A Gift for Today...continued
The ministry gifts are given by the risen Christ to the church to function within the church to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Eph 4:8 This is why it says: "When he
ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
It does not matter if you count these gifts as four or five separate entities; the point is that these ministries are functioning within the church.
These ministry gifts are to equip the church for the work of the ministry. They are not titles or positions or offices to be occupied but functions, both inside and outside the local church and are not to be confused with the government of the church.
Ian Jagelman in his book "The Empowered Church" (16) says:
"Many years ago I interviewed Loren Cunningham, the
founder of Youth with a Mission, on the subject of leadership. Loren made a
statement I have never forgotten. He said 'A true leader is a leaders of
leaders'. In terms of pure logic, the statement makes no sense, because
eventually you run out of leaders to be led by leaders to be led by leaders.
But the truth of the statement is none the less significant.
Again in the book "Identifying and developing Christian Leaders" (17) Ian Jagelman says,
"In 'The Empowered Church', the focus was so much on leadership that some pastors who read it felt I was saying that leadership was more important than ministry. That was never my intention but I retain my conviction that ' ministry builds people but leadership builds churches', and that if we do not have healthy growing churches then our capacity to minister is severely restricted."
Ministry gifts should not and were never meant to be one and the same as the government of the church. The government of the church should be made up of men and women who are leaders, whether they are a gift person or not, and gift people whether they are a leader or not.
In fact, these gift people personify the ministries that the body is equipped, by them, to move in. Any one of the ministerial functions is open to both male and female. There were female prophets, Acts 21:9, Philip's daughters, and female apostles, Romans 16:7, Junia, and I am sure further study would reveal more women involved in the ministry.
In parts of India they believe that the Pastor is:
The outcome of this is a one-man band model in the church.