Five Fold Ministry

By Dr. Rosemary Barnes


In this paper are the questions that must be completed by someone who wants to be considered as a Word Ministry School candidate.

     The school’s general information statement and this paper concerning the fivefold ministry must be studied   soon after interest in level four involvement has been expressed to the director.     The person is to send through email answers to the questions asked in this paper.  After that the person will have another meeting time with the director.


The birth of River of Life Ministries
 In 1976, the Lord gave, my husband, Robert and me, insight on Ephesians 4:11--16.
     After we searched for a church home that had a revelation of this passage, I heard the Lord said to me, What is that in your hand, Moses? 
     I knew that the Moses applied to both Robert and me and that we were to begin having church services ourselves.       Therefore, we opened up our living room to begin our church on 1/5/1980.  
    At the time I heard the Lord telling us to start a church we were the teachers of the College and Career class at First Assembly of God in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 
   We went to see the pastor, Wayne Benson, to tell him of our plans. He was very supportive and gave us his blessing.
    At the beginning of the church we had not even thought of becoming ordained to do this work. We were simply excited to see what the Lord was going to do with us.
 I had stayed at the home of Pastor Charles and Bobbie Stilwell in Spring Valley, California in the summer of 1975.  Charles had been a Methodist pastor for over two decades before he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Charles had started a ministry called Home Ministry Fellowship (in 1965).


     In  1980, shortly after we had started River of Life Ministries, Charles called us to say the Lord had told him to ordain the two of us.  The Lord took care of what had not even occurred to us! 
    To this day, we are still a part of that ministry.  (I, Rosemary, am now the president of HMF, Robert, my husband, is the vice president.  Other River of Life people on the board of directors are John and Karen Roark, Cliff Baker, and Karen Vander Vliet.)
    Ephesians 4:11?16, that passage that inspired our church to be established says: 
11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: [14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
   The major ministry insight from this passage for us was that all ministry offices, i.e., the fivefold ministry -- apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers -- exist to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry.  The work of the ministry is to bring all saints into the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for all to live in perfection in the fullness of Christ. For this to happen, truth must lovingly be spoken. All people in the Body of Christ His church must add their part in love to build up the church. 
The work of any local church is twofold.
1.  Bring people into Christ.
2.  Teach, train, and perfect the people into being filled with Christ and walking in Him.
     We find this twofold purpose in what is called The Great Commission.  This is a command given to us, His disciples, by the Lord Jesus Christ just before He left this earth.
Matthew 28:18    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. [19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
    Getting people into Christ is often considered the special gift of the Evangelist.  The Evangelist should be perfecting the saints to do the work of the ministry regarding evangelism as well as actively evangelizing.
    The other fivefold ministers -- the apostle, prophet, pastor, and teacher -- are commonly more involved in the process of teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.   All these ministry workers should also be teaching all the saints how to be apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, and apt to teach.  Learning these things does not make the individual saint a fivefold ministry but it does teach him how to do the work of the ministry.  If the other four ministry offices do what they are supposed to do, they will perfect the saints in the area of their own gifting. All saints can be evangelistic, apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, and able to teach others.  An evangelistic person would be praying for open doors of witnessing and telling the lost about the Savior.  An apostolic person would be quick to be sent on a mission even if it meant bearing reproach. A prophetic person would have their spiritual ear to God and share what they hear with the congregation.  A pastoral person would disciple and care for others one and one and in small groups. A person with a desire to teach would be continually flowing forth with Gods Word and it's practical, daily applications.
     All of our work is to either fulfill God telling us to Go ye therefore and teach so they will be baptized (I.e., come into a saving relationship with the Lord) or to teach people to observe all that Jesus commanded. The latter directive involves ongoing discipling of Christians until they look and act like their Lord.
     Paul, the apostle, said his goal was to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Colossians 1:28     Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
    The fivefold minister must perfect the saints in the ministry of helping people grow up into Christ.
1.  What is the work of the church on this earth?
2.  Who does the Lord use to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry?


3.  What is the goal of the work of the ministry?
The Work of the Ministry

     What is the work of the ministry? 
     All service that is done in order to bring people into the Body of Christ (His church) and to bring the church into the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ is the work of the ministry.
      What is the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ?   When every man can be presented perfect to Christ (Colossians 1:28) we can truly say that we -- His Body, His Bride, His Church, -- are totally filled with Him and that we have left the world, the flesh, and the devil far behind us.  We will have totally died to self and will be living in union with Him. We will be lovingly and joyfully obeying Him. 
    Because of what is commonly taught, so many Christians do not realize that the Lord's plan for His church is for her to be without spot or wrinkle, for her to be a perfect reflection of Him!
    Too often people say, “We will never be perfect”; however, the Word clearly teaches that the Lord expects us to aim for perfection because that is His plan for us!
    Look at these verses and passages that speak of our being perfect, sinless, unblameable, spiritual, holy, blameless, and without spot or offence.
Matthew 5:48     Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Titus 2:14     Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1 John 3:6    Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. [7] Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. [8] He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. [9] Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. [10] In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. [11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
2 Cor. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Romans 8:4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephes. 4:22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
2 Peter 1:5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Philip. 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
1 Thes. 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
1 Thes. 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Rev. 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
2 Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Ephes. 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Col. 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col. 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Hebrews 13:20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephes. 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.


     This state of perfection can only be attained when we abide in Christ.  When we abide in Him we draw from His divine ability to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.  When Jesus was on earth, He fulfilled the law through the Holy Spirit in Him thus showing us we could do the same through His Spirit in us.
     This maturity comes through a process of hearing and applying the Word of God over months and years! 


    We share verses such as the following:
Col. 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
 The glory of God is the weight of His majesty, His essence, His character, His very being and all that concerns Him. Because Christ is growing in us, we have the hope that one day WE will be filled with all the fullness of God! (See again Ephesians 3:19)
John 15:2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Philip. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Ephes. 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
 The New Testament, I.e., the New Covenant
 Many Christians who have not been taught that -- as we remain in Christ -- we can mature to the point that we no longer walk after the flesh but we walk in the Spirit of righteousness, are not aware that this walk of righteousness is the whole purpose of the New Covenant that Jesus Christ came to usher in!
    When He drank the wine to represent His blood in what is commonly called The Last Supper, this is what He said:
Luke 22:20     Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
   His disciples were versed in the Old Covenant scrolls that were shared at the synagogue they attended. They knew what the New Testament would be.  It is prophesied in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 31:31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Ezekiel prophesied concerning the new covenant:
Ezekiel 11:19     And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Ezekiel 36:25    Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. [26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.


    Some may think that the New Testament is all about a grace given us to forgive sins so that they don't have to be concerned about living holy lives.  The New Testament was given to us to enable us to have a brand new heart (I.e., we are born again), He puts His Spirit in our heart, and He gives us His grace -- His divine ability influencing our hearts-- to be about to walk in His righteousness.   Yes, of course, if we do sin, He also graciously forgives:
1 John 1:9     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    But we Christians are so excited about His grace that forgives (because then we can stay immature without fear of hell), that we overlook the New Testament in His blood that gives us grace to overcome sin! As we grow up into Him, we should be sinning less and less and living in His ways more and more!
    The fact is: The Christian who lives in the flesh and ignore the divine ability through the Spirit of Christ to overcome the flesh is in far greater trouble than the Old Testament people were when they sinned!
Hebrews 10:29     Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


    Lest the reader wonder if, in fact, that which was prophesied in Jeremiah is the New Testament truth for us today, read what the writer of Hebrews has to say in speaking of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ:
Hebrews 8:6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Fivefold ministers are Word ministers
 The teachers and preachers of the Word who stand before the congregation are ordinarily members of the fivefold ministry work team and that is why we sometimes call them Word ministers at our church. The Word itself washes us and God uses the Word ministers to be the ones speaking the work to us.
     Ephes. 5:26     That he might sanctify and cleanse it {I.e., His church} with the washing of water by the word,
 The Word ministers are to share the whole counsel of God.
2 Tim. 3:16     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 Because the Fivefold Word Ministry has been entrusted with training the saints in the Word, each minister must love the Word and plan to spend all of his or her life in learning and growing in it! 
     A person who dislikes studying the Word cannot become a fivefold minister!  The Word is to a minister as food is to a chef.   The Word is what we are entrusted with by God to give to His people to cause them to grow. 
   We must want to know the entire Bible.
    We must be humble and admit when something we read contradicts some pet doctrine we hold. We must be seekers of truth who never cease to have the courage to tell it like it is in the Bible.
      Even though it is the special office gift of the fivefold minister to share the Word before the congregation, all the saints, all of us, must learn the Word thoroughly.
Ministers must encourage the saints to study and teach them how to do it. 
   At our church we tell the saints to be like the saints in Berea: 
Acts 17:10    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. [11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
     They listened to the words of the apostles, but, they also studied the Word to make sure what the apostles said was in harmony with the Bible.
     All should be equipped to share the Word with others.     The Lord allows many life circumstances to come our way to purify us. In the midst of many trials we must STAY in Christ.   Much of the ministry saints share with one another to make sure we endure and grow as Christians consists of sharing the words in the Bible that remind us to STAY strong IN HIM. When Christian friends who have been taught the Word get together to comfort, edify and exhort one another they are doing the work of the ministry with one another.  It is the job of the fivefold minister to both equip the saints to do this and to fervently desire for them to use their training regularly!
    The day of the pastor doing all the ministry work must cease.  The saints should be learning to minister to one another.
1.  Why is it important that a fivefold minister love to study the Word?
2. Who should be doing the work of ministering the word to others?
3.  What is different about a so-called play person ministering the Word vs. a fivefold ministry person? In what way is it the same?

The baptism in the Holy Spirit: The power we need to do the work? all the Word Ministry School students must be baptized in the Spirit:
 Jesus gave this Great Commission just before He ascended into Heaven. He added one more directive:
Acts 1:1    The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, [2] Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: [3] To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: [4] And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. [5] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. [6] When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
     The fivefold ministry worker must have the baptism in the Holy Spirit in order to do ministry work and to perfect the saints to do the work of the ministry. 
      This baptism results in a powerful boldness to witness the character and Word of the Lord.
     This baptism brings in the gifts of the Spirit needed to confirm the Word and to strengthen the saints in their walk with the Lord.  God pours out His Spirit on us when we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1    And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [5] And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. [6] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. [7] And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? [8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? [9] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, [10] Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, [11] Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. [12] And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? [13] Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
    [14] But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: [15] For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. [16] But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; [17] And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: [18] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:


     Gifts of the Lord are used by Him to bear witness to those preaching His Word.  When people see the gifts in operation, it strengthens their ability to believe and receive God's Word.
Hebrews 2:1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
1. What did the Lord tell His disciples to wait for before they began to obey the Great Commission?
2.  Why was it important for them to have this?
Gifts, talents, and abilities that reside in saints that can be
used for the work of the ministry
 There are many different spiritual gifts given to people as the Lord chooses.   These gifts are given for the purpose of the ministry work being fulfilled.
1 Cor. 12:4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Romans 12:5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

    These gifts are given not only to fivefold ministry workers, but also to saints who are not a part of that office ministry.
      All saints are called to do the work of the ministry. 
     When a fivefold ministry worker perfects the saints for the work of the ministry, it is important that he or she is looking for evidence of these gifts in the various members of their local church or among the people in the scope of their ministry.  When a gift is spotted, it should be noted and the person encouraged to continue exercising that gift.   
     There is much teaching needed for the saints to learn how each gift operates and the protocol for the use of that gift. Much patience is needed to continually train saints in coming forth in their respective gifts. 
   In addition to the gifts of the Spirit, all saints have various natural talents that can be used for the building up of the Body of Christ.  These talents too must be affirmed and used.    Some examples of such talents that can be used for the Lord are singing, dancing, art work, playing a musical instrument, drama, organizational skills, decorating, carpentry, cooking, and building maintenance.  Electronic skills are especially valuable in this day of advanced sound systems, computers, and multi-media productions.   
    Actually, there is no end of abilities and talents that can be used in obeying the Lord's great commission!  It is the job of the fivefold ministry to perfect the saints in coming forth in all of their God given talents, abilities, and gifts to be used in the work of the ministry.   The more saints that are being used in a local church the better the results in the ministry work being accomplished.
    The fivefold ministry workers serve as gold miners of what treasures the saints have to offer to accomplish the overall ministry goals of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    To do this work, the ministry workers must be beloved and respected by the saints in their local church.   They must want each person to be used to the utmost in the kingdom. They must not be concerned whether any given saint shines so much in using their talents, abilities and gifts that they outshine the ministry worker.  Jesus Himself wants His bride to do greater works than Him. Surely the fivefold ministers representing Him should want no less to come forth from every part of the Bride!
John 14:12   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.


1. Why is it important for a fivefold minister to know about and understand the gifts of the Spirit?
2.  Why is it important for the fivefold minister to know the saints at his or her local church?
3. Why is it important for the fivefold minister to be able to openly communicate with the saints about the gifts of the Spirit?
4.  How do gifts, abilities, and talents fit with the Lord's plan to perfect His church? Give some possible examples.

The final event of this age when the church is perfected
 When the church is perfected, the Lord Himself will come back. The church will be His bride. Together, Christ and His church, they will dwell in righteousness, peace, and joy forever. The Lord will be God and we will be His people. All powers and people of darkness and sin will be vanished. Only those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ will remain. What the Lord intended at creation, I.e., unbroken, loving fellowship with mankind, will be put in place forever. The kingdom of God will be established with the King and His Bride being the kingdom authorities.
Rev. 19:6   And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. [7] Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. [8] And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rev. 21:1    And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. [5] And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. [6] And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. [7] He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.     [9] And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. [10] And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, [11] Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; [22] And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. [23] And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. [24] And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. [25] And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. [26] And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. [27] And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

1. Can you state in your own words what the bride did to make herself ready for her bridegroom?
2. What thoughts and feelings do you have when you think of the Lord's return to earth?


The character of a Fivefold minister

     The Fivefold ministry office workers are those who are responsible to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry. 
   To discover the steps needed to be taught to the saints for them to walk in to grow into maturity demands that this minister t become very close in communion with the Lord and that he or she thoroughly know His Word, the Bible. 
      Furthermore, ministry workers must be a role model of what the Lord expects His people to be.
      The word lists some standards for bishops (church overseers) and deacons. It would be very appropriate to assume that the Lord would want all of His ministers to have the same standards. Actually, these are standards that all saints should endeavor to attain; however, it is expected that those who lead God's people have already come to this level of character growth in Christ.
Titus 1:6    If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. [7] For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; [8] But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; [9] Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


1 Tim. 3:1    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. [2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; [3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; [4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; [5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) [6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. [7] Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. [8] Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; [9] Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. [10] And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. [11] Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. [12] Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. [13] For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
     In training ministers, it can happen that there is a gap between the academic portion of the training and the maturing of the minister. No trainer can cause someone to walk in mature character.  Furthermore, a minister may seem to be mature and then back slide, I.e., lose good standing that has been previously attained in the Lord.
  Paul experienced this sorrow with a fellow laborer named Demas:
2 Tim. 4:10     For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.
     To a certain extent the trainer is required to make sure the ministry trainee is already faithful so that time is not wasted in training someone:
2 Tim. 2:2    And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
     Much sorrow and discouragement has come to me because of seeing those I have trained either fall into immorality or walk right but with no more interest in teaching others what they have learned than those who never came to be trained in the first place! Rehearsing in my mind those who are still faithfully laboring gives me much joy and much enthusiasm to start all over again in training someone new.
      I have come to the conclusion (at this point in my growth) that my offering to tutor and train someone into fivefold ministry is a precious gift from me to that person. I am not obligated to train anyone whom I deem to be not ready or not showing fruits of those God has called to become a five-fold minister.
Various ways in which we begin to discern a person's call to the five fold ministry
 A minister loves the Lord and desires to feed the Lord's sheep. 
At our church, we often have what we call open pulpit.  If a person says they want to be in the ministry training but they have not shown a desire to share in open pulpit the Word that they have gleaned in their private devotions, then I question their calling. A cook wants to cook. A janitor wants to clean. A dancer wants to dance. A writer wants to write. A fivefold minister wants to share the Word with people.  It is part of their very being.  No one can stop them. If they are not allowed to speak in their local church, they will find a platform even if it means calling together a group of people from their neighborhood or their job.
     Their passion is to see the growth the hearing and learning of the Word does to the church.
     Word ministers get revelation for themselves from the Word.  He or she actually hears what the Spirit is saying through the written Word.
    A Word minister shares the Word in such a way that is understood by the people who have ears to hear.
    You can hear others say, {That Word minister} said ________ and I learned from that.
    A Word minister is a leader in the things of the Lord. If no one is following, they are not a five-fold minister in the making. 
     Of course, there may be those rare times a person is called on a special mission to preach forth or to prophesy something extremely unpopular and therefore they are not heard. It is not because God did not send them but because the people are hard hearted and God sent that person to give the people another warning before His judgment came forth. But that is not the norm in a local Christian church or setting. Usually someone God has called will begin to manifest their gifts slowly but surely until most all (who are spiritual) receive that person's ministry even long before that person formally enters training to walk in their fivefold ministry office.
     A fivefold minister will ordinarily see the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it; others usually see the individuals in the congregation only.  To know what to feed a congregation, the fivefold minister must have a congregational point of view.  If they only see their friends or other individuals, what they give to the whole will only be directed to those they know and they will miss the overall need of that church or group.
     I often use the analogy that a person called to be a block mother would probably know the name and address of every child on the block. She will know what places are dangerous and where it is safe. She may not even know the name of the major of her city, but she knows that block intimately. Her scope of service fulfills her and that is all she is interested in regarding community involvement. But the person called to be the major sees the whole city. He knows what neighborhoods need improvement, which schools are the most dangerous, and whether the water supply is pure.   He may not know three individuals in any given neighborhood personally, but he can be of great service to each neighborhood nonetheless.  The two people are given a perspective and interest in accordance with their calling.
     A fivefold minister desires to encourage and train others in the area of their own gifting.  E.g., a prophet does not simply get up and prophesy. A prophet also notes when others prophesy and encourages as well as helps in fine-tuning the others gift.   A prophet also general hears words for the church as a whole as well as for individuals. Some prophets are called to prophesy to natural leaders and countries too.   
    The motive of a fivefold minister called of God is to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry. He or she lays down their life in order for the church to flourish.   They are thrilled when the saints come forth in their gifts. They are happy when they train others and those others run even further than they did.  Although honor will be given if the saints act right, they do not quit when the saints take them for granted and forget to express gratitude for the work that is being done on their behalf.  If the Lord requires it, they will go and teach five people in a living room as faithfully as a group of five thousand.   They are not looking for personal gain or glory; they are wanting to be obedient to the Lord's instructions to feed His sheep.
     Some of the biggest problems in our church have been the issue of a person's motive for wanting to become a five-fold minister.
   I used to be a social worker. It was then I realized that some of the workers did even not like our clients that we served at the state welfare office!  How did I know?  They were not quick to do the paperwork to make sure the needy family received their welfare money. When a new benefit came (e.g., being able to get used appliances), some workers would never even bother to let the clients know that this benefit was now available.   Most of the benefits the welfare clients received above and beyond their check, Medicaid, and food stamps were benefits we had to explain to them.  Love for the clients would cause a worker to take time to find out all of their needs and then find out what the state or county had available to meet those needs.  
   Those workers who did the minimum effort possible obviously did not have the client's best interest in mind. But oh how they loved their professional status, their paycheck, and their fellowship with all these warm, loving, helpful people in the human services profession!
   There seem to be some ministers who operate out of the same kinds of motives! 
    When Jesus was on earth, the people He rebuked the most were religious leaders with fleshly motives. We must examine ourselves as ministry leaders to make sure we are not in ministry for personal gratification in the flesh but for the love of the Lord and the joy of laboring with Him in the Spirit.
Matthew 23:1    Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, [2] Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: [3] All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. [4] For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. [5] But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, [6] And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, [7] And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. [8] But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. [9] And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. [10] Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. [11] But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. [12] And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
    [13] But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. [14] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. [15] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. [16] Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! [17] Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? [18] And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. [19] Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? [20] Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. [21] And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. [22] And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. [23] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. [24] Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. [25] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. [26] Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. [27] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. [28] Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. [29] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, [30] And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. [31] Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. [32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. [33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    Simon the Sorcerer is an example of a man who wanted Holy Spirit gifts simply for his own status.
    Acts 8:9    But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: [10] To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. [11] And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. [12] But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [13] Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. [14] Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: [15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) [17] Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [18] And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, [19] Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. [20] But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. [21] Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. [22] Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. [23] For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. [24] Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.


     We must thoroughly examine our motives in desiring to be the Lord's ministers. The ministry worker must care about the saints being perfected.  Paul made it clear that Timothy's nature of caring about others was not the norm.
Philippians. 2:19    But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. [20] For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. [21] For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. [22] But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
1. In your local church, when you look around to see which people genuinely care for the needs of others, what is it you see them doing or hear them saying?
2.   Go through your membership directory praying for each person. As the Lord directs you in how to pray for each one, do you genuinely care about their needs or are you bored to have to even consider each individual and/or family in this way?
      Ministry workers must not be those who minister for their own status sake but those who truly love the Lord's sheep.
John 21:16    He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. [17] He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

 Although the fivefold minister must become a lifelong student ever increasing in the knowledge of the Lord's ways, the training school is an introduction into that path of growth. 



1. What should motivate the fivefold minister to give the Word to the sheep?