Understanding the Five-Fold Ministry Gifts

AND HE HIMSELF GAVE SOME TO BE APOSTLES, SOME PROPHETS, SOME EVANGELISTS, AND SOME PASTORS AND TEACHERS.”
(EPH. 4:11)

Because there are five offices listed in Ephesians 4:11, the ministry gifts are often referred to as the “five-fold.” While not everyone may occupy an “office,” every believer will have certain dimensions of particular offices in their lives. In our study of the five-fold, below are key elements of heart passion, main gifts, emotions, and goals as they relate to the specific giftings:

  1. Apostle. The apostle’s heart passion is for the whole, the whole Body of Christ, wholeness in every area, the whole picture. Their main gifts are found in their ability to lead, organize, develop, build and expand. Apostles are less emotional and more structured. Their goal is to see things organized and running smoothly. (Eph. 2:20)   [ Apostles -What are they?  Click here ]    
  2. Prophet. The prophet’s heart passion is found in inspirational creativity. The more inspiration, the better. Their main gifts are seen in their creative abilities and in a sense of timing and rightness. The prophet may be quite emotional—with both ups and downs. The prophet’s goal is to continuously experience the creative flow. (2 Pet. 1:21)
  3. Evangelist. An evangelist’s heart beats with passion for souls, for the harvest. They are highly invigorated and intense, continuously aware that there is a limited time to do a massive work. They have a keen ability to be persuasive and their main goal in life is to persuade others to see what they see, and that is Christ who wants a personal relationship with every man, woman and child. (2 Tim. 4:5)
  4. Pastor. Pastors have a heart for people. Their gifting is in a God-given anointing to love people and to heal their hurts. At times, pastors’ emotions can be very sensitive as they seek to feel the people and are led with compassion for them. A pastor’s goal is for people to be healthy, safe and cared for. (Jer. 23:4)
  5. Teacher. A teacher’s focus and passion is for truth. Their main gift is an ability to research and present clearly the truth that they find. The teacher is like the apostle in that they are less emotional and more structured. Their goal is to see the truth clearly communicated and assimilated. (I Tim. 4:6

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