core studies : framework of the ministry
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Framework of the Ministry
"Framework of the ministry" is a term used to describe the structure of the Biblical church (Ephesians 2:19-22). The ministry has resources of people, time, money, and buildings, all of which God wants to be used to save souls. The ministry's framework determines how the resources that are available to it will be used to accomplish God's work (Ephesians 4:16, John 21:15-16, Matthew 25:34-40, James 1:27, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
The five-fold ministry that God set up through the early apostles--that is still in operation today--is for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-20, Ephesians 4:12). The five positions of responsibility (Ephesians 4:11) are Apostles (Matthew 10:1-20), Prophets (Revelations 19:10, Acts 15:32), Evangelists (2 Timothy 4:5, Philippians 2:19-22), Pastors (Jeremiah 3:15, Acts 20:28-31) and Teachers (Matthew 28:20, Titus 2:1-15).
A ministry is more than a group of individuals pursuing individual goals (Proverbs 30:12); it is a unified collection of individual strengths pursuing one goal--the advancement of God's kingdom (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Nehemiah 4:16-20). Effective communication is essential to a unified ministry (Amos 3:3, Philemon 1:6, Ephesians 4:16). Through poor communication, the ministry becomes only a collection of individuals (Judges 17:6, Proverbs 12:15).
The new Christian may struggle to find what he has to offer the ministry, but only because he is new. As he observes the church structure and communicates to his elders his questions and concerns, and shares his ideas and visions, he will begin to see how he too can be an effective part of the framework. First, the basic ways of contributing to the framework become apparent (by volunteering and learning skills). Ways that are more specific are understood as one's talents develop over time (Romans 12:4-8). Everyone's calling begins with being available to God. Our talents and gifts increase as we allow God to use us more and more.
Pastors are accountable to God for their congregation, as shepherds are accountable for their sheep (Ezekiel 3:17-21, Ezekiel 34:1-16, Luke 13:6-9, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23). Refer to the "Pastorship" study for more on the role of the pastor.
An apostle is one that starts a new work for God and is the foremost leader over that work. Our founding pastor is also our first apostle, because God has used him to start and frame this work called Christian Fellowship Church Ministries, International, a new branch formed into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1-2, 2 Corinthians 12:11-12). Pastor L.R. Davis is the founding pastor of our church (1 Corinthians 4:15). An evangelist is a person that God uses to comfort and encourage the saints within the church (Colossians 4:7-9, Philippians 2:19-22). A prophet is a person that, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, audibly delivers direction of the ministry and people's lives (Acts 13:1-4, Acts 11:27-30). A teacher is a person that works under the direction of God and the pastor in the spiritual education of the saints (1 Timothy 1:3-4, 2 Timothy 2:24-26). A teacher is more than a roll model, as a mentor, but is one counted faithful to teach sound doctrine. These five offices are the leadership positions of the church and are established by an anointing from God (Ephesians 4:11).