Sunday, 9 February 2014

Ministry in Five Forms

I am reading "The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church" by Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim.  Hirsch and Catchim suggest, drawing on Ephesians 4, that there are five times of ministry, and that all are needed - apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher.

They suggest this fivefold ministry to be a major piece of Pauline ecclesiology and that we have diminished the impact of the church by placing too much emphasis on the shepherd and teacher, and neglecting the other three.  The essence of the apostle's task can be summed up in "sentness".  The prophet is the guardians of those things which are of the essence of the faith, with the task of proclaiming how we should live.  The evangelist "is the recruiter to the cause".  The shepherd has the task of nurture and the teaches is a channel of wisdom and understanding.

"All five are needed if we are to be the authentically missional church as Jesus intended us to be."

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