B. Childress
Aug 23, 2007

All ministry gifts are set in the universal church,
"Till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more
children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleigh of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head,
even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself
in love."
 Ephesians 4:13-16

  • The Lord Jesus Christ gave these ministry gifts to the universal church when He ascended and sat down on the
    right hand of God, "And he gave some apostles, apostles, and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and
    some; pastors and teachers."  Ephesians 4:11  We need all five ministry gifts working together to bring the body
    of Christ unto the full stature of Christ.  The ministry gifts are Christ's provision to the Church to edify and
    mature the saints.  

  • God hath set some in the Church.  There is a divine call, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in
    particular.  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.  Are all apostles? are all prophets?
    Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts:  and
    yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."  1  Corinthians 12:28-31  Ephesians 4:11 says "Jesus gave."  This
    passage says "God Set."  God sets ministry gifts in the Church - not man.  

  • A study of Church history reveals that down through the centuries, various groups have endeavored to get
    back to what they call "New Testament" practices.  They have set up organizations which often were something
    man manufactured - something in the flesh; something carnal.  They "called" and "set" people who had no divine
    calling into certain offices.  This is unscriptual:  God does the setting; God does the calling.

  • You do not enter the ministry, any phase of it, just because you feel it is a holy calling and you would like to
    respond.  You do not enter the ministry because someone else tells you that you are suited for it.  You do not
    enter the ministry because you see a need - this is not a call to ministry.  It is dangerous for you to enter in to
    ministry for either of these reasons.

There is a divine call to the ministry.  You must determine whether or not it is on your life.  Do not try to go into the
ministry without a calling from God to do so:

1)  You will have the conviction in your own spirit.  God deals with man's spirit.  Learn to listen to your spirit.  Learn to
listen down on the inside of you and you will know many things you do not otherwise know.  If you are just messing
around in the world (half dedicated), half-in and half-out because you are living too much in the carnal realm, carnality
will dominate you, and you won't be conscious of  your spirit.  If you are fully dedicated and consecrated to God to do
anything He wants you to do, you will become conscious of that something inside of you:  there will be a divine
compulsion on the inside.

2)  You will have the witness in your own heart.

3)  You will have the spiritual equipment - gifts of the Spirit - that go along with the office or offices to which you are

The method by which men are called are unimportant,  but obedience to the call is of great importance.

1)  If methods were important, the Bible would emphasize them; it does not.

2)  The Bible does have much to say about obedience.

3)  Sometimes God moves in extraordinary ways, but this is not the rule:

    a)  Sometimes people have visions.

    b)  A confirmation to the ministry may come through prophecy.

    c)  An anointing evidences a divine call.  When a person is called to the ministry office, there is an anointing that
    just comes upon him or her to stand in office.

    d)  You may receive a revelation directly from the Spirit of God.

Knowing that you "know" you are divinely called settles the matter once and for all.  There should be no confusion on
the subject.


  • The ministry gifts are people - people who are called to God to the full-time ministry.  The believer himself is the
    gift given by Christ to His church. With a  ministry gift, every aspect of the total ministry makes up the gift; for the
    person who is a ministry gift to the Church, his whole life centers on being an apostle, prophet, evangelist,
    pastor, or teacher.  

  • A ministry gift cannot be divorced from a person's character.  It has to be so because of the very nature of
    ministry gifts; it is essential to their outworking.

  • We have for an example Philip who is called an evangelist; Peter is called an apostle; Paul is first called a
    prophet and teacher and later an apostle.  And there are others in the New Testament.

  • Those people (ministry gifts) whom God calls, He equips with spiritual gifts.  These ministries then are not
    based on natural gifts, but on spiritual gifts - supernatural gifts.

  • When a person is born again, God has in mind what He called that person to do.  With the new birth, one is
    equipped with certain spiritual talents to equip him to stand wherever he is set in the Body of Christ.  Being filled
    with the Holy Spirit (baptized with the Holy Spirit) enhances those talents.

  • Laymen can have spiritual gifts operating through them.  Ministers, however, will be equipped to minister
    regularly with those gifts necessary to stand in the office they are called to.

  • The same spiritual gifts operating through the ministerial level will carry a greater anointing than it does
    operating occasionally in a layman's life.  For example tongues and interpretation of tongues or prophecy
    operating through the ministerial level carry a greater anointing than when operating through the laymen level.

  • Education and ambition (seeking that for which Christ has apprehended) may complement our ministries, but
    you need more than that: you need a ministry equipped with supernatural gifts.

  • You can call yourself anything (an apostle, a pastor, a prophet, etc.), but the proof is in the pudding.  The
    ministry to which you are called will be evident in your life.  You will have the divine enablement or endowment to
    stand in the office to which you are called.


Some people in the ministry were either never called, or they are hopelessly unfaithful.  Whether we are individual
members of Christ, or we are called to be a ministry gift, He did not give some to be failures and some to succeed.  
You must apply yourself to the calling of God upon your life.  Ministries don't just happen - you have to work at a
ministry in order that it succeed.

Study - Preparation time is never lost time,  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
 2 Timothy 2:15

Dedicate yourself to God - Consecrate yourself to God.  Know that when you are beginning ministry, you will not
start out at the top.  You will start out on the bottom rung of the ladder and climb up.  There may be sacrifices, but if
you know the call is there stay with it no matter the cost and remain faithful; submit to the will of God.

Be a person of integrity - People who have the call of God on their lives and who are also people of integrity,
honesty and sincerity, will stay hooked up with God.

Develop, Mature, and Grow:

    a)  If you are called to the ministry take time to develop the ministerial gift.

    b)  It takes time for people to become equipped to do what God has for them to do.  They must not only be
    equipped spiritually; they must mature naturally and spiritually.

    c)  Usually people start out in a different area of ministry from what God call them to:  Saul (Paul) who was
    named one of the five prophets and/or teacher in Acts 13, later became an apostle.  He started out as a
    preacher (Galatians 1:11,15,16,23); Philip started out in the ministry of helps (Acts 6:1-6).  He was faithful in that
    office and was later moved to the office of evangelist (Acts 8:5-7, 21:8).

If God called you to pastor, you may start with a small flock, as an assistant or associate pastor, youth pastor, etc.  
This, as opposed to pastoring a church of 2,000.  No matter what, do not despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:

Take time to wait and see what God wants you to do - Let God make you the minister He wants you to be:

    a)  Don't tell God what ministry office you want or desire to have.  Neither should you lay "claim" to a

    b)  Do not try to be someone else.  Be yourself.  Take the truth of God's Word that is revealed to you and let
    God use your personality to inject it - then it becomes your message.

    c)  Just because you had one revelation or have given a few words of prophecy, does not make you
    a prophet.  Even if your call were a prophet, you could not enter that office right away.  You would not be
    capable.  His word says not to put a novice in the office of deacon (1 Timothy 3:6).  God will not put an immature
    Christian or immature preacher into the office of the prophet.

Get some spiritual growth and development under your belt before you try to ascertain and "advertise" what
office you are in.

Take time to wait on God.  Take time to fast, pray, and be still before the Lord to find His perfect will for your life
and ministry.  NOTE:  If you are not in the perfect will of God, you are in a place where Satan can attack you.  It also
makes it difficult to claim the highest that belongs to you.

 Stay open to God.  If you settle down into another call or another area of ministry and don't keep the
communication lines open between you and Heaven, God will let you go on and suffer the consequences of being out
of his will.

Do not intrude into the wrong office.  It appears the thing that hinders people in the ministry more than
anything else is trying to stand in the wrong office.  The tragedy is that people live and die there and never know it.

    a)  It can cost you your ministry: Charles Finney was the greatest soulwinner and evangelist since the New
    Testament days.  When he was about 80, he wrote, "I know many things, deeper things of God, than I am able
    to teach.  If I do teach these things, I lose the ability to win souls."  He knew things which he could share with
    other individuals, but to teach them was not his calling - it would have been the responsibility of the teacher to
    do that.  His calling was the evangelistic office.  

    b)  It can cost you your life - it is dangerous to play with holy things: Holy things are holy.  In the Old Testament if
    someone besides the High Priest intruded into the Holy of Holies, he fell dead instantly.  He had intruded into the
    wrong office; the calling of God is holy; the ministry of God is holy.

10)  Develop character.  More is required of people who are separated unto an office; set the right example; provide
things honest in the sight of all men; and fill your place with dignity.

If you are called of God to stand in an office, that office demands respect.  If you have respect for your office, you will
be able to teach people to have respect for that particular office.


The fascinating thing about the ministry gifts of Christ is their variety:

Apostles - the apostle's office seems to embrace almost every type of ministry.

Prophets - the prophet's ministry is inspirational.  He speaks by direct, divine inspiration and revelation.

Evangelists - the evangelist has a direct endowment from the Lord to preach to Word for the salvation of souls.

Pastors - Pastors are the shephards of God's sheep.

Teachers - Those who fill the office of teacher teach the Word, not by natural ability, but by the divine ability of the
Holy Spirit.

A person can stand in more than one office, we separate ministry offices to define them.  

These ministry gifts have been given to the Church to bring a balance in the Church.  The matter of balance of
ministry gifts in the Body of Christ is vitally important to be effective.  One ministry gift office alone cannot hope to
effectively be able to minister to all the needs of the entire Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ needs to realize that Christ gave a diversity of ministry gifts to the Church for a reason.  All of them
are essential in order for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ to come unto full stature in Christ.  It is God's divine plan
that each ministry gift provide a check and balance to correct and complement the other:

1)  The prophet is to inspire the teacher.

2)  The teacher is to steady the prophet.

3)  The evangelist is to continually remind us of the lost and dying world and its need for the gospel.

4)  The pastor is to demonstrate to us that souls still need much nurturing and care after they have been won to the

5)  And the apostle, above all, is to inspire and lead the way for gaining ground by establishing new works for the Lord.

The ultimate goal of all ministry is to unite - not divide!


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

The Gifts of the Spirit, Derek Prince, Copyright 2007 by Derek Prince Ministries, International.

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