Restoring God’s Community

Some of the most important relationships we have are with “the five-fold ministry gifts.” Every ministry gift teaches but has a different expression, function, and assignment. Still, they all have the same purpose: Equipping the saints for the work of ministry. When we do not have healthy relationships with the ministry gifts of Christ, we are hindered from being adequately equipped for God’s work.

All believers have within them a measure of the five-fold ministry gifts. Our relationship with other believers allows us to benefit from those giftings and is one source for equipping us. However, there are those among us whom God has ordained to stand in the “office” of the five-fold ministry. These leaders in the body of Christ are uniquely anointed to equip us in ways that others cannot. These believers are the gifts Christ has given us to prepare us, strengthen us, and equip us for spiritual warfare. We need some level of relationship with all five of these anointed gifts.

One of the reasons we don’t see the level of signs and wonders we see in the Bible is that we have moved away from God’s ordained structure of community. When God’s community is out of order, and we don’t have much-needed exposure to apostles, prophets, and evangelists, we become well equipped to teach and pastor but ill-equipped to function in kingdom authority. Without a relationship with all these five gifts, we will likely not be well equipped to represent the kingdom of God with demonstration and power.

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

For those hungry for God, we know in our hearts there is so much more power available to us than we are experiencing. The Church has been ill-equipped and powerless. Could this be from not understanding the function and importance of our relationships? Could this result from not understanding God’s plans for community and not holding to His original design? We must be exposed to all five ministry gifts because they equip us differently. 

It is no accident that many denominations no longer recognize the ministry of the apostle and prophet. Apostles and prophets help equip the church with power and prepare her for what is coming. The last thing the enemy wants is for his plans to be exposed in advance and for the Church to be equipped to foresee those plans and destroy his works.

Satan deceives the Church with denominational preferences, racial divisions, political differences, and doctrinal disagreements to keep us weak, ill-equipped, and ineffective. He attacks the body of Christ to damage the joints, straining and breaking relationships to cut off our supply of the Spirit. The unity of the faith is what the devil is trying to prevent. (Ephesians 4:13)

All relationships are meaningful, even the ones that challenge us. Every relationship is a gift, a garden, and an opportunity to sow and reap.

Remember this; The garden we sow into may not be the same garden we reap from. We are so interconnected as a body of believers that our prayers can affect the body of Christ on the other side of the planet. We are more connected than the molecules that make up water. It is crucial to nurture and protect every relationship, retaining our influence and connectivity by preferring the other parts and protecting the joints. (relationships)

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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