Structure, Giftings & Authority

(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.

Each church 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. 

It 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 in Leadership

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: )

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 position. 

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.

...know them that labour among you... 1 Thessalonians 5:12 * ...pray for one another... James 5:6 * ...the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee... 1 Corinthians 12:21 * ...there is one Body and one Spirit... Ephesians 4:4 * ...the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth... Ephesians 4:16 * ...I pray that they may be one with us so that the world will believe...John 17:21 * pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity...Psalm 133:1 "The purpose of life is companionship." *** "Worship is that form of companionship where we love on Him in response to His great love for us." *** "The most powerful drive in the human heart is the desire for companionship." *** "We inherited this drive from the One we were patterned after." *** "The difference between manipulation and leadership is motive." *** "Motive is purified and guided in the presence of God: Prayer." *** "Pride is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, an attitude of self-entitlement and a motive for self-glorification." *** "Pride starts subtly and then turns into the aggressive enemy of real companionship" *** "The Cross and the presence of God brings fellowship (heart to heart), but the world offers only socializing (facade to facade)." *** "Every relationship has a foundation. The pride of public ministry has been a foundation for too many. At some point it consumes" *** "There is a difference between worshipping the idea that we worship God and actually worshipping God." *** "Why do we want to see prayer back in the schools, when it is no longer in our homes or churches?" *** "Corporate prayer around the Throne must return the center of church life if there is to be any hope for the masses." *** "Corporate prayer produces effective preaching, not preaching produces corporate prayer." *** "If we are so in the know, why do we no longer gather together to seek God, navigate through our haughty hearts to get a glimpse of God's heart and then pray in the lost?" *** "Christianity is not an enterprise, venture for self-discovery or political or civic organization. It is a Blood-bought fellowship of prayer focused on One." *** "Prayer-based friendships are the only ones that last." *** "Prayer-bathed friendships are not incidental to ministry, they are foundational." *** "Prayer is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the ministry" *** "It's one thing to tell somebody what we believe about Jesus, it's quite another to be able to introduce someone to our Best Friend." *** "We are more like Martha than Mary; More like Christian activists, than people of prayer." *** "We need unity in humility found at the foot of the Cross, not prideful uniformity that says: 'Look at us doing God's work'" "There has got to be a practical, excecutable strategy in place for us to dethrone the ministry of Hollywood in our homes and bring families and communities together via corporate prayer inspired by the Spirit. Technology is not the enemy; Our disobedient laziness is the enemy." ***