Keith at “subversive1” has written on a topic that (I think) is often misunderstood. His post is called “58 Fold Ministry?” and it tackles the subject of the (so-called) five-fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11.
He examines the list of spiritual gifts (and spiritually gifted people) in Ephesians 4:11, but he also compares that list to the ones in Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:28. (Of course, there are others lists in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and – my personal favorite – 1 Peter 4:10-11.) And, he asks a very good question: Why are the spiritual gifts in Ephesians 4:11 considered the “five main gifts in the church today, or that these five should be exalted above all the other gifts…”?
Keith decides that there are at least 58 gifts listed in various places in the New Testament, and the each of these (and any others) are necessary for the growth and vitality of the church. (Sounds similar to what Paul says in the entire section of Ephesians 4:7-16.)
I love Keith’s conclusion:
At face value, the message of the New Testament is that you matter. Your gift – whatever it is – is necessary. You are important. You have something the rest of us need. We have something that you need. We need one another to grow and to thrive.
As Paul says in each of these passages, there are many gifts, and they are all given by the One Spirit, and we are all members of each other. Our gifts are not for us, they are not about us, they are about one another and the purpose of these gifts is to be a blessing to everyone else and to exalt them, not ourselves.
So, I’m not sure about you, but since there are something like 58 different spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible, I’m a big fan of the Fifty-Eight Fold Ministry of God.
Please take the time to read the rest of Keith’s post! It’s worth the read.
So, are those gifted as apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers important for the edification of the church today? Absolutely! But so are those who are gifted as servants, helpers, administrators, etc. etc. etc.
If you are in Christ, then he desires to work through you to build up his church.