At the Church of The Open Door, the governing Board of Elders are comprised of ordained members of the five-fold ministry. The Fivefold Ministry is a concept taken from Ephesians 4:11-16 as Paul lays a framework to equip the saints for service and building up of the Body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NASB)
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
This Scripture highlights five distinct areas or roles of ministry which God has given to the Church as a gift, so that the Church can operate in unity and reach maturity. Essentially the five-fold ministry establishes a group of leaders to govern the Church based on giftedness in one of five areas, which together provide a holistic and balanced perspective to complete Christian ministry.
Order of Ministry:
Denoting the order of ministry is not to be understood as order of importance, just order of proper operation. The order that these ministries operate in is very specific:
Apostles are leaders and visionaries. They bring direction to the church. They have the courage and ability to keep the Church moving forward, growing and building in new directions. Apostles are able to nurture and disciple the other ministry areas. They awaken people to their God designed potential. They are instrumental in people discovering who they really are, and walking alongside them to get there. They forge new paths in the Kingdom and are a catalyst for change wherever they go.
Prophets have a strong sense of right and wrong, but even more than that: they have a strong sense of the Spirit’s leading. Their voice is important for keeping the Church on track in what the Lord wants to do. They are effective in revealing God’s heart for His people where ever they go. They can accurately discern God’s heart for a situation.
Evangelists are the warriors, the foot soldiers who take the gospel to the remote areas of the world. They advance the gospel and in so doing they battle directly with the hindrances of the gospel as well. There are many more warriors in an army than there are generals and so there must be many evangelists in the church.
Pastors nurture the flock and comfort them. They build up the sheep in the most holy faith. They tend to the wounded and the sick. They lead the healthy sheep into good pastures so they will eat well and be strong. And, they look for the sheep that have wandered away so that none will be lost.
Teachers build the foundations of the church. They minister in the Word of God and remind us of the priorities and foundations that will keep us stable in our lives. They teach the church how to be wise in the ways of God.
Unity is implicit among the five. They move as one, yet operate individually to the full measure of the grace given to each one. This is the master plan for every church and we need to operate in this exact way to receive the blessings of the Lord. If we look at this scripture, we see the enormous blessing for the Saints if the church operates as it is supposed to. The end result of the Lord’s work is to raise up a bride that is a direct reflection of Christ Himself, having the identical nature, character and attributes.
The 5 G’s of Ministry
Apostles and Prophets lay the foundation of the house. The Teacher builds on that foundation with the stones the Evangelist gathers and then, the Pastors cares for the house. Of course, the “house” means the people of God.
The Apostle “Governs” or oversees the House bringing vision, order and government. He/she develops leaders and raises up “sons in the Gospel”.
The Prophet “Guides” and administrates in the House. He/she declares and confirms vision for the house and facilities. They bring direction and counsel also.
The Teacher “Grounds” and equips the saints through their gifted teaching ability. They bring balance to the vision of the house.
The Evangelist “Gathers” by training workers/witnesses in outreach into the community.
The Pastors “Guards” the House, caring for the people overseeing visitation, etc. They are concerned with the everyday aspects of the community of faith.
As such, we can see how the 5 Ascension Gift Ministries function together as a Team!