I didn’t have the advantage of growing up in church. Maybe you did. My experience the last 43 years has afforded me some insight about the church and moreover a profound appreciation for the church. When I talk about ‘the church’, I am not talking about a denomination or a building, but rather that group of people who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The form and size of the fellowship or gathering is less important to me. I realize in some places people worship together in houses, in others, its large buildings. What I see is what the apostle Paul identified as people who fulfill four special roles that help us all grow in spiritual maturity. The are apostles (those who begin new works and ministries), prophets (those who speak out against sinful society, powerful people and culture in general), evangelists (those who call people across the line of faith), and pastor/teachers (those who explain how to live according to the Bible). While we all are expected to carry out our ministry, these unique ‘gifts’ to the church are a blessing to me and hopefully to you.
And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 NASB
How thankful am I for those apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers who have made an impact in my life?
God, as this day begins- I think about the people who have been formative in my spiritual maturity. I am grateful they have fulfilled their role in the kingdom of God and the church. May I continue to be a pastor/teacher who faithfully serves You and helps people understand and live according to the Bible. May we all takes steps of spiritual maturity today as we grow into the full measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.