


Five-Fold Prophetic Word Continued

 Part II: The Prophetic Five-Fold Word of 1993:

           On the evening of April 15, 1993, while sitting quietly in my living room, I asked the Lord a question, “What is the five fold ministry all about.  How is it to work? “

           Here is what I wrote down that night: (Continuation of yesterday’s blog entry)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

          There will be NO TOP DOG in this church structure.  The apostle is not the top dog, neither is the prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher.  The day of the super pastor, super evangelist, super teacher, and super prophet are gone.  Instead we will be in a new day, a day of the supernatural pastor, the supernatural evangelist, the supernatural teacher, the supernatural prophet, and the supernatural apostle.  No office will be greater or lesser than another.  In the past we have been fed teaching emphasizing the greater spiritual gifts by the way that they are listed in the Bible, and blew it, for that is not true.  Beware we do not do the same thing to the five fold offices.

          Only as the members of the five fold ministry allow their star to rotate, will they see “the light of Jesus” radiating from them.  That rotating (Circle on the diagram) is the life flow of the Church!

            I see in the spirit, like on a clear night the sky being full of stars displaying the splendor of the heavens, so the earth will become like the heavens, each Spirit lead, five (fold ministry) pointed star local body, glimmering, making up county, state, and national galaxies of stars.  When the Lord returns all these star galaxies around the world will come together to shine in the Second Coming or the Feast of Lights in its “fullness”, Jesus Christ.

          The Lord showed me how these offices worked in Acts 2 when on Pentecost a “measure of His Spirit” birthed His Church, and those same offices brought “unity”, gave “knowledge of the Son of God”, began to “mature the saints”, and gave “stature or form”.  (Ephesians 4: 13) The Body of Christ will mature into His “fullness” as His Second Coming approaches.

          An apostle had to be an eye witness of Jesus Christ in the First Century, and Paul defended His apostleship by having his road to Damascus experience.  An apostle in the end times church too will have a revelation of Jesus Christ, not in a vision of His earthly or His resurrected body, but as a revelation of His Body, His Church, seeing the big picture, the reason for all five points of the star.

          The apostle will see the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, becoming fulfilled.  Instead of the book being viewed as eschatology, as a book of end times tragedies and joys (Biblical scholars were blinded in their charts and theories of Jesus’ First Coming, why would they not be any different in His Second Coming?), the apostle will see it as it’s subtitle reads, The Revelation of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit will open his eyes to reveal Jesus’ Church, His end time’s body to the apostle.

           The Old Testament priesthood is archaic: the New Testament priesthood is going from its birthing in Acts 2 to its fulfillment in the “fullness of Christ”.  The Church is about to experience a newness, another drastic change in its preparation for the communion of the Bride.  It will learn how to “sing a new song” not only individually, but corporately.  It will learn worship that they thought only could happen in the heavenlies as depicted in the book of Revelations, but that worship will be activated in the earth.

          The Church will experience a “communion” of worship with the heavenlies and the Church on the earth.  The heavenlies too sense His soon return, and will join in with the saints on earth, so when the trumpet sounds the groom's coming, His Bride will be ready and waiting because she will be in the act of worshiping, adoring, exalting, lifting up her coming Groom.  The Church, the Bride, is about to experience a “true romance” as it anticipates its coming Groom.  This will take place in her worship and in the relationship of her members to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and to each other in a depth that she has never yet experienced.

          So the apostle will “see over” the local star, or national, or international galaxy, not “oversee” it as church leaders have done in the past.  The apostle can not do this without the other four points or offices of the five fold ministry, or they can not see the whole picture.  Rejecting one of the other offices by not communicating, serving, receiving, being accountable to, or accepting them will cause spiritual blindness and cause the apostle to see “only dimly” or “in part” when the Holy Spirit wants to show the apostle the “fullness of Christ” for his local body and clarity.

                                    (Continues in next blog…..)


Five-Fold Prophetic Word


Part I: The Prophetic Five-Fold Word of 1993:

     On the evening of April 15, 1993, while sitting quietly in my living room, I asked the Lord a question, “What is the five fold ministry all about.  How is it to work? “

             Here is what I wrote down that night:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  The Lord began to show me how He wants His Church, His Body, to represent Him ruling and reigning in this time.  Jesus is currently reigning in the heavenlies on the right hand of His Father interceding for His Church, His Body, or the remnants of his earthly body, His true (Spirit and Truth worshipers) believers.  His glorified body is sitting by the Father.  The Holy Spirit has been activated to get his Bride, the Church, ready to be in a position, condition, or place to be prepared for His Second Coming, so they too can be glorified with Him.

     As a child I used to put my hands together, interlocking fingers, and begin to recite, “Here’s the church; there’s the steeple” while raising my two pointing fingers up.  Then I opened my thumbs while saying, “Open the door”  as I unfolded my hands showing my interlocking fingers, “and there’s the people”!  God’s Church is still His people. It never was meant to be a building, and never will be.  But the Lord is calling His people to the Five Fold Ministry in these end times.  He gave me a diagram to illustrate this point.  We think of a church building to be in this shape.  We put a cross at the top of it to distinguish it from any other building. The Lord is building a building, not in the natural, but in the supernatural. The building has five points.  Each point is a member of Ephesians 4:11’s Five Fold Ministry. (There is no set position for each office on the diagram.  They can be rotated.)

Each house or building or local (national or international) church of believers needs in it at least one apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher to:

     1)  Equip the saints (vs. 12);  

     2)  Build up the body (vs. 12); until we all attain to: (vs. 13)

          a)  Unity of faith;

          b)  Knowledge of the Son of God;

          c)  Maturity;

          d)  Measure of Stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Currently we only have a “measure”, but the Holy Spirit wants to lead us towards the “fullness” as He prepares the Bride who will be ‘without spot or wrinkle’, the glorified Body of the Church in the ‘fullness of Christ’ for the coming groom at Christ’s Second Coming!”

The Lord has assured me that men will make mistakes as the Holy Spirit leads them through this end times process of preparation, for one way man learns is through error.  Repentance can only come after a fall or mistake, so He will develop a repentant heart, a repentant Church.

The Lord has shown me how in my life time that He has raised up evangelists, pastors, teachers, prophets, and soon apostles not only locally but of international proportions.

In the 1970’s when the charismatic gifts were being poured out, in man’s lack of Godly wisdom and understanding, many were seeking “their gift” not knowing that the Lord’s desire is for us individually and the Church corporately to grow into the “fullness of Christ”, not in meager mustard seed measures.  We are, as a Church, to blossom into His fullness, the Bride ready for the groom.  In the ‘90’s many will scramble to find “their office”, again showing their lack of maturity in Christ.  If people scramble to do this, we will only have the shell (see diagram) of another Church structure with no life in it, and legalism will set in, and self appointed “offices” will fight and bicker with each other, and like other empty structures the Church has built in history, it too will crumble.

The Lord showed me that the star stood over where the Christ child lay during his First Coming, and a star will also mark His Second Coming.  This star will not be in the heavens above the earth, but inside the framework of the Church.  (See diagram)  That star, that light, will be the Holy Spirit manifesting Jesus Christ in His  Church through the five fold ministry.  Each “office” of the five fold ministry can not stand alone, just like a Lone Ranger Christian can not stand alone, but they need to be:

          1) Communicating with each other;

          2) Accountable to each other (Each office is a point of the star and will keep its point sharpened by the other four!)

          3) Serve each other, never Lord over each other.  There is no jockeying for positions, for you can rotate a five pointed star and no one is ever always on top.  They must give to each other!

          4) We will have to learn to receive from each other too!

          5) We will have to accept one another as peers, equals, not a hierarchy positioning.

                                    (Continues in next blog…..)


The Five Fold Option?


Part IV: Possible Linear Pattern To Evaluate!

If we are demolishing old structures and looking for new, what possibilities are there? One may be the five fold model under the following pretenses:

  • The five fold is not offices or positions but passions, desires, and points of view that drive a believer in a certain direction.      
  • The five fold is not part of a hierarchal system of professionals with titles over nonprofessional believers.
  • The five fold is evidenced by what one does, what motivates that person, what drives them, not who they are or what position they hold.      
  • The five fold is a linear process of believers walking beside other believers in their Emmaus walk of faith together, not hovering “over” someone.
  • Since each of the five fold separately has divided the Church so far in history, each must learn to serve each other and submit to one another, being willing to “lay down their lives for their brethren” in order for it to work.

Each of the five fold:

  • Is a peer to the others, an equal in the faith, that is driven by a passion, desire and point of view.     
  • Needs the other four, for one’s gifting, or strength, augments the other’s weaknesses.
  • Needs the other four to become balanced in ministry and approach.     
  • Walks beside one another serving, not ruling. (Jesus modeled this when on earth as a man.)     
  • Is relational to the others either birthing, nurturing, teaching, developing, or networking through service     

Every local church, body of believers:

  • Needs an evangelist to birth new converts, birth new projects, be the midwife to what the Holy Spirit is doing    
  • Needs an shepherd to nurture, care and develop the sheep in practical day to day faith.      
  • Needs an prophet to bring spiritual life to a church, draw others into worship, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit through obedience.       
  • Needs a teacher to keep everyone grounded in the Word, the Bible through apostolic teaching rather than religious dogma      
  • Needs an apostle to network people serving people from their strengths and callings      
  • Needs the five fold to bring birth, develop maturity, and cultivate unity.     

The five fold is a linear model worth evaluating to see if the Holy Spirit can be released among God’s people in the spirit of service.


What Does “Equipping The Saints” Mean? – Part IV

 The Only Way To Be Released Is To Release

One of the hardest things about parenting is releasing!  What! They’re 16 already, and its natural to want to be released from the “bondage” of going everywhere with your parents and counting on them for everything! They want the car keys, a driver’s license, to drive on their own? If we want them to be successful adults, we have to release them!  What! An 18 year old going off to college where there is drinking, partying, peer socializing in ways that were taboo when they lived at home! Can they morally stand on their own?  Be responsible enough to make 8 o’clock classes, develop their own proper study habits, hygiene habits? Release them!  I think it is harder for the parent experiencing an empty nest, than it is for the yearling to establish his/her own nest.  Both need to release each other: the caregiver from constantly giving, and the recipient from always receiving. It is a process called “growing up”!

Paul even is fascinated by what it takes for an immature Christian to “Grow Up” in the faith. When they are young in the faith, new in the experience of faith walking, they often stumble as new walkers do when first learning to stand on their own.  Paul calls them “carnal Christians”, those who would rather remain spoon-fed, diaper changed, cuddled and pampered rather than “growing up” and standing on their own.

The key to a Christian believer “growing up” from the perspective of the five fold who has birth them (evangelist), help them develop and grow in the faith (pastor/shepherd), taught them the Word, the Bible (teacher), guided them into how to hear from the Lord on their own (prophet), and help them to see the big picture of the Church, the family of God, as a corporate group (apostle) needing one another, is to “RELEASE”.  If we have done a proper job of “preparing” and “equipping”, no one can stand on their own unless “released”!

If we have become “enablers”, it is difficult to release, because who will do it for them if they cannot do it themselves?  Most church leadership looks at their members as never being “mature” enough to be released, thus constantly enabling them, then wonder why they haven’t grown or become independent from them! In spite of having a “heavy foot” on the gas pedal, a parent has to “release” their son/daughter to drive, even if it takes an accident to teach them why they need safe driving habits. Who hasn’t done “really stupid things” in their 20’s that they never want to admit about in their 40’s or 50’s as part of their learning process of “standing alone”, “growing up”!

When Jesus “discipled” his 12 disciples, they acted like 20 year olds, fighting for positions, trying to figure things out practically on their own, inserting foot in mouth, and often lacking the “faith” needed for the coming call.  Jesus, the Teacher, the Shepherd, had not only called them, birthed them, their Evangelist, he now was in the process of nurturing and developing them.  He was preparing them, equipping them, for what lay ahead. He didn’t freak out over their falls, their failures, their short comings, he kept pouring himself into them, willing to lay down his life for them.  He was “preparing” them!  Once he ascended into heaven, he then “equipped” them, sending His Holy Spirit. Now they were ready!

On Pentecost he RELEASED them! They were on their own, now grown up!  They were no longer called disciples nor thought of as disciples; they were apostles and began to walk, think, and act like apostles, standing tall, standing on their own.  They had been released, and were now called to “see over” what the Holy Spirit was doing to the Body of Christ, His Church, His Bride, for the purpose of “preparing” and “equipping” others to be “released” for the “kingdom of God” was no longer at hand; it was in full “Acts-tion”! They were released, a live moving forward. 

The book of Acts does not record the stupid 20-year old actions of their Pre-Pentecost experience, but records the “Acts-ions” of what they are doing as “grown up” Christians!

That is the goal of the five fold: To help the believers “Grow Up”!

And the only way to allow a child, a teen, an adolescent, to “grow up” is to eventually “release” them!  The final step to the “equipping the saints for the work of service” is the “releasing” of them.  It’s a “hands-off” policy, so the hand of God can be on them for the rest of their Christian lives of “service”.


What Does “Equipping The Saints” Mean? – Part III


Then How Is A Teacher To Be An Equipper?

After reading my last blog, you might have asked, “What is the role of the teacher in the five fold if they are ‘NOT THE TEACHER’”?  It is a different mindset than what the Westernized intellect has established.  The key may be found in how we define “equipping”?

Hypothetically, let’s say you want to “explore the North Pole”, the top of the world.  How do we prepare you for the trip; how do we equip you?  Well, Westernized intellectual thought would say to study, research, dig out all the information we can find about the North Pole, sub-zero weather conditions, climate, etc.  We want to “know”, intellectually, everything we can!  We go to school, earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s, even a Doctorate Degree in a specified area so that we become experts in the field. We rent a dog sled, because that is how early explorers got there, and go on our journey only to die by hardships; we freeze to death!  We knew everything about the journey, but did not “equip” ourselves for survival!  It takes more than intellectually “knowing” about a topic, but actually “experiencing” a topic.  If we survived enough to recuperate to go on a second expedition, we would invest in proper parkas, insulated boots and specialized gloves, proper heated, motorized equipment instead of dog sleds, etc. We will have learned from “experience” what is needed to succeed. It is a harsh climate out there! Those who follow us can read our written works, our journals, study our efforts, but it would not hurt them to call, visit, interview, and ask in depth questions from us about our “experience”.  Even with that, until they “experience” the frigid North for themselves will they truly be able to relate, to “know” what it is all about.

So it is in “learning” about faith in our spiritual journey.  Even though we have written accounts from the patriarch, Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, and accounts of Moses’ journey, Samson’s story, Daniel’s faith adventures, the many prophet’s journey, the disciples walk, and even the church’s history in the book of Acts, we still do not fully understand the truths these men have learned until we “experience it ourselves”!  That is where the rubber meets the road; where it all is transformed from theory to actuality.

The drive of a five fold teacher is to “prepare” a person for their personal journey that he is about to “experience”.  To “equip” the person with all he needs for when he is ready to do the journey alone.   Walking with a brother/sister in the Lord, beside him, next to him through life’s experiences, teaching Kingdom of God principles to practical life applications is Jesus method of teaching his disciples. When the teacher is gone, hopefully you can stand on your own for he has “prepared” you to do so.  It is more than mentoring, for IJohn 3:16 says we ought to “lay down our lives for our brethren”.  I have had several Christian mentors in my life, but they were not willing to sacrificially lay down their lives for me when needed. Jesus, the ultimate teacher, was ready to “lay down his life” so his pupils, students, disciples, apostles, so they could stand on their own after his resurrection and ascension. He had prepared them.

He also “equipped” them.  He gave them everything that they needed upon his departure to stand on their own.  The same Spirit that descended upon Him at his baptism was given to them when the Holy Spirit fell upon them!  He had been led by the Spirit to the dessert, to places of quietness, to crowded areas, places of mass ministry, to the sick to heal them, and even to Jerusalem to the Cross to fulfill his life’s calling!  He has given each Christian believer that same Holy Spirit to “teach him all things”, to “say the right things for them when needed”, to “lead them, guide them”.  He has “equipped” them with “spiritual gifts” for effective communications with Him and through Him.  He has given them “faith”, “hope”, “love”, “peace”, “spiritual armor”, purpose, etc. Like the parka’s, transportation, etc. of the North Pole explorers, Jesus has given those things not only to “survive”, but those things needed to “strive”, to succeed to the goal!

The ultimate dream of a five fold teacher is to have his students “experience” God, faith, agape love, forgiveness, repentance, righteousness, holiness, obedience, etc. on his own, using the principles of the kingdom of God that they were taught when walking next to them in life’s experiences.  When they “experience” God on their own, standing firm in the faith, moving forward in the Spirit, toward the goal, the prize of the Kingdom, Jesus, as a five fold teacher you can have the satisfaction that you have succeeded!  That is the goal of a five fold teacher.


What Does “Equipping The Saints” Mean? – Part II

 It’s Not Your Job To Be The Teacher

I have been a public school teacher for 40 years!  For forty years teaching has been my job.  That is how I financially supported my family.  It became my identity, defining who I am.  I would introduce myself as, “I am Anthony Bachman; I teach 8th grade at Spring Grove Middle School.” Being acknowledged as “Teacher of the Year” by my school district during the last year of my career was a fulfilling honor, signifying my professional growth as a struggling “new teacher”, maturing into a master teacher, gleaning from other educators that I admired, being willing to change with the times, the climate, the new swing in educational philosophy over a four decade experience.  All that changed in June of 2011 when I retired”.  Then I discovered that I was still a teacher, in spite of my new employment status, for it was what drives me; it’s my passion.

I was fortunate having Clarence Barnhart who received the honor of being one of the Top 10 Qualifiers for Teacher Of The Year for the state of Pennsylvania as my educational mentor.  He was dynamic, creative, highly organized, motivated, loved kids, love coaching by introducing track to athletes and developing them for High School, great at intramurals, willing to try new ideas while incorporating multi-disciplines into his teaching style.  Rather than lecturing and showing filmstrips and films about the Revolutionary War, he taught students how to research history for themselves, how to dig for answers, how to discover history nationally, state wide, and even locally.  His students not only “knew” their history but “experienced” it!  That is what teaching is all about: not only knowing your subject matter, but experiencing it, living it, consuming it, making it part of your being!

As I began my retirement, I spent time reading my Bible.  I soon realized that Jesus’ model of teaching differed from my Westernized thought and experience.  Jesus never took a “course” or “earned a degree”, but confounded the spiritual intellects of his day at the Temple when he was only 12 years old!  He “earned the respect” of being called “rabbi”, teacher, for what he taught and how he taught with “power”.  Now a successful rabbi, he never founded a College or University on “new Jewish thought”, but chose 12 of the most unlikely candidates in which to invest his “teaching” career. He walked with them, discussed one on one with them, lived with them, ate with them, taught them through life experiences, even taking them to Jerusalem and to face the cross and his resurrection.  Their education continued on the Road to Emmaus, as they were explained “all things” and the fulfillment of the gospel by Jesus.  With his ascension, their education came through the Holy Spirit who taught them that in Christ there is no difference between male nor female, Jew or gentile, master or slave, nor rich or poor.  How I taught for forty years as a public school teacher was so foreign to the way Jesus taught in his three-year career as a rabbi, or teacher.  I taught academics; Jesus taught experience.  I taught intellectual theory; Jesus taught practical everyday life style.  I taught through my intellect; Jesus taught through His Spirit!

Just as I became a “professional” educator and thought my way was the correct way; it is easy to become a “professional” Christian, a member of the clergy, who can feel his way is the correct way.  We have been “trained” to think and act “professionally”, intellectually.  It’s our job!  It is the way we identify ourselves.  It becomes who we are, and if the Holy Spirit shows us that our mind set is foreign to the actual ways of teaching the gospel, we become defensive and personally assaulted. At least I did as a professional educator.  All my higher educated role models, professors, lectured “what they knew through their P.H.D. degrees” to us students; all our higher elevated role models, senior pastors, Bishops, etc., preach, religiously lecture, to us “what they know through their theological doctorate degrees”. Their methods of teaching are the same, yet “lecturing” has been proven one of the most ineffective ways of teaching! Having students “experience” their material is far more effective.

In “equipping the saints for the work of service,” we often feel we, the teachers in the Church, have to teach the materials that we are most comfortable with in our own faith journeys.  Here is the hard lesson that I have had to learn: I AM NOT the teacher; Jesus, His Holy Spirit, IS the teacher. Jesus, upon his ascension to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, promised to send the Holy Spirit “who will teach you all things”. He is the teacher. Jesus continually taught through example while being a human on earth. His teaching HAS NOT ceased, for His Holy Spirit has been sent to CONTINUE the job.  We need to get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to teach!

If someone opens the Bible on their own, the Holy Spirit can teach them its truth; it is called “revelation”. He, the Holy Spirit, is the “revealer of truth”!  Some of the best teaching comes through private daily devotions when it is only the individual believer with the Holy Spirit reading the Word, the Bible, together privately.  The Holy Spirit “recalls” those passages in the believers every day life, making the Logos Word, the written Word, the Rhema Word, the living word.  Not only does the Holy Spirit help the believer in Jesus to “hear” the Word in their private time together, but calls them to be “doers” of the Word, experiencing it!

Bottom Line: If we are to be teachers helping to “equip the saints for the work of service”, we need to teach them how to hear the Holy Spirit on their own, how to be obedient to what has been “revealed”, seen & heard, and learn to walk out their faith on their own, relying only on the Holy Spirit.  Then we have “equipped” them properly.  It has nothing to do with the intellect; it has everything to do with “obedience” to the Holy Spirit, so let’s allow the HOLY SPIRIT to be the TEACHER! It’s just NOT our job! It’s HIS!


America & The Church: Why We Need The 5 Fold More Now Than Ever?

Only Unity In Vision Through Diversity Can The Church Meet Today’s Challenges!

With all the negative adds during an election year, all the faults and weakness of America is exposed to the world.  The United States has its challenges, many that are huge in nature and scope, but the candidates all promise change if elected, stability if they become Commander in Chief, learning from the past, and prophetically looking to hope for the future, while promising oversight to the ideals of the Constitution.  Sounds like the Five Fold to me: birth (evangelist), maintenance & growth (shepherd), learning from the past and teaching of our founding principles (teacher), hope for the future (prophet), and oversight for the good of America (apostle).  Even secular government understands the power of the five fold in creating a well-balanced effective form of government to serve its people!  Why doesn’t the Church recognize that same power and practice it?

Four years ago, Obama ran on the motto of “change”; this year Romney ran on the motto of “real change”.  Change is the promise to kick off both campaigns. Evangelists thrive on change, on birth, and on rebirth!  “You must be born again”; you must be willing to change. The politician knows you can’t move forward unless there is change. The demographics of the country change, and so must the way the country is to be govern.  The Church also knows it cannot move forward unless there is also change.  Societal demographics change, yet for centuries that Roman Catholic Church maintained only Latin for their Masses, the format for Protestant services are still basically the same since the Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther.  The evangelists majors in birth and rebirth. Who better to move the Church forward than the evangelist if we want revival.  Every Revival Movement in Church history is birthed in the evangelistic spirit.  The Church needs to equip, develop, and release those Christian brothers and sisters whose passion is for birth, rebirth, the evangelistic spirit.

Who is going to take care of the elderly, the severely ill, the poor, the homeless, the rejected and dejected members of our society?  Because we have Social Security, Medicare, and Public Welfare in place, we “expect” those services and rely on the government to “maintain” them and “take care” of those in need!  If you want to lose an election attack those institutions where people have become dependent on their services for basic survival. Government understands the importance of taking care of its people; the Church needs to also understand that principle.  Those in most churches “depend” on the “pastor” and his staff to take care of those in need in their congregation, so they can avoid direct contact with those in need amongst their brethren.  Every church, without exception, needs the pastoral/shepherding element if it wishes to keep and maintain its sheep. The evangelist may birth, but if what was birthed is not maintained and experience growth, death will occur! The church needs to equip, develop, and release those Christian brothers and sisters whose passion is to help their fellow brethren and those in need to grow in Jesus Christ through practical daily applications.

Knowing ones history, ones strengths, and ones principles that is the backbone of its existence and applying those truths to move forward is the strength of a teacher.  Educations is always at the core of national political election, because education is always the investment in one’s future, its strengthening of its presence, and the power of unleashing future potential.  The Roman Catholics understand this principle establishing a parochial school system in American to instill Roman Catholic ideals in its youth.  The Church as a whole must embrace this truth, realizing that through education the Church will maintain, develop, and strengthen itself for the present as well as the future.  The teaching gift of the five fold is so desperately needed to implant, develop, grow, and strengthen, equip, and release those brothers and sisters in the Lord in their calling, their destiny, maturing them toward the image of Jesus Christ while developing Church unity.

Hope is essential for a country to continue to develop, and government has learned that role; ask F.D.R. & Churchill in the leadership roles they played in their countries during World War II. In times of darkness, the prophetic voice is needed not only for correction, but to resound the “Word” of “Hope”.  The Constitution of the United States is a written document outlining the ideals of America, but if the people do not make the Constitution a “living document” which is applied in everyday life, it is useless and legalistic.  The same is with the Church, for if it takes the Law, the Bible, the Logos Word, the written Word, and is not willing to make it a Rhema Word, a living Word, then their religion is legalistic and worthless.  The Church needs the prophetic life to continue to make relevant one’s faith.

No country is strong unless its leadership is strong and has the capability of “see over” what is happening to its people in good times and in bad, then release those forces, those people, those services, those government programs needed to keep their nation strong and solvent.  The same is with the Church, but unlike the C.E.O. mentality of leadership that the American business model has projected: a leader who is in control, is dictatorial, who believes the buck stops with him and his ego.  The Church needs leadership that is humble, based on service and selflessness, who is willing to release others rather than doing it himself, who is willing to see what the Holy Spirit is doing in the Church’s midst and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to be subservient to that voice in obedience, recognizing the Holy Spirit’s control, not their own.

Again, government recognizes the power of the five fold: birth, maintenance & growth, education, hopeful application, and proper oversight. Ephesians 4 outlines the same principles for the Church to follow in “equipping”, or preparing, its members, the priesthood of believers in Jesus Christ, through service to develop individual maturity into the image of Jesus Christ, and corporate maturity through unity to usher in the return of Jesus, the groom, for His Bride, the Church.  Church, let’s not only recognize the need for the five fold, but begin to utilize the truth Ephesians 4 has to offer.


The Five Fold Is Already In Your Church; I Sincerely Hope So!

Ways The Church Might Change: Point 10

[In a previous blog I have outlined 10 possible changes the Church may face in the future. This is point 10 in the series: God has been reestablishing the evangelist, pastor, teacher, prophet, and apostle back into the Church. They are in the Church now!  This generation has to be open to allowing the Holy Spirit to bring them together through submission and releasing one another to operate in their passions, callings, and voices to bring unity to the body of Christ and being effective.]

As you have seen throughout this series, I believe revival in the Church will come through relationships vertically with the Godhead and horizontally among believers while demanding total trust in the Spirit of Jesus Christ to lead the way.   If you have read my series on metamorphosis, you would also know that I believe that the Church is in a time of transformation, a cocoon stage, where the current slow cumbersome caterpillar structure of the Church is being transformed into a complete different structure, a hard shelled resilient structure of a butterfly that will allow it to fly.  The Church is in a period of change, but as members of the Church, the Priesthood of Believers, the Bride of Christ, are we willing to embrace these changes?

One of the changes that is occurring is the reestablishment of the five fold of Ephesians 4 back into the church as passions, gifts, points of view, and voices in individual believers to make them more Christ-like and bring unity within the Church that has not existed for the last 20 centuries.

Every local Christian church needs an evangelistic passion to win the lost and proclaim the message, “You must be born again” of “the water and the spirit”.  With revival is always a powerful movement of new believers in Jesus Christ.  The evangelistic spirit is the spirit of birthing, and every local church needs that spirit in order to grow in number.

Every local Christian church needs a pastoral, shepherding spirit that nurtures, cares, develops, equips, trains, and releases their believers towards ministry, “works of service”.  The evangelist births, but the pastoral/shepherd nurtures these newborns through their spiritual childhood and adolescence to prepare, equip, and train them in Christ-like character development to release them to be able to stand and advance the kingdom of God as mature believers. The pastoral/shepherding spirit is the spirit of development, and every local church needs that spirit in order to grow in character in Christ-likeness.

Every local Christian church needs the teaching spirit. The Word of God, the Bible, is the foundation of all that happens in the Church. Every Christian, without exception, needs someone to help them understand the Word of God for themselves through the tutorage of the Holy Spirit.  Every Christian needs to memorize scripture, exercise the knowledge of knowing or recalling scripture, and bases everything they do upon the Word of God. The teaching spirit sets the foundation for the Church, so every local church needs that spirit in order to stand firm.

Every local Christian church needs the prophetic spirit, the capability to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit for themselves, as well as being able to take the Logos Word, the written Word, the Bible, and make it the Rhema Word, the living Word.  The 1st Century Church took the Logos Word, what today is known as the Old Testament, and made it the Rehma Word, the living word, as they lived out their new faith and recorded it, thus the New Testament.  The prophetic spirit activates life into the Church, so every local church needs the prophetic spirit to move forward in living out their faith.

Every local Christian church needs the apostolic spirit, the ability to “see” what the Holy Spirit is doing and saying and be obedient to it, the ability to identify giftings in other believers and equip and train them in their Christian development, and the ability to release other believers in their gifting, their calling, their destiny in Jesus Christ.  Instead of administrators in a business sense, the Church needs developers and investors in other Christian believers, people with spiritual parenting skills. The apostolic spirit brings unity, direction, harmony, and stability to the Church, so every local church needs the apostolic spirit for direction and over sight.

Now for the shocking conclusion: I believe all these spirits are already in people in your local congregation. The five fold is already present, seeking to be manifested right among yourself.  All we must do is embrace the Holy Spirit to birth, develop, and release these passions, visions, and points of view among us, the believers in Jesus Christ, the Priesthood of Believers.  They need to be “activated” among the laity in order to be effective. Clergy/laity labels must cease, so all believers in Jesus Christ can be empowered, developed, equipped, and released into their destiny in the kingdom of God.  The key to the next revival is that it will touch “all” believers in Jesus Christ, not just the professionals, nor the old establish believers, nor the chosen few.  It will be a massive world wide movement to remove the “spot and wrinkles” of the Bride, the Church, in preparation for the Groom, Jesus’ return.  It will impact Church structure like no movement in history has, not even the Great Reformation.  I prophesy that the way my great-grandchildren do Church as adults will look nothing like the pew sitting, hymn singing, pulpit preaching church services of my great-grandparents.  Church, if we want REVIVAL, we must be prepared for change, and be open to what the Holy Spirit desires to lift the name of Jesus and establish the Kingdom of God over the entire earth! Revival, come!