Ministry gifts were given to the body of Christ for the perfecting of the saints; so we could be fit, qualified, and trained for service. Each has a specific assignment and a grace given to operate skillfully in that office. Jesus knew that there would be all types of people coming into the family of God, each with their own uniqueness, likes and dislikes. Since He knows what we need, he has equipped someone with a word to speak to each person’s spirit. In order to be saved in the first place, we had to hear the word, believe it, receive it and confess it. That’s where these spiritual gifts come in. Once saved, these gifts develop the believer to perfection. The word perfecting used in Ephesians 4:11 comes from the Greek word katartismos which original usage came from a physician setting of a broken bone. Therefore the five ministry gifts mentioned in the passage are utilized to make the necessary adjustments in the church so it will not be “out of joint”.
Using the analogy of a man’s hand, let’s look at the function of each gift:
Apostle (thumb) – multifaceted; can touch all areas of gift
Prophet (forefinger) – points the way, foresees
Evangelist (middle finger) – outreach; longer than the other fingers; the anointing of compassion to move people to correction
Pastor (ring finger) – married to the local church; the band is around his heart
Teacher(pinky finger) – smallest finger; can reach into places others cannot.
There are many in the body who possess the grace to operate in several of these areas. The bottom line is, God knows what you need to move you o your purpose. That’s why he sets every one of us in a local fellowship as it pleases him, not necessarily us.
© Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved