Gifting Of The Church Part II
11 It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Following up the post from yesterday that featured verse 11 talking about the gifts that God gives the church – I want to speak about the purpose of those gifts – namely – apostles – prophets – evangelists – pastors – and teachers.
The gifting of the church with these church offices or ministries is for one purpose. That purpose is to glorify the person in the office so they can have present glory and have a name in the community. (Have you stopped reading yet – lol?) Of course that is not correct. Yet at times that is the spirit that some people seek positions or offices in the church. Many seek title or prestige or position. When I served on the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) – we often ran into candidates who simply wanted to be called Reverend (on the District level as well).
When God gifts us we are to use that gifting to uplift and serve the Body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 we read about spiritual gifting and in the midst of that teaching we read in 1 Corinthians 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. It is the same here in Ephesians when speaking of the appointments or offices of the church. We read that the offices are given Ephesians 4:12-13 – 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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.
We are called to be servants of the Body. When asked how to be great Jesus responded in Matthew 23:11 – The greatest among you will be your servant.
The officers – pastors – and leaders of the church should be equipping the Body of Christ to do ministry – to do works of service. Too often we fail to accomplish this because too often we are caught up in the administration of the church or raising funds to meet budget or trying to line people up for this ministry or that. Too often your pastors are like CEOs – mindful of the entire operation of the church – when we should be more like specialists – centering most of our time in our gifting – our call.
There are administrative gifts and the church needs these persons for sure (Romans 12:6-8). But apostles – prophets – evangelists – pastors – and teachers should spend most if not all of their time training and equipping the saints for works of service to our Lord. They should shepherd the people. Only when we allow these persons the freedom to operate in their gifting can we expect to 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.
As God reveals our gifting we need to move toward operating in it – God didn’t give these gifts to be misused or ignored. God gave us our gifting to serve His Body – the church – and bring it to full bloom as the Bride of Christ.
Your comments are welcome.
Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.
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