A Message from Rev Benji Callen – November 17 2019

Wow a lot happened last Sunday at church.  To hear the unique stories of the life-changing difference a relationship with Jesus makes reminds me of the joy of ministry. Thank you Graham, Jaime and Greg for your courage and honesty.

Thanks to all those involved last Sunday from the details of the service including the Church Council with the launch of our vision and three year direction “Raising Children of God”, to those involved in the re-affirmation of baptism to the music, the membership and the behind the scenes office work required to get over 200 personal certificates printed (please pick yours up if you haven’t yet) and then finally the generous hospitality of the international lunch to follow. It was a wonderful preview of the great heavenly banquet Jesus talked about. Thanks Joy for the vision of the international lunch and all the many people who pitched in to help with providing food, serving, setting up, the kids who served others and those who cleaned up. It was a great team effort which created a family buzz of Christian fellowship for over 200 people. Thank you.

This Sunday Colette and I will talk about the five-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13

It’s a list that Paul gives in a general letter about church. There is debate as to whether this is an exhaustive list of the ministries in the church or not and since writing in the first century there are now broad ways of understanding how this can apply to our church today. The apostle is like the church planter or entrepreneur who begins lasting church movements, the prophet listens to the voice of the spirit and responds, this can be calling out injustice or being able to see God’s plan for others, the evangelist shares the message of the gospel to encourage faith, the shepherd is those who pastorally care for the flock and finally the teacher is the one who explains Jesus to others. Some argue that everyone is one of these five, others would argue it’s a specific list. 

There are a number of online “five-fold ministry test” to see who you are. 

Mike Breen from ‘Building a Discipling Culture” talks about having a “base” ministry, which is our natural default. The one we find easiest. We might go through phases of each of the others to help deepen our base.  The final focus is that each of the ministries need to work together as the body of Christ, not independently. Their purpose is not to lift  and build up the ego of the believer but rather to humbly equip others in ministry and build the wider church up. So may the Holy Spirit help us to equip the saints for ministry as we raise children of God.

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