The Church is a body made up of different parts – everyone is vital and needs to be doing what God has wired them to do. Some parts have greater impact – some gifts are more impactful than others – the “higher” gifts. So Paul gives us one of his gift/ministry lists which do vary somewhat!
- Apostles – an apostle is literally a “sent one”. They have 4 main roles – church planting, care of the churches, laying foundations well and oversight
- Prophets – have the role of forthtelling (giving the Lord’s insight on what is going on) and foretelling (giving what the Lord is wanting to do)
- Teachers – communicate the word of God
- Miracles and healing – do signs and wonders and heal the sick
- Helping – these servants get the jobs done
- Administrators – organise the ministry
- Tongues – here is more about bringing a public ‘tongue’ that needs interpretation. This breaks into a meeting, bringing a tangible sense of the presence of God. The breaking into the natural flow of the supernatural!
Not everyone has all or uses all. But Paul wants us to eagerly desire the higher ones. Not for a sense of position or fame, but for love. Love is the key. Love doesn’t look for position it looks for the best for others. It’s patient, kind, humble and rejoicing.
Love won’t end. Prophecy will – when Jesus comes back the perfect will be here – we won’t need to explain what’s going on (forthtelling) or what the Lord wants to do (foretelling) as He will be here!
For now we know in part and prophesy in part – new covenant prophecy is open to all (Acts 2) and has a lower bar than Old Testament prophecy – the sense of what the Lord wants to say is mixed in with our thoughts and feelings. So prophecy needs weighing to discern what’s God and what’s too much cheese on last night’s pizza!
Eagerly desire more of God’s love in and through you and more of his gifts to serve Him and others.