Five Gifts to Equip the Church for Ministry

 

Page Posted 7/22/18

(1) God’s provision/gifts to the “Church” to fulfill its mission according to the Apostle Paul:

Ephesians 4:1-16 (ESV)
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  …

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, …

 

“Much of our sense of destiny and purpose lies in finding our unique calling. I wholeheartedly believe that each disciple is obligated to strive to understand and live into “his or her own calling as Christ has apportioned it (Ephesians 4:1, 7).”

 

(2) God’s model for how these provisions/gifts function–Jesus:

“As Messiah, Jesus both experienced (and proclaimed) himself as being sent into the world as the chosen messianic agent of God’s eternal mission. He followed the path that the Father had set for him. He lived perfectly by the demanding dictates of the kingdom of “God; he reframed the terms of reference by which God was to be experienced and accessed; he extended the boundaries of God’s claim thereby initiating the worldwide messianic movement that was to become known as Christianity. He is the great Apostle.”

“Jesus was fiercely and uncompromisingly prophetic. Almost everything he said was tinged with the deep spiritual pathos related to covenantal concern with faithfulness to God. He unremittingly exposed the fundamental breakdown of covenant obligations of God’s chosen people; he named injustice and railed against unrighteousness; he exposed the ungodly toxicity in misguided religion. He cast out demons, spoke truth to power, confronted evil and unrighteousness. He is God’s perfect Prophet.”

“Jesus proclaimed good news for the poor, forgiveness for all sinners, and salvation for the lost. Signs and wonders confirmed his witness. He opened the doors to all those previously excluded through religion and politics. The masses experienced him as genuine good news. Ultimately, he paid for this redemption with the sacrifice of his very life. He is the greatest Evangelist ever.”

“He worked to include the previously excluded people into the covenant community and in so doing creates a new family, one not exclusive to Israel but open to all who love Jesus. Everything about him radiated concern for people and for the establishment of true human community and relationships. His healings and his miracles demonstrated God’s grace, mercy, and concern. They were prefigurations of the heavenly union. He is the perfect expression of the Shepherd, the Lover of his people.”

“He taught people wherever and whenever he could. He chose, instruct­ed, and guided disciples (at various levels of intensity), teaching them his Way and the ways of the God of Israel. He actually recast the Torah by fulfilling it. His teachings were eloquent simplicity-­beyond-complexity and were therefore accessible by the simplest and the wisest alike. The medium of his life was its message: the Truth and Light. He is the greatest Teacher ever.”

 

“The church is the chosen instrument through which Christ may continue to work and to bear witness to himself. If the church is the primary agent of Jesus’ kingdom, then every aspect of the culture of the church should reflect him in some way or another.”

 

“The great Christian revolutions came not by the discovery of something that was not known before. They happen when someone takes radically something that was always there.” H. Richard Niebuhr

All Excerpts From: Alan Hirsch. “5Q.”   iBooks.

 

 (3) Application:

Identify where each of these is being exercised in your worshipping community?