Balancing the Diet of
Jesus, a short time before He ascended, spoke these words
"Feed my sheep" John 21:17c.
We are not only to grow spiritually but along with this,
we are to feed others. If our spiritual diet is lacking or
imbalanced, we will be greatly limited in our ability to fulfill
this command of Jesus to feed His sheep.
The Lord has placed within His Body five different ministries
to promote our spiritual growth and development.
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists>D>; and some, pastors and
teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for
the work of the ministry, for the edifying of
the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ" Eph 4:11-13.
All five of these ministries, working together in the right
balance, are needed to build the members of the Body of Christ
into healthy, mature Christians. The Apostle Paul never said:
"God gave us the Chairman of the Council, Committee members,
The Board of Deacons, The Choir Director, and Greeters at
the Door, for the perfecting of the saints. Rather, He gave
to the entire Body of Christ - Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists,
Pastors, and Teachers.
God has a method which will produce spiritual growth. It
is to serve a well-balanced diet to His precious Body, the
Church. Our spiritual nutritionists are these five ministries
that have been set within the Church and are to function until
each member of the Body of Christ has been brought into full
The spiritual diet of each Local Church should include a
balance of these ministries which the Lord has provided for
His Body. Can you identify these five ministries in your Church,
and can you honestly say that you are being fed a "balanced
diet" by being exposed to these five different ministries?
1. Apostolic oversight and function that establishes the
members of the Body by "setting" individual members
in divine order within the Body. I Cor 12:18-20.
2. Prophetic impartation that brings the individual
members of the Body into the knowledge of their place
and purpose within the Body. I Tim 4:14; II Tim 1:6.
3. Evangelism that stirs the members of the Body to
action concerning their place of function and ministry
within the Body. Acts 6:8; Acts 8:26-39.
4. Pastoral oversight that provides feeding, protection,
and care, to strengthen and build up the Body.
Acts 6:4; Ezekiel 34:1-31.
5. Teaching that is anointed to establish the knowledge
of the Word and purpose within the individual member.
I Cor 2:12-13; Phil 3:10.
The local Church that provides this kind of balanced spiritual
meal will produce mature Christians with healthy spiritual
appetites. Such hunger for the things of God will develop,
that nothing less than a vital, sustaining relationship with
Christ will satisfy.
The Church as a whole recognizes Pastors and Evangelists;
but these ministries within themselves do not have the diversity
of ministry gifts that will fulfill all the necessary functions
of building up the Body of Christ. All five are needed.
Most Churches consider The Office of Teacher as one who serves
on the Christian Education staff, such as Sunday School. But
the Scriptural Office of Teacher is far more than this. In
the early Church, the Teacher was given a special anointing
to teach prophetically by inspiration and revelation.
The offices of Apostle and Prophet have also been set in
the Church. No-wherein the embodiment of Scripture is a termination
of these two ministries recorded. Until these ministry offices
are recognized and restored to the Body of Christ, many believers
will continue to suffer from an imbalanced diet.
The present day Church is attempting to accomplish God's
work by using man-made methods and programs rather than seeking
a full restoration of the divine order of ministry.
What are we to do if our local Church body is not being exposed
to several, or to all of these ministries? First, pray that
the Lord will move sovereignly in the midst of His Body. Second,
give Him permission to accomplish His will in your life. Third,
seek Him with the commitment of your entire being.
As you continue to feed upon the Lord, He will lead you into
green pastures where you will find a well balanced diet.