We have served with a portion of the body of Christ who for decades have emphasized the restoration of the five-fold ministry. In the 80's there was a great emphasis on the restoration of the prophet and starting around 2000 there was a growing emphasis on the apostle. When a truth is restored, it is first celebrated and then for a season it goes under the magnifying glass so we can learn how it works. I've observed that if our adversary cannot stop a truth being restored, then he will try to get us to take it to excess. I fear that the over emphasis on the restoration of certain gifts has stroked some egos such that instead of saying like the Psalmist does in Psalm 34:3, "Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together," some of us have erred. Our words and actions seem to say, "oh magnify my name and let us exalt my ministry together." In doing so we begin to assume the church and ministry belong to us when you and I both know it is not ours. Why even the gifts that He gave us are His gifts. it's under our stewardship to serve His Church, for His purpose and for His glory; for when Jesus is lifted up, then He will draw all men unto Him.
So, let me begin, where we'll end. Jesus gave us the five-fold ministry to, say this slowly, Jesus gave us the five-fold to .... equip.... the saints... for... the work of the ministry. The word translated ministry is the Greek word diakonia. It means the service of a Christian teacher, the diaconate or minister. The root word means minister or deacon.
The purpose of the five-fold is to equip the saints to do the work of the minister. Our job is to equip each person for the ministry. Each person: everyone is called to be a minister. Their job and the church's role is just like Jesus' role which is to:
- Present the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:17, Matthew 24:14, Mark 16:17-18, and Matthew 28:19-20).
- Destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
- Show forth the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10).
My friends, it's harvest time. It's time for the glory of the Lord to be revealed. It's time to deploy the net, on beautiful destiny at a time. It's time to take our focus off ourselves and the Church and..... magnify our Lord Jesus Christ for when He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.