Five- Fold Ministry Gifts to the Church

For a great book written on this topic in more depth (Five-Fold Teams – Equipping the Church) by  Rev. Julie Shannon (the author of this post), please visit the Bookstore link under this image


Rev Julie Shannon

The last few sentences of my previous sermon were: “The whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it’s work.” Whether you are a large limb that is seen and has a fivefold anointing or you are the ligament that helps it move and keeps it strong you are very important.”

I explained that I would follow up with a brief explanation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to Christian believers and also how the gifts of Christ to the church (the five-fold ministers) do their job in practical terms.

1 Peter 4:10 ” Each one should use whatever gift he/she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms. “

Firstly let’s look at the nine Operational gifts that we find in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

1 Cor. 12:7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

These gifts are seen as supernatural aids to assist the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry, given to us by the Holy Spirit.  Every Christian will have at least one of these gifts.

Each gift is defined as follows: (As written by – By Dr. Dale A. Robbins)

(1) Word of Wisdom — A Word refers to “a supernaturally imparted fragment,” while wisdom, which generally means prudence, decision making.

(2) Word of Knowledge — A supernaturally inspired utterance of facts.

(3) Faith — A supernatural impartation of assurance in God.

(4) Gifts of Healings — Supernaturally ministering health to the sick.

(5) Working of Miracles — A supernatural intervention of natural laws. The Greek describes it as “works of power” and implies instantaneous results.

(6) Prophecy — A supernaturally inspired utterance from God. A genuine prophetic utterance never contradicts, neither is equal to, the written Word of God. To forthtell or foretell. To speak from the mind of God. Prophecies are to be judged (1 Cor. 14:29, 1 Thes. 5:20-21).

(7) Discernment — This is a supernatural ability to discern a person’s spiritual character and the source of his actions and messages, such as from the Holy Spirit, demon spirits, the human spirit or from the flesh.

(8) Different Kinds of Tongues — A supernaturally imparted utterance in an unlearned language which is interpreted as a prophecy to the body for their edification. (This is distinguished from “praying” in tongues, which is intended to edify one’s own spirit — 1 Cor. 14:14.) A message in tongues to the body is always to be interpreted (by another gift) (1 Cor. 14:27).

(9) Interpretation of Tongues — This is the supernatural interpretation of a message in tongues into the understandable language of the hearers. It is not a “translation” but an interpretation.

There are nine truths we can remember about spiritual gifts

1.     Only believers are given spiritual gifts- 1 Corinthians 2:14

2.     Each Christian has at least one gift- 1 Corinthians 7:7

3.     One person cannot have all the gifts- 1 Corinthians 1:27-30

4.     Gifts are according to Gods grace not our works- Ephesians 4;7

5.     The Holy Spirit chooses what gifts to give us- 1 Corinthians 12:11

6.     Our gifts are permanent- Romans 11:29

7.     We have to do our bit and grow in our gifts- 1 Timothy 4:14

8.     We are sinning when we waste these gifts-1 Corinthians 4:1-2, Matt 25:14-30

9.     Using our gifts gives glory to God and matures us as Christians- John 15:8

Other spiritual gifts can be found in Romans 12 and other places in the Bible, such as:



voluntary poverty

I am not presuming that this list is exhaustive as I’m sure we could find more in God’s word.  I will explain these other gifts further at another time but I need to move on to explaining how the Five-Fold ministers re gifted to the church and how this works in the practical.

Apostles govern

While some believe that apostles died out with the original twelve it is clear that the twelve trained and raised up post ascension apostles to do the work; Andronicus, Junia (a woman) James, Barnabus, Timothy, and Paul are just a few. This has continued on throughout the ages, whether they were recognized as apostles or not.

Apostles love change, love taking calculated risks and enjoy building and creating new things that advance the kingdom of God.

Peter Wagner describes an apostle as one whom: “assumes and exercises general leadership over a number of churches with an extraordinary authority in spiritual matters that is spontaneously recognized and appreciated by those churches.” Apostles have been given especially to church pastors and leaders for help and guidance.   They are peacemakers, troubleshooters and problem solvers. They can make demands that appear unreasonable at times but they are gladly accepted because people recognize their authority. They have the big picture in focus and don’t get caught up in minor issues.”  An apostle normally has a measure of all the other five fold gifts, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher and Evangelist so they have an understanding to train and equip and so they can step into these roles as God leads. Many apostles are a Senior Pastor of a local church but do not restrict themselves to the work of a pastor, they have pastors that work with them to shepherd the church body.

An apostle:

–          Casts and keeps Gods vision burning before the churches and ministries they oversee.

–          Recognizes, raises up and equips Five Fold Ministers and releases them into ministry.

–          Leads, nurtures, corrects, rebukes and spiritually oversees the body of Christ they are responsible for.

–          Lays foundations for churches and ministries or sets in order those already established.

–          Is a Spiritual Mother or Father with governing authority and supernatural anointing to regions, countries or nations as Christ appropriates it.

–          Makes final decisions if one cannot be reached by those they oversee.

–          Is accountable to Jesus Christ and other Five-Fold Ministers in there sphere of influence.

–          Networks with other five fold ministers either locally, nationally or internationally.

Prophets guide

A prophet is anointed to perceive and speak the mind of Christ to individuals, churches, businesses, countries and or nations.  They proclaim a divine message that should never contradict scripture, and should bring Holy Spirit confirmation of truth within the person receiving the word.  Just as with every five fold minister, a prophet needs space to learn and make mistakes.

A prophet:

–          Imparts supernatural power and gifts for ministry.

–          Encourages, guides, corrects and rebukes the body of Christ through biblical teaching and receiving revelation from God.

–          Leads in and teaches regarding prayer and intercession.

–          Works alongside Apostles to bring balance between vision and direction.

–          Is accountable to Jesus Christ and other Five-Fold Ministers in there sphere of influence.

–          Prophets and apostles are called to work together, there combined giftings joined together make a formidable team.  As Dr Bill Hamon puts it – “They are powerful and effective in their own ministry, but when they join together they are multiplied many times over. One can put a thousand to flight, but when they co-labor together, two can put ten thousand to flight.”

Evangelists Gather

Evangelists have a strong passion to seek and save people from hell, this desire constantly burns within them propelling them to bring the freedom of the gospel wherever they go.  They have a magnet type supernatural force that draws non Christians to Christ.  They are responsible to train up and equip the body of Christ to evangelize to non-believers.

An evangelist:

–          Imparts passion to individuals, Churches and ministries to share the gospel.

–          Supernaturally draws non -believers into a relationship with Jesus Christ bringing them into His church.

–          Imparts power to bring conviction and break the bondages of sin, often followed by signs and wonders.

–          Cleary teaches on the Biblical truths of salvation, Baptism and the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ.

–          Is accountable to Jesus Christ and other Five-Fold Ministers in there sphere of influence.

Pastors Guard

A pastor is called to protect and guard the body of Christ entrusted to them.  They give direction, protection and correction as they lead lives that are often sacrificial in many ways.  They will run to the rescue when there is genuine need; encouraging, praying for and bringing comfort to the believers that are in their care.

A Pastor:

–          Imparts the heart to nurture and encourage the body of Christ to all believers’.

–          Supernaturally draws people to themselves for counsel, support and love.

–          Imparts supernatural healing to the emotionally and spiritually wounded.

–          Trains and equips others to lead the body of Christ.

–          Is accountable to Jesus Christ and other Five-Fold Ministers in there sphere of influence.

Teachers ground

A teacher is called to ground the church body in biblical truth. They truly enjoy the task of breaking down difficult chunks of scripture and doctrine and presenting them to the body through either spoken or written word. Teachers love the word of God and train others to read, understand and apply biblical truth.  They often study to obtain more knowledge and insight to pass onto the body of Christ.

A Teacher:

–          Encourages understanding and the ability to divide truth from error or deception to the body of Christ.

–          Supernaturally brings Gods truth to Christians through speech, written word and lifestyle.

–          Encourages grounding in regular Biblical discovery and study to the body of Christ.

–          Trains and equips others to lead the body of Christ.

–          Is accountable to Jesus Christ and other Five-Fold Ministers.

There are certain things we must remember about spiritual gifts and also the five fold ministers that are gifted to the church.  Gifts or calling do not equate to maturity.

Fivefold ministers are servants, Matthew 20:25 “whoever wants to be great must be a servant of all”. Jesus is the greatest servant of all, he gave his very life for those he loves. A calling on a minister’s life (e’g five fold minister) is one aspect of their ministry for the Lord, their character is the second aspect. How much their character has been matured directly relates to the level of authority that the Lord commissions them to have.

I Timothy 3:1-7 gives the qualifications of an overseer and all fivefold ministers have to have been proven in these areas before the Lord will release them into the fullness of their call.   Every Christian needs to be accountable to those that are called to look after and equip them, including five fold ministers.

I’m going to finish with some famous words the apostle Paul gave to the Ephesian church, I claim this same truth, prayer and promises that it holds for our church’s both here and overseas.

Ephesians 3:7-21

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.  Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole familyin heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Bless you all as you grow in who the Lord has called you to be, whether a limb or a ligament (have a seen gift or calling or support those that are seen) ; you are all important to Kingdom growth and to each other.

Rev Julie Shannon

For a book written on the topic in more depth (Five-Fold Teams – Equipping the Church) by  Rev. Julie Shannon (the author of this post) , please visit:



18 responses

  1. Darryl L. Brown


    August 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm

  2. Enyioma Ekpebegh

    Dear Pastor Julie,

    Thanks for this article. Very appropriate for my teachings in the Foundation School of our ministry ( Believer’s Loveworld – Christ Embassy Church).

    God Bless you.
    Sis Enyioma Ekpebegh.

    October 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  3. Dr Nduhukire Timothy

    Thanks Pastor, for such a fine teaching on the five fold ministry gifts. It will help me on work am doing about the Five fold ministry and their role in the body of Christ.
    Bless you

    February 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

  4. May the Lord greatly bless you for enhancing the kingdom with this Gospel of truth which is going a long way to open the eyes of many

    June 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

  5. Minister Robert Campbell

    Good article. God is calling me to the office of the Prophet

    August 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm

  6. Moaty

    Good Article. I’ve been looking for a good teaching of five fold ministry for a while now and I’ve come across some pretty weird teachings as to what each ministry is.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

  7. Nazer Abdul

    It is like water to a soul thats thirst

    October 10, 2010 at 8:17 am


    Thanks pastor for this article.God bless you.from me take Psalm 23!

    November 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

  9. Ed Zeringue

    Beautiful Teaching. I’m going through this study with my youth group & this helps tremendously!
    May God shine His Face upon you & richly bless for you for your Kingdom work
    Thank You

    January 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  10. ruben Aguirre

    Thanks Ptr for the enlightening biblical support for the five fold ministries which is still true today.God bless

    February 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

  11. Pingback: Five Fold Gifts Bring on Building Boom – Eph 4:Deut 19 | throwing pebbles into the pond

  12. Evang. Ojie C. Michael

    Good teaching about the five fold ministery. I have gained so much from your teaching. Thanks and may God continue to inspire you.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm

  13. Connie Keith

    What a refreshing and well-written reminder of the Kingdom business of the 5 fold ministry! Thank you for sharing!

    November 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm

  14. Fundile

    i like it and i like

    March 17, 2012 at 12:06 am

  15. Lisa Addo

    Thanks so much for your summary of the Spiritual gifts and the Five-Fold Ministry. At my church we have studied the Spiritual gifts and now are half way through the Five- Fold Ministry. This is truly a blessing that I was able to find exactly the information needed to explore the scriptures. Thank you for your submission.Blessings to you and your ministry.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

  16. Yvonne Serwaa Boakye

    Am much grateful unto God for your life Pastor. Exactly what i have been looking for. Keep the faith

    April 2, 2012 at 10:34 pm

  17. Peter pourino

    Iam really thankful to God and to you Rev Julie Shanon for your wisdom and knowledge and understanding on this topic Five fold ministry em trully blessed as read your Teachings and your clarifications as how the Five fold ministry its functions in the Body of Christ. God richly bless you in every aspects of life . Peter

    June 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm

  18. ave

    Thank you so much for this spiritual blessing. I have been seeking this spiritual blessing and you have helped me understand so much and it came on time as we Witness Ministries are moving according to god in the fullness of the five fold ministry! It’s here!

    Pastor McDowell

    August 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

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