The Fivefold Ministry Progression
What is Your Ministry Calling?
I started getting really confused. As Craig and I took time to pray for each of the attendees at our Gifts and Calling Seminar, the Lord kept changing directions on us. Some folks that we were praying for had a clear prophetic orientation, but when we prayed, He would say clearly, "No, they must work at being more pastoral first."
After the fifth time this happened, I started to question the Lord. He was faithful though and gave me such a clear picture.
In everything in life and in the spirit, there is a natural order of things. When you start going to school, you start out with kindergarten and then move your way from there through the stages until you graduate after high school. Things are no different in the realm of the spirit. The Lord has an order of things and the reason I want to share this with you today is to help you out!
Perhaps somewhere along the line the Lord said to you, "I want you to be a prophet!" or "I want you to be an Apostle." or perhaps, "I want you to be a teacher."
Then just as you got used to the idea, it is like He changed His mind or something! Instead of heading in that direction, it felt like He led you somewhere else completely. If this is happening to you right now, I am here to give you hope.
Progressing in Your Ministry Call
Progressing in your ministry calling is much like climbing a ladder. There are clear stages and as you qualify in one, the Lord will open the other. Not only that, but as you rise up, the view starts getting clearer each time.
Now no one ever tried leaping to the top of a ladder without making their way through the bottom rungs first. Well... that is unless you are an expressive like me with a death wish! If you tried, then the chances are, you are pretty familiar with the bumps and bruises that met you along the way.
The problem is that we like to tell the Lord what our callings are. We like to hang around in areas that we are comfortable with. Well if you know anything about walking out the call of God on your life, you should know by now that it is HIS calling and with that being said - it is His decision on how you should fulfill it.
I still see way too many people coming and telling me what "their" gifts and callings are, without stopping for a moment to discover if this is really where God wants them right now. We get comfortable with what is familiar. The problem with this mentality though is that you become so dependent on your title and calling that you forget that it is the Lord that called you to walk out that title.
Before the Lord appointed me to Apostolic Office He said to me, "Are you prepared to act like an apostle, have the authority of an apostle and be an apostle... without anyone knowing that you are an apostle?" I knew that there would be places He would send me where women apostles would not be accepted. It was only when I could submit to this that He released me fully.
The point of that testing was to discover that my authority and call did not rest in my title, but in what God put into me.
So What is Your Boast Today?
Is your boast in the titles you hold and the certificates you have gathered? Or do you have a boast like Apostle Paul who said, "I glory in my infirmities so that the power of God can rest on me"?
I am driving this point home first before I lift you up a rung on the ladder. Until you are prepared to let go of the level you have, the Lord cannot add anything more to you.
The problem in today's church age is that everyone wants to be at the top! With the resurrection of the Fivefold Ministry in the church, everyone wants to head to the prophetic and apostolic call right away, without following God's natural order of things.
As a result we have imbalanced leaders. Come on - right about now your mind is already hopping to a few leaders that you know. They carry the title, but you find that their lives are lacking. You know that they have a call, but they miss that "something" that you cannot put your finger on.
Well I am here today to make sure that YOU do not miss out on that "something." I am here to help you climb that ladder correctly, so that by the time you get to the top, you are secure in what God has given to you.
You might be familiar with these passages on the Fivefold and Body Ministries:
Can you see the natural order here? With such an emphasis on the fivefold ministry, many overlook the first rungs in the ministry ladder... the body ministries in the church. Today I want to tell you that until you are prepared to start at the bottom, that you will not fulfill your function correctly at the top.
Who ever decided to build the roof of a house without putting attention into the foundation first? And we wonder why so many ministries are crumbing around us. They forgot to start off the foundation! The Scriptures say that a man does not build a house without first considering the cost. Well today, are you considering the cost?
Are you prepared to start on your foundation before heading on to the higher level ministries? And again, if you are already trying to fulfill a higher level ministry, are you prepared to come down a few notches and catch up on what you missed?
I had a real struggle with one of the people we ministered to. I tried to explain that although they felt that they had a prophetic call, that I felt God wanted them to step down from that and spend some time first in the Word, getting a solid foundation. Well, you could have sworn that I had just called them the anti-Christ. I did not think that what God said was unreasonable and was not prepared for the dramatic reaction.
I could have said anything... anything except to lay down the one calling that was their boast. It seems insane that someone who insists that they want to serve God, has decided to serve Him in the way that they seem fit. However before we point fingers, are you prepared to look at yourself? What if the Lord told you to lay down your boast right now? I know full well how much effort it takes to reach any of the Fivefold Ministry offices.
However what use is that office if it is flawed? What use is the ministry that you build if its foundation is so weak that it will crumble? So where do you begin? Well I am going to take you through the rungs of the ladder and it is for you to identify where you are at right now.
Let Us Consider the Body Ministries and the Fivefold Ministries as Rungs on a Ladder:
Just understanding that there is a progression brings rest. Where are you right now? Does the Lord have you serving in a local church? Bide your time, because He is taking you through the Body Ministries first.
Has the Lord told you to leave your local church and step out into something new? Then you are clearly
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