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What are the Five-Fold Ministry Gifts

Understanding the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher

When Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He gave five specific ministry gifts to the body of believers to be strengthened, equipped and matured. Each of these gifts reveals a part of Jesus, but the gifts need to operate together in teams in order to reveal the complete image of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13, "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" (NASB). 

Unity and interdependence are crucial for the operation of the five-fold ministry gifts. These gifts were designed by God to work together and strengthen each other as they also serve and lead the body of believers. Each gift is important and unique from the others, but they complement each other when they work alongside each other.

The five-fold ministry gifts operating together also reveal the complete picture of Jesus Christ. It is important to understand and realize though, each gift operates differently, as well as has a different perspective and group of people that it leads. In order to operate in these gifts, we must first understand how each one works.


Dr. Sam Matthews gives great insight into the five-fold ministry gifts:

“The apostle lives with leaders; the prophet lives with God; the evangelist lives with the lost; the pastor lives with the people; and the teacher lives with the word.”

This picture is a beautiful and accurate portrayal of the five-fold gifts in operation within the body as well as insight into to each gift’s perspective.

When the five-fold ministry gifts come together in unity, they bring great strength and dependence upon each other’s gifts. We need to all value the different callings in each other and not succumb to jealousy in the Kingdom. God has a purpose for each gift, and each gift given by God has great value and strength. It is also important to point out that a person’s gifts are not related to his personality, skills, or physical strengths but rather the God-given calling and anointing on his life. Many of us are drawn to the same gifts that we operate in without even realizing it. It is important though that we surround ourselves with others who have different giftings so that we can strengthen each other and work together. This requires us to be intentional as well as to know and understand our own gifts and callings. This is how apostolic leadership teams should function as each team member used his own gifts and strengths to work together with others of different gifts and strengths. Ultimately, we need each other and God designed us to function this way, especially within the ministry and the church.

Teams are the Biblical leadership model from God. 

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