Paul has described four gifts given specifically to the church: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers. These four ministries have a very specific purpose:
- To prepare God's people for works of service,
- thereby building up the body of Christ
- and leading us into united Christ-like maturity.
Let's look a little closer:
1. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers need to equip God's people for works of Service (Grk is Diaconia - where we get the word "deacons" from). They are not to do the work, but equip and inspire God's people to get stuck in.
2. This builds up the Body of Christ. There are many other Spiritual Gifts (See the lists in Romans 12 and 1Corinthians 12) and when the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers equip the God's People to use these gifts, then it builds up the church.
3. When the people of God put their faith into action, it increases faith, enhances their experience of Christ, promotes unity and leads to maturity. (There is less time to be petty when there is work to do!) When we are willing to serve and use our gifts and take faith-risks then we grow in the image of Christ and will eventually become more and more like Christ until His fullness can be seen in us!
This is why God has given four gifts to the church.
Let's be excited about the goal He has for us:
Unified, faith-filled service that brings us closer and closer to Christ.