THOSE CHRIST GAVE TO EQUIP GOD’S PEOPLE
Viewed as offices, at least one or two of these five roles would not remain active today. For instance, the office of apostle would include the qualification of having seen the resurrected Lord Jesus. Certainly, no one today could make that claim. However, viewed as “gifts,” as the NLT here translates it, the five may be considered not only active, but critical in the equipping of God’s people in the church.
Although the word “gifts” is not in the original Greek, it might be considered implied by the original, “he gave.” Viewing the five as gifts or as giftings, the characteristics of these five might be described as follows:
– APOSTLE – A gifted and passionate pioneer, who extends the mission of the church into new and healthy ways, breaking ground in new cultures, always looking to plant new churches where gospel hasn’t been heard.
– PROPHET – A gifted and passionate guardian of God’s Word, concerned with applying it to God’s people, calling for holiness and loyalty.
-EVANGELIST – A gifted and passionate proclaimer of the gospel as the core message of the church, a powerful enlister who invites people far from God to draw near.
– PASTOR/SHEPHERD – A gifted and loving nurturer and passionate defender of the flock, concerned for people care and maintaining unity in the family of God.
-TEACHER – A gifted communicator who is able to lead God’s people into deeper understanding of His Word, able to take complex things and explain them in simple, yet accurate and memorable ways, passionate about study and helping other to grow in knowledge and practice.
Viewed as “giftings,” doesn’t every church need all five in order to rightly equip the saints?