The Purpose of Fivefold Ministry
All of us are to “do the work” of all five ministries. But some of us are given to the church to “be” apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers.
Such people have a knack for one of those ministries, a passion for training others to do the same, and proven fruitfulness in multiplying their ministry to others. They serve diligently and sacrificially. They are less interested in people seeing their own ministry and more interested in people doing “greater works” than they do. They are more excited when God works through someone they trained than they are when God works through them directly. They live for the glorification and multiplication of Jesus Christ throughout the Church (and ultimately the world).
The purpose of fivefold ministry is actually a Person. Apostles, prophets, and the rest are not merely training people to minister. They are equipping the Church to become Jesus:
And He gave
- some as apostles, and
- some as prophets, and
- some as evangelists, and
- some as pastors and
-  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.
-  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
-  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
-  from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.