Doing Church Right (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Verse 11 The verse begins with a list of the various offices in the church.
- These are not elected offices, but ones given by God. These leaders are a gift from God to the church.
- These five types of leaders are in some circles referred to as the “five-fold ministry.”
- Some want to see these 5 as hierarchical but it is better to see them as Chronological.
- Abuse happens when they are seen as Hierarchical.
Verse 12. The verse starts with “their” which refers back to the leaders just mentioned: Apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors, teachers. They are the one who are to do the equipping.
- No matter which type of leader, their job is to equip the saints.
- The problem with much of the modern Church is that we have lost sight of this.
- And the leaders are expected to carry all of the load and do all of the work. Business model.
- How did we get to this point? Three possible reasons.
- First, the Roman Catholic church translates the Greek prepositions in this verse differently.
- They link all the preposition back to the Apostles, Evangelists, prophets, etc.
- In the Roman Catholic view the Priest is expected to do all the work.
- Second, the entertainment driven church.
- The entertainment driven church is heavy on staff. No more deacons etc.
- The staff is expected to do all the work.
- They also have a different view of service.
- Third, just isn’t taught any more
- Now we need to define what equip
- The Greek word used here means: “to prepare” “to outfit” or “to equip.”
- Luke 6:40 helps us see this word in action.
- The real essence of this word had the idea of perfecting. (YLT translation)
- So, equipping then is to help others become like Jesus.
- If it is the leader’s job to equip, then Your job as the saints, is to be equipped and do the work.
- Are the saints putting themselves in position to be equipped?
- It says that the saints are to be equipped “to do His work.”
- So now we need to define what the “work” is.
- So, let’s look at what Jesus told His Disciples.
- Matt 10:5 As Jesus sends out his disciples he tells them what the work of ministry is.
- As Jesus was sending His Twelve Disciples out to do the work of ministry, He told them what that Ministry should look like. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and drive out demons.
- Notice it wasn’t Jesus who did all this work. It was the Disciples.
- Jesus was modeling what Paul is teaching here in Eph 4.
- Jesus had already trained the Disciples to do these things and now he is sending them out to do it.
- Now the work of the ministry could also include things like deacons and Elders.
- I would also add that part of the quipping also includes teaching good biblical literacy and Theological literacy.
- But then this verse continues with why we are supposed to do it this way. “and build up the church…”
- Doing ministry this way enables the church to grow and be built up.
Verse 13 This verse makes it clear that this method or Model of doing church is going to continue long after the tine of Paul. We won’t measure up to the full and complete standard of Christ until He returns.