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Friday, 23 November 2012

Ephesians 4 Ministry - A Fresh Look (4)

I have been arguing for what some might call a more 'democratic' view of the gifts listed in Ephesians 4. If that just means non-hierarchical then fine; but I would avoid the term as it suggests something of this world's political systems and we are the people of God's different kingdom. I am just wanting to discourage the use of the pedestal, and encourage mutual service and the recognition of all measures of gift.

However, I would also want to be clear that I think it is nevertheless vitally important to recognise when people do have the measure of a gift to the point that we would call them an apostle,a prophet etc (some call these 'offices' but I find that a clumsy and archaic term). The names and the labels are not the important thing, but the functions and roles are essential for the equipping and perfecting of the church, and the people who fulfill them should be honoured.

For us to recognise different types of gift, and the different measures and spheres in which they operate, there needs to be a culture of humility - knowing what we are not - honour - recognising and celebrating what others are - honesty and love, so that we can work this out in context of a strong community/family (see Romans 12 for insights on this). Working out what it means for church to be family is the key to the function and the release of these and all gifts and callings.

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