Ephesians 4:11-13 (JDV)
Ephesians 4:11 And he himself gave some missionaries, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 so the devotees could be equipped for achieving ministry, to build up the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.
the ministry cycle
We are used to thinking of missions work as an auxiliary ministry of the church. But Paul challenges that. He speaks of Christ giving all these ministry gifts so that the body of Christ would be built up through the equipping that each of these ministries accomplishes. In other words, a pastor helps equip others to pastor, a teacher trains others to teach, an evangelist shows others how to evangelize, etc.
That is why Paul was celebrating his connection to the believers in Ephesus. It was not just that Paul needed their support. They also needed his input. Paul’s involvement in the cycle began with his missionary work. The cycle would not be complete until other missionaries start to flow out of Ephesus as a result of his ministry.
Lord, forgive us for compartmentalizing ministry. Help us to connect with all the ministries you have given us for our equipping, so that we can continue the cycle you began with your ascension gifts.