CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #2

Don't forget to check out Peace​With​​God.com for great news and exciting pictures!





BELOVED, THIS IS HOLY WEEK!  THIS SUNDAY IS EASTER SUNDAY!  ALMOST
EVERY YEAR WE HAVE GREAT GATHERINGS!  THE CHURCH IS FULL!  WE HAVE
GREAT MUSIC AS WE REMEMBER THAT THE GRAVE WAS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO
HOLD OUR LORD!  HE AROSE!  HE BROUGHT HIS OWN BODY UP OUT OF THE
GRAVE!  HE IS ALIVE TODAY!  HE IS GOD AND HE IS OUR GOD!  EVEN IF WE
HAVE TO BE ALONE BECAUSE OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS, LET’S SHOUT IT
TOGETHER AND PROCLAIM IT ONLINE OR HOWEVER WE CAN DO IT:  HE LIVES!
JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE!  AND HE LIVES IN MY HEART!  SOON HE WILL COME
BACK AGAIN!  THAT IS OUR BLESSED HOPE!  (Titus 2:13)  -Even so, Come,
Lord Jesus!!-  (Rev. 22:20)

~~


CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #2!
--
THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN!

--
Memory Verse:  Ephesians 4:11, "It was He (God) who gave some to be
apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be
pastors and teachers," Ephesians 4:11.

--

The GIFTS God has given, Ephesians 4:11-13


-It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to
be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's
people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built
up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the
Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the
fullness of Christ.


GIFTS given TO the church, Ephesians 4:11


In verse 11 we have four (or five, depending on how you interpret the
last three words) gifts that God has given TO the church.  Here is the
list:

1.  apostles
2.  prophets
3.  evangelists
4.  pastors
5.  teachers
(Or some people might interpret #4 to be pastor/teacher.)

There is another list of GIFTS in I Corinthians 12:4-11.  We will get
to that later.


It is clear that there are different gifts and for different purposes.
The list here in Ephesians 4 is clearly PEOPLE.  ALL are given to the
church for the purpose of growth.  For sure each gift is different
from the others.

Gift #1:  APOSTLES


Some people are called out from the whole church to be APOSTLES.
There is disagreement about APOSTLES.

Some people are SURE that there were only 12 apostles EVER.
When those 12 died there are NO MORE apostles.  It IS true that those
12 were the Founding Fathers of the church, under our Lord Jesus
Christ.

But some people would say that as the church has grown and spread it
has grown and spread BECAUSE OF outstanding leaders whose gifts were
larger than one church.  Some strong leaders have gone to new parts of
the world with the Gospel.  Some have passed their vision on to us
through writing.  But all have been REACHING OUT to new areas and
larger groups of people throughout the world.  They would call these
people Apostles.
Maybe it is just WORDS?  Surely Paul is saying here, -God gives the
GIFT of Apostle (or Apostle-like ministry, if you prefer) to the
church.  Father-God calls out SOME to open new parts of the world to
Jesus, to lead and bless the entire church in the whole world by doing
LARGE-scale works for the glory of God!

Much, MUCH more can be said about APOSTLES, but this is enough for our
needs at this time.

That is people-gift #1 to the church in Ephesians 4:11.

Gift #2: PROPHETS


These are the ones who WARN the church of the sure judgement of God
which is coming.  Some of these nowadays might be PREDICTERS of future
events with the warning to FLEE from the ANGER of God which is sure to
fall on the world soon.  SOME of these would not predict the future
but would only receive and proclaim words of warning from God.

Here again, some people believe and teach that the gift of prophecy is
all over and done.  They would believe there are no more PROPHETS, or
that the meaning is very different from prophets in the Old Testament.
It seems to me that Paul gave us this list because these were jobs for
people in the Church.  So, maybe they are not EXACTLY the same as in
the Old Testament, but probably there are PROPHETIC gifts in the
church that we simply need to understand.

Often we make our own problems because we want everyone to SAY every-
thing exactly the way we say it.  It seems like some of us think this
way:  We completely understand God and we can explain Him to you.  You
cannot disagree even in little things or you are wrong and you become
our enemy.  Disagreements bother us and we do not allow for other
ideas or other ways of explaining what we are saying.

We must learn to allow the Holy Spirit to do HIS job.  (Here we
practice saying very LOUDLY:  THERE IS A HOLY SPIRIT!  <PAUSE> AND I
AM NOT HIM! <PAUSE>)  We are NOT the Holy Spirit and we do not have
all the correct answers about GOD!  He is too big for us.  So let’s
teach what we know as we are learning!  Go slowly so that we make sure
we know the TRUTH and let our brothers and sisters do the same.  We do
not need to fight with them all the time.  They are not our enemy.
Satan is our enemy, along with all his demons.  Let’s fight satan and
his demons, NOT each other.

I think it is QUITE CLEAR even today that SOME people speak and live
more like ALARM CLOCKS, trying to keep the church alert to danger,
while other people speak much more calmly.  The GIFTS are NOT THE SAME
in many ways!  We need the DIFFERENT gifts to work together to make
the Church (us Christians) ready to serve God!

PROPHETS are often loud or harsh in their speaking.  They believe they
have heard the Voice of God, even if nobody believes them!  It is
their job to WARN people of danger!

~~~~

SO:  It is the job of the Apostle to OPEN new parts of the world to
Jesus and to be upper-level LEADERS or mobilizers.

It is the job of the Prophet to either FORETELL the future or TELL
FORTH the Word of God or both.  His job is to WARN.

Gift #3:  EVANGELISTS


These are called by God especially to reach non-Christians.  The
emphasis in all their teaching and praying is toward the people who do
NOT know God and, therefore, have not been born again (John 3:7).  ALL
the church, EVERY CHRISTIAN, is called to do evangelism, to try to win
people to Jesus Christ.  But SOME are greatly gifted in that way.  You
can see by now, of course, that these gifts do sometimes overlap.
Most people use several of these gifts.  BUT there are some people
particularly chosen by God to be very STRONG in the use of one gift
MORE THAN any other.

Evangelists may preach, teach, sing, or pray.  They may give books or
papers in the market place.  They may write letters or books.  But
they will ALWAYS do these things as they try to win new people to the
Lord Jesus Christ.  That is the special gift of EVANGELISM (or
Gospel-spreading).

It is my purpose to try to make clear WHAT these gifts are and HOW
they are different from each other.  At the same time, I need you to
understand that they WORK TOGETHER.  They are not fighting with each
other.  One gift is NOT better than another gift.  But each person is
happier with the gift God has given to him/her because it is THEIR
call from God.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that they obey God and develop
the gift God has given them.

ALL are gifts from God to the church!  ALL of them are needed and are
very important!


Gift #4: PASTORS or SHEPHERDS


The word PASTOR means FARMER or KEEPER OF SHEEP.  The job of this
person is to LOVE tenderly, to TAKE CARE OF the SHEEP.  In John
21:15-17, after the Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again from the
dead, Jesus Christ  gave to the Apostle Peter the special job of
PASTORING.  The SHEEP are, of course, the people of God.  It is the
job of the PASTOR to visit them, help them with their problems, and
just love and take care of them.

Now we know that NO one man can tenderly care for all the people like
this.  The PASTOR may be one who leads other people to be pastors.
The work of pastoring may NOT be done by the person who has the TITLE:
 Pastor.  It may not be a job to which a person has been ELECTED or
APPOINTED or HIRED.  The real PASTOR is the one who lovingly takes
care of people for God.  It is a gift from God like all the other
gifts.  The PASTOR may or may not be a very good teacher.
Gift #5:  TEACHER

This is a particular gift but it is also a gift which all the other
gifts must use.  The Apostle must teach the Word of God as he opens a
new area to the Gospel.  So there are Apostle-Teachers.  The Prophet
must teach the Word of God as he warns people of the dangers of sin
and the judgments that are coming.  The evangelist can teach a little
or a lot as he tries to tell non-Christians about Jesus.

The Pastor often teaches as he takes care of the people of God.  In
fact, some people insist that Gifts #4 and #5 are the SAME gift.  They
say that a man cannot take care of the people of God without teaching
them the Word of God.  They might also say that teaching the Word of
God IS taking care of the people of God.

I see that teaching goes with all the gifts.  But I also see that
TEACHING is a very special gift.  I see that SOME people are BETTER
teachers than others.  It is clear to me that, while the Apostle, the
Prophet, the Evangelist, and the Pastor might, in their teaching, use
the parts of the Bible that fit their special work, the job of
TEACHING is that of studying and applying the Word of God generally.
Some people are called to do JUST EXACTLY THAT!

It can be done many ways.  We may study a book of the Bible verse by
verse or point by point.  We may pick a topic and study all the verses
about that topic.  We may pick people of the Bible and study all we
can find about them.  We may go back and study the original Bible
languages and very carefully define the meanings of all Bible words as
they were used during Bible times.  These ideas, and many others, may
be used to TEACH the Word of God.  A person  who is called to TEACH
may have to do a lot of WRITING so that his teaching may be passed
around to the church.  The TEACHER may or may not have other
responsibilities in the churches.  Sometimes the ELDERLY leaders, who
have more time to study the Word of God, can be better TEACHERS, while
other people do the other jobs in the church.  ALL are equally
important and ALL overlap.  I need to do what God gives to ME to do!

SO:  These are the five gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11.  It is
possible that the gift of a person may change as he grows in the Lord.
I think you know what my gift is.  It was not always the same.  Or
maybe I should say that I think it is improved, hopefully, more
mature, than it used to be.  Let me say it again more clearly:  Your
gift may change over your lifetime as you get to know the Lord Himself
and His Word better.  For instance you could think that your gift is
EVANGELISM because you are good at that.  But later, you may find that
you are very good at TEACHING or PROPHESYING.  Just work at what God
is giving you to do today and let Him, the blessed Holy Spirit, grow
you in the direction HE wants you to grow.

Do you know what YOUR gift is?  If you do not find a certain gift for
yourself, do not worry.  Continue to pray, walk with the Lord, do what
is natural for you in the church, and, in time, God will make it all
more clear to you as you NEED to know about it.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of ALL the gifts is to bring us to


-UNITY in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature...- (Ephesians 4:13).



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:


1.  Name and talk about the five gifts given TO the church in Ephesians 4:11.
Notice that these GIFTS are all PEOPLE.  What do you have to say about that?

2.  In case you need to think about these more carefully, discuss them
one by one.  What is an apostle?  (Take your time and say whatever you
think needs to be said about these one by one.)  What is a prophet?  …
   What is an evangelist?  ….   What is a pastor?  …    What is a
teacher? …..

3.  Why do some people always put the last two together?  (Pastor/Teacher)
Do you agree with that idea?  Even though ALL Gifts should do some
teaching, WHY should the Pastor be the MAIN TEACHER who tries to
organize and build up your knowledge and be the MAIN ENCOURAGER for
the whole church?

4.  There is ONE Holy Spirit in control of all the gifts but there are
many different kinds of gifts.   Why do we need the CONTROL of the
Holy Spirit with all these GIFTED PEOPLE?  Do we know enough about the
work of the Holy Spirit?
5.  Why are SO MANY teachers OLDER people?  Is that GOOD?  Talk about
what you think and WHY you think it.

6.  What do you think about so many of our believers who seem to never
grow up or mature?  They seem to be babies all their lives and always
need to be fed and cared for.  Is that good or bad?  Always explain
what you think.

7.  Here is a game to play together:
_______________________________________________________
        CHOOSE FROM THIS LIST FOR YOUR ANSWERS BELOW!
A.  shepherds, farmers, keepers of sheep
B.  study and apply the Word of God
C.  special calling to reach the people who do NOT follow Jesus
D.  the FIRST church leaders; they open new areas for the Gospel
E.  warn the church and community of the judgment of God
--
Which of these goes with A, B, C, D, E above?
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers
_______________________________________________________

8.  Do ALL of US need to study and grow all through our Christian
lives?   Why?  or Why not?

Post a Comment

0 Comments