Have you ever noticed lately that Ephesians 4:11 ministers are flowing and fellowshipping together more by their function? Pastors are fellowshipping with pastors, evangelists with evangelists, teachers with teachers, apostles with apostles and prophets with prophets. This is healthy, but the mix is even better. We need one another.
Philip the evangelist went down to Samaria, but the apostles at Jerusalem sent Peter and John to go down to help him (Acts 8:14-17).
Prophets and teachers were praying and fasting in Antioch before the Holy Ghost gave them direction to separate two of them for apostolic work (Acts 13:1-3).
Paul and Barnabas made many disciples in the cities they preached in and then returned to strengthen them before appointing elders to care for them (Acts 14:21-23). Elders primarily constitute the pastoral ministry, who are also teachers.
Generally speaking, what we see in the book of Acts is apostles starting works and elders taking care of the people.
2022, the Year of the Evangelist
At the beginning of this year, the Lord spoke to my heart and said that 2022 was the year of the evangelist. That sounded strange to me, but I understood it as there would be a greater emphasis placed on the harvest and the salvation of souls, because the church has turned inward for too long, and evangelists need to be winning souls en masse and equipping soul-winners to do the same.
For example, the seed of past evangelists was focused more on the individual ministry, but Reinhard Bonnke's sacrificial ministry, Christ for All Nations, is multiplying seed on the earth through his successor, evangelist Daniel Kolenda. It is a marvelous example of Spirit-led ministry and multiplication. Each ministry gift should multiply after its kind. It's a spiritual law and our mandate. Be fruitful and multiply!
Evangelists have grace to start movements and activate joy and excitement for winning souls and miracles (Acts 8), and apostles are needed to go in and build and establish churches that fruit might remain, much as they did in Samaria. We are endeavoring to model this in the nation of Guinea Bissau.
Order of Ministry Gifts for Maximum Fruit
"First apostles" (1 Cor. 12:28b), but in that early day, they were counted last, and the filth and offscouring of the earth (1 Cor. 4:9-14). Today many strut and love the preeminence and celebrity status.
"Second prophets" (1 Cor. 12:28b), but true ones have always been persecuted (Matt. 5:12; 23:29-37). Today they are pampered and paraded with pomp and pageantry, and deceive many (Matt. 24:11).
"Third teachers" (1 Cor. 12:28b). Shepherding and teaching is what new converts need the most. Believe it or not, teaching was the foundation of Jesus' ministry. If you'll go through the Gospels, you'll see that (Matt. 4:23). It's a watering ministry that brings growth and refreshing and builds the faith and understanding of the hearers.
The Restoration of Character
The quality of character was much deeper in the early apostles and prophets, and that character is the beginning of the coming restoration that the Lord is bringing back into His church. Example is the most potent element of discipleship and holds everything together.
Have you ever noticed that the rhetorical questions Paul asked concerning the ministries—not gifts—listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 are asked of all but two of them? Paul does not ask if all have the gifts of helps and governments. The answers to the rest are "no," so we can safely conclude that the answer must be "yes" to all being in the ministry of helps and government. I am presently digging deep on this one.
All I know is that it's time to build more efficiently.
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Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing today. The Tumultuous 2020s and Beyond is his latest release to help believers navigate through the new decade and emerge as an authentic remnant. Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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