What are the 5 ministries in the Bible? One may ask.
The Church of Jesus Christ Christ is compared to a living Body. Christ is the head and believers are the members.
As for the 5 ministries, they are compared to the five senses with which God has endowed the human body, essential to its health and proper functioning.
Jesus gave his body directing ministries for the building up and perfecting of the saints.
These 5 main ministries are not the only existing ones: the human body contains many hidden organs but is essential to its proper functioning. But these are figureheads and the Church cannot function without them.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,…” (Ephesians 4:11)
What are the 5 ministries in the Bible?
God had not intended that his Church be led exclusively by a man and his wife, according to a pyramidal system, but that it be nourished by a body of elders (the first apostles were also called “elders”). Just as the body cannot be healthy by being nourished with only one type of food, the church cannot grow with only one leading ministry.
1. The apostle
The apostle is “the hand” because he is properly speaking “the architect of God”, the one who builds and lays the doctrinal foundations of the Church, as the apostle Paul attests in this passage:
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.” (1 Corinthians 3:10)
The Lord gave to his Body of Apostles, to lay the foundations of authentic faith, in decline today.
2. The Prophet
The prophet is “the eye”, the one who receives the vision or the plans to build according to divine standards:
“Look and do according to the pattern shown to you on the mountain”, Moses was told for the construction of the Tabernacle in Exodus 25:40.
This ministry is often reduced to pure clairvoyance, but a prophet is, first of all, a man or a woman of intercession. His primary role is to intercede for the people, following the example of Moses or Samuel, to bring holiness back to the Church and to demonstrate the power of God by confronting the powers of darkness. Again, this is a tricky call and very few people stand up to the tests of authenticity. In the church, the prophet is only moved by the presence of God, the holiness of his people, and the interests of the Kingdom. We don’t see prophets in the Bible dealing with material things or preaching a gospel of prosperity. It is a sign that allows us to recognize the true from the false, shepherds and wolves in disguise…
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3. The Evangelist
The evangelist is compared to the “feet” because he goes through the nations and spreads the Good News of the Kingdom. He is overwhelmed by zeal for the gospel and love for lost souls. The true evangelist also knows that to be saved and cleansed from our sins, repentance is essential. He not only encourages new believers to “invite Jesus into their hearts”. He preaches the undiluted gospel of the cross, sin, repentance, and the sanctification necessary for salvation!
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. Who publishes peace!” (Isaiah 52:).
The shepherd is the “hearing” of the body, the one who hears the bleating of the sheep, their needs, and their sufferings. This is why listening and compassion play a primordial role among pastors.
As the shepherd has constant care for the sheep, they too must be willing and available for the Lord’s sheep. It is a ministry that requires great sacrifice, in the image of the Lord, the Sovereign Shepherd, who lists the main tasks incumbent on a shepherd worthy of the name:
“I will feed my sheep, I will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, I will bring back the stray, I will bind up the wounded, and I will strengthen the sick” (Ezekiel 34:15).
5. The doctor
The doctor is the one who has received a special grace to reveal the depth of the Scriptures. He is a teacher who can be compared to “the mouth”. As the mouth has the particularity of distinguishing foods and savoring them, the doctor, through his deep knowledge of the Scriptures, dissects the Word and makes it savory to the palate. Let’s not forget that the Word of God is compared to “ food that gives life ” (Matthew 4:4).
These ministries have affinities between them and complement each other. The apostle and the prophet work together to lay the doctrinal foundations, one by putting Christ as the cornerstone, the other by insisting on what is fundamental for God: obedience and holiness.
The same goes for the evangelist-pastor couple. When the pastor has finished feeding the sheep, he deems his task accomplished and leaves, leaving the evangelist to make the call for Salvation.
As for the doctor, his major concern is whether believers are growing in the deep knowledge of the word.
God has provided that the Church be endowed with all that contributes to the perfecting of the saints. It is the absence of divine order that makes the sheep weak, frail, and sick, as we see today. God wants the five ministries to work together, according to each one’s share. The raging competition between departments prevents them from moving forward at the same pace.
No man or woman can build a church according to his own desires and establish his own functioning or system of ideas.
Jesus is the one who said in Matthew 16:18: “ I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If Jesus is the builder of the church, it will tend as closely as possible to the biblical pattern and the life of the Spirit will bear witness to it. But if it is the human being who built it, it may look like a church and look beautiful on the outside, it will have nothing of the church of Jesus Christ, such as it is. thought and wanted.