The church then, operated in the five fold ministry. The church now, has modernized the five fold ministry into a concept that only highlights these gifts from a historical aspect.
Paul’s writing of Ephesians was never meant to be historical but remain a consistent plan of application even today.
There is a critical observation to be made here; and it is this. Why would God give this gift to the early church and not to church now?
Ephesians 4:11-14 [amp] And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), Some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders),Some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries),
Some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
His intention was the perfecting(maturing) and the fully equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church).
[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might grow in the completeness of Christ ] the full measure of his.
So we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro between teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, and every shifting form of trickery of the devil.
Leadership’s task; to prepare God’s people for works of service. Not to do the work of the ministry; leaders are to prepare the laity to minister [serve].
It is here that we have missed the application of the bodies purpose, and developed congregational patterns that do not complete the purpose of Ephesians 4:11-14.
Too often leaders are hired by a congregation to do the “work of the ministry.” The pastor is expected to teach. To evangelize. To counsel. To visit the sick. To pray with the discouraged.
If the church grows in size and new members are added, it is taken as an indication that their local congregation is healthy and the minister is doing his job.
If the church fails to grow or the budget is not met, the one to blame is the minister. After all, he was hired by the church to minister.
The body of Christ is a living organism, where every cells contributes. The body’s health depends on each cell fulfilling its function. No one cell can carry out the functions of the living organism. No one cell was ever intended to do so.
The role of leaders within the church has always been to help the members of the body grow in capacity to minister; to help each other, and use his or her spiritual gifts. The role of leaders has always been to lead all believers into a fulfilling life of service.
In (Eph. 4:12–16). Paul states we are to build up the body, “until we all reach unity in the faith … and become mature” (v. 13). The first ministry of believers is to other believers.
It is vital that we “grow up into Him” if we are to be a valid expression of Jesus in this world. The whole body “grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (v. 16).
This is sometimes hard to comprehend because we are leader centric, not leadership centric. We see the poor and establish plans to meet the need. We look at the world and are burdened by the need for evangelism. We look at the suffering and are compelled to comfort and care.
So we focus on organizing the local church to undertake one or more of these tasks. We program evangelistic efforts and buy more buses. We commit ourselves to an active social welfare involvement. All too often we lose sight of the fact that the first function of the body is to build itself.
If no one else understands you do.