(This is for anybody who may
want to know our position)
Each congregation has a
different authority structure and there is no desire, or even a belief that congregations should change anything about what
they do and how they do it. But so you know the mindset here regarding what a pastor is and what his or her role
is, the following is stated.
We believe that the fivefold
ministry of pastor, teacher, evangelist, aspostle and prophet still exists today, but that these are giftings, and not neccesarily
offices of authority, though in many cases, congregations ordain leaders in this manner. Nor do we believe that a gifting
entitles one to a position of leadership either. That is an issue of character and confirmation. And because society
has come to call the primary church leader "pastor", we are not trying to elevate other giftings to the level of
that social office, as is a popular thing today; (ie Apostle Jones or Prophet Irwin) But we do respect what society reveres
as a social place of honor; Hence, when someone goes by a title of respect, the appropriate behaviour is to address
that person by their proper title. For instance: Pastor Johnson or Pastor Calloway. (In some Christian quarters people
insert Apostle or Prophet as a title too.) If a person goes to seminary, earns a degree or even a doctorate in either theology
or ministry, that is certainly worthy of respect.
But the title may not
necessarily be an indication of his or her gifting. This is why primary/senior church leaders, most of whom go by
title of pastor, regardless of their religious, social title, exhibit different giftings.
Some senior church leaders are gifted as evangelists, others as teachers, others as church planters (Apostles) and others
as great preachers of God (prophets). Some pastors are pastors. These care for the souls within the flock and watch for wolves.
And this isn't to say that the primary/senior church leader has to have the
gifting of a pastor, even though he/she may carry that title socially. I have a friend, who is the pastor, but has the gifting
of an evangelist. He produces strong evangelists out of his flock. And he's right where God wants him as the senior leader
of that congregation. Another is a great teacher. His congregation is very analytical! Yet,
any senior church leader would be wise to be close to the pastors and not ignore their gifting,
for unity and strength's sake.
leader leads a congregation as a certain gifting. A Sunday school teacher may serve the senior leader of the church,
who has the gifting of an Apostle, while that Sunday school leader has the gifting of a pastor. So long
as corporate prayer is the rule, things can work, as Humility Himself rules and friendship prevails over the foolishness of
pride. The dynamic from congregation to congregation is completely different and unique, not to mention uniquely a
work in progress too.
automatically follows that if this view of the five fold ministry is accurate, that it is to your benefit to know your
calling (gifting) so that one can better function the way one ought, regardless of the congregational authority path
the Lord leads you through.
And yes, it is Biblical to ordain someone into
leadership because of a particular gifting, BUT that comes by earned trust and the confirmation of others in
leadership; However, the gifting does not begin at the point of ordination. Paul was gifted in such manner and functioned
according to God's design, which was "a" calling soon to be recognized by his brethren. He studied
14 years and grew under the Jerusalem leadership before he launched publicly. And he remained submitted to the Jerusalem council.
Ordination was the elevation to a place of leadership for the purpose of edifying the Body on a greater level.
On Men and Women
Regarding men and women in authority, the PCPC
generally believes men are best suited for primary leadership in the church, but
not absolutely. Paul's cousin-in-law, Junia, had the gifting of an apostle. (Romans 16:7) There are spiritual Margaret Thatchers in the church. And because so many men are lacking in
church life, does it not seem plausible that the Spirit of God, would call upon ladies to lead, just as post-modern Israel
has to call upon her women to serve in the military? Yes, there are challenges with this, but corporate prayer is the real
answer to the spirit of feminism hurting the church, not some legalistic doctrine and haughty social position that gives a
church leader an excuse to not fellowship with a sister in leadership. We take Paul's admonition in the context of the
entire Word of God, as being principled, but not absolutist, in nature; Which is why he personalized what he said,
in regard to his own leadership. He said "I do not allow" and here's why (1 Timothy 2:9-15). Some take
his admonition to the level of the Ten Commandments. Nonsense! He would've had to renounce his own cousin's wife,
Junia, if that were the case. We have to look at the whole Word of God. (For more on this issue: http://parkcircleprayer.com/id126.html )
But the point is that the view, from the Park Circle Prayer Campaign, is that the five-fold ministry is for
today, but that these are of giftings, not neccesarily titles or positions within the organized church setting. Seeing it
this way also helps us to know people better, for the individuals they are, rather than through the lens of earthly
In a perfect world, our giftings
would align with our positions, but we all know an imperfect world doesn't work that way. We'll have to wait
until the next world comes. That's why there is a big difference between the Church, the living organism fueled by
prayer and the Church-world, the religious arena where power is the prize.