Five-fold Puzzle

Over the weekend I heard yet another sermon on the five-fold ministries of Ephesians 4.

\n

Apostle. Prophet. Evangelist. Pastor. Teacher.

\n

That’s four, five times this year?

\n

It seems to be common currency in the church at the moment, like the theme of ‘discipleship’. And like the theme of discipleship, preachers and teachers aren’t going deeper and either asking difficult questions or explaining in detail what they mean.

\n

For example, here’s something I’ve never heard preachers discuss.

\n

    \n

  • How are these five gifts to be distributed within the church?
  • \n

\n

There’s plenty of talk about what these gifts are for, or how they work, but no sense of whether everyone should expect to use one or more of these gifts in the church.

\n

For example, while it’s possible that everyone may be gifted in one or more of these five-fold ministries, it’s by no means obvious from scripture that that is the case. But if these gifts aren’t for everyone – why not?

\n

So what is the premise of the sermon? Is it really a sermon about about church organisation?

\n

Again, that is an angle I’ve never heard expounded in detail. Why isn’t the church isn’t organised to allow these gifts to be used appropriately? In fact, some churches are organised specifically to exclude some people from certain gifts because of their gender. Some are excluded by their age. Some by their education. Some by common sense (how many Apostles can one church take!)

\n

Anyway, while this puzzles me every time I hear the sermon it troubles hardly any of the churches in my chosen denomination. As long we have a warden, a treasurer, a secretary and hopefully at least a part of a vicar, we’ll be OK.

\n

Although that’s getting harder too.

\n