5 Aspects of Christ: How can Jesus’ church become like Jesus?
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
Many people say they like Jesus but not the church. The church follows but does not act like Jesus. We are called to be his hands and feet, but making the church like Jesus hasn’t been very successful so far, has it?
Ready: How can the church become like Jesus today? The church has a responsibility to reflect Christ. After 2000 years we are still lacking. How can we finally equip ourselves, and find our perfect character in Christ?
Set: For the church to operate in the way God intends, we need to be led within the structure God intended. One key lies in the five fold ministry, Jesus’ gift to the church. These five fold ministries are: apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, pastor. Each of these ministries is an aspect of Christ, who had all of these qualities. We need all the qualities of Christ if we are to operate in his authority and power.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father.”(John 14:12)
Through these 5 ministries, the Body is prepared. Within the church, there are people with the particular calling of pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, or apostle.
The calling does not have to do with education but everything to do with anointing. You may know the person that just opens his mouth and out comes revelation about God’s Word (teacher). Or whenever someone is in need of wise counsel, you can spot the gifted pastor, ready with just the right word in just the right season. There are those who have a special gift for sharing Jesus with unbelievers, who’s witness seems so easily to affect others toward him; these are evangelists. Some have the ability to see God’s plans and purposes and are designed for the prophetic. Finally, there are apostles who lead naturally, and hold visions for the new things God has for His Church.
With any one of these ministries missing, the church is lacking a necessary part of it’s headship and does not grow as God intends it. So often everything falls to the minister employed by the church; many things cannot be fulfilled by one key person. God loves unity (Psalm 133) and to see His people working together for good.
How to play your part in building the church:
Step 1: Recognize the church structure is imperfect but God has given us the perfect structure to equip the Body of Christ.
Step 2: Study and learn these 5 fold gifts. See if you spot others who are these gifts to the Body of Christ. Could you be one of these gifts?
Step 3: Encourage the gifts in others; identify and practice them. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 tells us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Romans 12 lists the gifts of God.
Step 4: Encourage your church leaders. Honour them. They too are gifted and seeking to honour God with their lives.
Step 5: Pray, asking God to reveal the gifts of Jesus that are within the congregation. This may be radical thinking for your church, so pray for God’s will to be done and for willing hearts within your congregation and church leaders.
Go: Intercede for your church, your city and your region, that the Body of Believers would be equipped and ready to serve the LORD with gladness, and the people with love. (And when you feel called to step out to share this message, step out in faith and share in love, asking for God’s timing and His window – first.)