B. Childress
Aug 17, 2007

Whenever we study church government, we should go to the Word of God to understand how God wants His church to
be established:  God has given us his guidelines and principals in His Word, but He leaves the responsibility of how to
apply those guidelines and principals to us.

What is the origin of the word "church."  The word "church" in 1 Corinthians 12:28, comes from the Greek word
ekklesia.  Ekklesia comes from another Greek word ekkaleo.  Ekkaleo is a compound word.  It is made from two word
ek-  and kaleo. Ek means "out" and kaleo mean "to call."  Thus, what the word "church" really means is "the called out
ones" or the "chosen ones" as translated in Ephesians 1:4.  When Paul said we were chosen in Him before the
foundation of the world, the same word is used

What is church?  First Corinthians 12:27-28 says,
"Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular."  Today,
the word "church" is loosely used to describe a building made of brick and mortar, which could also house a disco,
school, industry, or retail store.  The universal church is made up of every born-again believer on the face of the
earth.  Every group of believers who worships together is a segment of the "universal church."  Those segments that
meet together are "local churches."

The church has been called out.  If the church is the "called out" or "chosen" ones, there has to be someone calling or
choosing.  "God hat
h set some in the church." 1Corinthians 12:28  God is doing the calling or choosing.  Ephesians 4:
11 says, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"

- but who is "he."  To understand we can look at Ephesians 4:8-10,
CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended
first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens,
that he might fill all things)."
 The Lord Jesus Christ is the "he" who ascended, and the He Who gave gifts to men.

Referring back to 1Corinthians 12:28, God the Father is the One who sets the ministry gifts in the church:  these
ministry gifts are chosen by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in combined authority.  Jesus is the One who
calls and appoints the ministry gifts.  The One (Jesus) who does the calling has authority over the one He calls
(whoever chooses the ministry gift has authority over the one He calls);  whoever chooses the ministry gift has
authority over the one who is chosen.  So, who is head of the church?  Ephesians 1:22-23 says,
"And hath put all
things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body the fullness of him
that filleth all in all."
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church.  He was given that position by God the Father.  
He was given authority over the church by God the Father as well all ministry gifts He chooses to distribute.

Other Ministry Gifts

" Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men...And
he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifyng of the body of Christ."
 Ephesians 4:8,11,12

"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
  1 Corinthians 12:28,29

"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many,
are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the
grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry,
let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhoration:  he that
giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with
    Romans 12:4-8

  • Ephesians 4:11 lists the fivefold ministry gifts - those who are preachers and/or teachers of the Word of God.

  • The other two lists of ministry gifts also contain those called as supportive to the fivefold ministry offices and
    adds further definition of some of the fivefold offices.

  • Together, these three passages reveal the fullest measure of the breadth of ministry Christ gave to the Church
    in ministry gifts.

In the catalog of ministry gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28, We find apostles,
prophets, teachers, miracles and gifts of healings
(which is regarded as a distinct ministry).  The latter two gifts,
miracles and gifts of healings,  have a special place in the ministry of an evangelist (Acts 8:5-7, 13) but they are not
confined to the evangelist's office alone - the prophetic office can also be included.

Helps:  Probably the best explanation of the helps ministry is found in the related list in Romans 12:8: "those who
show mercy."  According to
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the ministry of helps is "one of the
ministrations in the local church, by way of rendering assistance, perhaps especially of help ministered to the weak
and needy."  The
Amplified Bible translates Romans 12:8 "...he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness
and joyful eagerness."
 This is an anointed ministry.  The one who helps must have the real equipment of divine grace
and power. This ministry can provides a support to the fivefold ministry gifts - it is an absolute necessity, and placed in
the church by God. The ministry of the deacon is often referred to as the ministry of helps - deaconing.  Anything that
has to do with helping in the operation of the Church or with ministry could come under the ministry of helps.

The ministry of music:- functions as a helps ministry, supportive to the fivefold ministry.  The ministry of music is not
a distinct office; it is the ministry of helps in operation.  It is an "anointed" ministry.  It is not just something someone
does because they are talented, but it is very distinguishable to those who have the Spirit of God and are sensitive to
the things of the Spirit.  There is a distinct difference between the one who is "ministering in song" with the anointing of
the Holy Spirit in the ministry of helps, and when one is "just singing."  The prophet Elisha called for a minstrel.  The
music ministry can be a help and assistance to those in the five fold ministry gifts, particularly the prophet.  When the
minstrel played his musical instrument, the Holy Spirit came upon the prophet Elisha, and he prophesied.

Governments:  The Greek word for governments is "kubernesis,"  meaning to steer or to guide.  This word
governments means the steering committee; it has no reference to power or to ruling.  Those who possess knowledge
to steer a church and guide it around its problems become the governments of that church.  Within a church, there are
many kinds of operations, all kinds of groups and committees.  To build a new building, you select a building
committee.  This is an example of church government.  

Why did God include "governments"?  He wants order.  For everything to run smoothly, there must be organization.  
God wants church government to be well oiled with the Holy Spirit.  This means that mature men and women can bless
the church by being set aside to do certain things within the church, to operate the church in the way it ought to be

Diversities of Tongues:  Diversities of tongues (different kinds of tongues) is here regarded as a definite ministry
(refer to the writing on the public ministry of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues) set by God in the Church.  
Diversities of tongues is in the same list with apostles, prophets, and teachers.  The
ministry of diversity of tongues is
not a ministry for one's own private benefit.  The ministry of tongues and interpretation is to be ministered in the public
assembly in order to bless and help others.  This ministry is not for laymen.  It is for those called to the fivefold
ministry.  Only a few of those who are filled with the Spirit and speak with other tongues will be used in the public
ministry of tongues.  Hence Paul asks "...do all speak with tongues?..."  The answer is obviously no.  Paul is talking
about the ministry of tongues or diversity of tongues.

In the catalog of ministry gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8, we find the prophet and the teacher.

"He that ruleth" is synonymous with the pastor, because the pastor is the one who oversees and governs the local

Ministers - Everybody should have a ministry. But it also says "let us wait on our ministering."

Exhorters - This is the only place exhortation is mentioned as a separate and distinct ministry.  Usually exhortation is
regarded as a natural and essential part of almost every other ministry, but there is a distinctive ministry along this
line.   The exhorter stirs up the lost to be saved.  The exhorter also exhorts Christians with a message of
encouragement and comfort.

Givers - Romans 12:8, "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity."  Giving was
as much a recognized ministry as teaching or healing in the Early Church.  This is a distinct ministry.  We can all enter
into the grace of giving, but some have a divine endowment from God to distribute personal wealth or administration of
united resources.  Another translation renders it, "he who has wealth to distribute must do it with a single eye to God's
service."  Those who have wealth to distribute should distribute correctly, in good places where it is used for God. Pray
and seek God about where to give your money.

Those who show mercy -  One who is sensitive to the needs of others.  This is also an anointed ministry, a ministry
that is cojoined with the ministry of helps.


Decently and In Order, Bob Yandian, Copyright 1983, 1987 by Whitaker House.

The Ministry Gifts,  Kenneth E. Hagin, Copyright 1998 by RHEMA  Bible Church.

The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit, Lester Sumrall, Copyright 1982 by Lester Sumrall Evangelical
Association (LeSEA).