Last night I had the privilege to speak at a Wednesday night ministry group about the Kingdom Business Journal and to explain the origin and purpose of our ministry. The following statement I made sparked considerable interest, some questions and plenty of discussion so I thought I would share it with you too.
I mentioned that I received this revelation while teaching Kingdom Business Principles in Ukraine with my brother David Tinney to various christian groups throughout that country. Paul wrote in Eph.4:11-12 that “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 the body of Christ.” Versus 13-16 further explain the purpose which is to disciple and educate and teach truth to the believers so they are not deceived.
What I am going to submit to you to think about today is just the first layer of teaching of this portion of scripture. There is much more for another day. Here is the premise I conclude from this reading. Jesus loved teaching with metaphors, parables and word pictures to better understand the spiritual and practical comparison of His Kingdom Principles. His invite for us was to learn, practice and teach His Kingdom’s principles on earth as foundation for living now and preparing us to rule and reign with Him in the millennium and eternity.
When Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He left with us these gifts referred to as the “Gifts of the Ascended Christ” referred to in Eph.4:11. In our natural understanding I think most of us interpret this writing to mean He left a few key spiritual jobs here on earth for ordained ministers in the pulpit to assume in their churches. I happen to believe that. But I found this interpretation to be very limiting of Christ’s army of public ministers of which all the rest of us are, if we believe the command we have of the Great Commission.
There is no mention of any building or meeting place in this scripture but perhaps some believe it is implied. Truth is, the definition of “church” to Jesus was His people, not the houses and caves they met in in the first century. I believe Jesus once again in His infinite wisdom, left us special,valuable gifts that included spiritual and practical connotation so that we could all minister the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world. Let me be comparatively specific?
SPIRITUAL GIFTINGS: Clergy
Apostles = Visionaries for the church who often traveled the countryside planting new churches, getting the local leadership on track with the vision for the Church (people).
Prophets = Were the spiritual advisers for the Apostles (leaders) of the churches who would clarify, confirm and emphasis the word of God.
Evangelists = Traveled these same areas of the country and at home, proclaiming the saving grace and salvation of Jesus Christ.
Pastors = Shepherded the local church attendees ( flock) and ministered with compassion and protection to their people
Teachers = Those trained and learned in the Word were the interpreters for the Way and discipled the flocks towards their maturity.
PRACTICAL GIFTINGS: (everyone who is not a paid minister in the pulpit)
Apostle = The visionary entrepreneur business owner who establishes businesses through out his customer demographic and directs the vision of his company.
Prophet = The company consultant or upper management persons consulted for all important matters of the business and who influences the business owner with researched understanding that helps guide appropriate company decision making.
Evangelist = Every believer in the workplace can and should be an evangelist. That is God’s command.
Pastor = Functions as a manager over departments and groups to make sure the leaders plans are carried out as instructed and successfully but always mindful of the needs of his people.
Teacher = Is the role of one who’s wisdom, experience and learning is utilized to assure productivity, efficiency resulting in ROI to the company.
So……. where do you fall into this schematic? May I suggest that all of us share in the Ascended Gifts of Christ in one way or another. You don’t have to be in the pulpit or full time ministry to fulfill the calling God has put in your heart. You can now accept the role of life you are currently in and be used greatly if you want to be. And there is no better place of opportunity than your workplace. So once again I say…. go use your gifts to spread the Good News, but only use words when you have to!
Blessings………..Rich Forster KBJ Publisher