Updated: May 11, 2021
By Deborah Bell
(Lead Apostle DGAN Global Network and DGFC churches)
(Originally posted 13 October, 2018)
If you are called into one of the Fivefold Offices in the Church or into a ministry, be sure to understand what that calling involves. If you are called, it’s important to know that everything you do for the LORD and those in the Kingdom, is worth it.
There are difficult times that will give you more than just grey hairs. People are unique and complicated and nothing prepares you for what it takes to be in ministry.
I will elaborate later, but all I want to say right is that if you don’t love people and aren’t prepared to sacrifice much of yourself for others, then perhaps think carefully before entering into the Fivefold Ministry or at least the timing of it.
A timely word
I’ve prayed much about this article and thought long and hard about its content and I believe it’s a timely word of insight for many who are going through, or who have been going through difficult times in ministry and it’s also for all those who feel they are moving towards ministry, this is a word for those who want to receive it.
There are many reasons that we see more Fivefold Ministers leaving ministry now than ever before, perhaps this is a topic in itself for another time – but I believe that God is restoring the Church to its original intent as well as the Fivefold Offices to remove much of the dysfunction that much of the global Church has lived in for years.
Let’s make no mistake, the Church that God has given us to us as believers, is a place for all of us in our imperfection, brokenness and fragility, Jesus paid the price on the cross for this very reason, which is precisely why we are not meant to stay in those ‘places’ of brokenness and pain. One of the very functions of the Church is to bring healing and restoration. This is why it’s
so important to be grafted into a family of God.
The Church is about Transformation
This is also why the Apostolic Prophetic Church is about the presence and the POWER of God to restore broken lives and to bring healing & transformation so that we are restored into God’s glory, bringing change and encouraging others in the faith as we draw nearer to God and draw people closer to Jesus through our testimony.
For the Fivefold and all in the Church, there are many upsides. Being planted where you are called is the most satisfying thing to experience and to live out one’s destiny and calling.
For example, seeing the vision that God has planted in your heart for years, coming to fruition in people’s lives and in the ministry – and this can take many years. Being involved as an instrument of God’s supernatural anointing in people receiving healing getting saved, and being transformed into Christlikeness is priceless and is still humbling to behold each time.
Ministry takes an overwhelming love, unimaginable patience & selflessness.
It takes overwhelming love, unimaginable patience, a selflessness which if not balanced correctly, can pull a person apart in more directions than a compass has!
It includes facing continual criticism more often than receiving any kind of positive input, dealing with unrealistic expectations most often caused through unhealedness in people’s lives in the Body of Christ and most times having to stay silent about it all.
Jesus knew what it took more than anyone who ever walked on this planet! He was perfect in every way and without sin, yet the brokenness in people caused disciples (students of the word), to take offence and leave (Read John 6:60-63). Jesus experienced betrayal in the highest form and the crowds mocked him even though he was innocent shouting, ‘crucify him’.
Our crowd mentality has to ‘leave us’ when we enter into ministry because there will be many times that what we stand for in the Word will cause us to stand alone, with the few. Jesus’ own people sent him to the cross. That’s why Jesus said, “watch and pray lest you are caught sleeping.”
Stand on the Truth of the Word
Know the truth. Not my truth or your truth, the truth of the Word and then he says now stand on that truth, no matter the cost. The truth of the Word never leaves anyone out, despite the perception of some, because its foundation is LOVE and love includes all people.
Let me be clear, I believe in and will defend the local church more than most things. The Church is God’s House it’s God’s design for us to be stewarded in the Kingdom. It stands as the place that is an anchor for our soul. It’s where we build God-given relationships, learn about our Saviour and where we grow and are trained to advance the Kingdom.
The Church is called our spiritual FAMILY because we love each other in Christ’s love and work through things together in good times and through the times of the storms.
It’s called family because family hold onto one another no matter what because love is stronger than anything the enemy throws at us. The key is to make sure we don’t let roots of bitterness, pride and offence take the place of LOVE.
If you are called nothing will satisfy like being where God has called you to and seeing the Kingdom realized together with other believers.
If you are called, nothing will satisfy you like being where God has called you to be and to see the Kingdom realized and that you are building the Kingdom together with others and with Christ. Alignment is not just keeping in step with God, it’s fulfilling your destiny and calling. It’s living life in the fullness of all that God has for you in the House to which you are called.
No one is immune to falling or making mistakes. But in general, this is rarely the real reason why people leave a church even though it’s generally in many cases the leaders or overseers that will be blamed. – All this is part of the cost and price of being a leader.
But I sidetrack myself. The point is that sadly there is sometimes more ‘judgment’ coming from those within the Church community, than those outside of the Church environment. Believers can become ‘advocates of the enemy’ by hindering the very Kingdom they profess to have served or still serve in.
Those that say ‘don’t judge’ can become the ones who do the judging. – I call it the Pharisee-a-cal spirit. It’s birthed from a religious spirit and often times, rebellion.
Unhealedness in Leaders can create a skewed view and minimize discernment
In this context above, people in the Church arena in general often lack discernment in their ‘assessing’ such situations. Or perhaps it can be that judgment of others comes because some are not willing to be challenged in areas of their own lives when it comes to the spirit of transformation which should always be present in an Apostolic prophetic move of God. But not all will want to change.
This can cause leaders and others in general to over-compensate in various areas as well as some having the need to win approval from people at the expense of the Word and God’s principles that some leaders proclaim to uphold and treasure.
We must be prepared for this, and understand that this is why the global Church, no matter how large or small has what is known to Ministers as a ‘revolving door’. It’s a door one wishes only opened one way but as I’ve heard another minister recently said, “There are two trees in the garden, we are always given a choice…”. That’s free will the beauty of choice.
Let’s chew on this for a minute:
Is this article perhaps challenging for some of us? Yes, quite possibly. But is it true? Yes, I believe so. Does it apply to all churches or people? Absolutely not..not at all.
“What comes out of someone else’s mouth is a reflection of their heart, not yours.” – Lysa TerKeurst.
Jesus said this in Matt 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.
We are responsible for our words and actions and even more so as Fivefold.
Scripture puts it like this: “My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be so eager to become a teacher in the church since you know that we who teach are held to a higher standard of judgment. We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, and that means our character is mature and fully developed.” James 3:1-2 TPT.
So being in one of the Governmental Fivefold Offices, is certainly not any kind of easy road. Make sure you’re ready for it if you’re called. The pulpit is only 20% of what it takes.
This is not to scare anyone away from ministry. It’s a real article from my heart and my input of many years of experience leading ministries and mentoring the Church, leaders and in general people in ministry. It is to help people understand the realities of being in ministry.
The healing of the Soul produces endurance
This is why we place so much importance in our Network and churches regarding healing of the soul. Because as leaders the gift won’t carry you through the other 80%. The Lord will carry us, sure. But we need to be healed enough in the soul to run the race and have the endurance necessary as leaders; not simply relying on the gift.
There are still no guarantees no matter how good a mentor you may be. Anything can happen, but there’s far less chance if we are more healed than not in the soul because that’s the area where our blind spots are and where strongholds are formed that can sideswipe a person long before they’ve even realized it.
Ultimately, we all have to make our decisions of how we want to uphold the Word and maintaining its truth and purity, whilst not being judgmental of anyone and exercising love in any process of growth.
Healthy godly counsel is always about empowering people to make their own decisions.
Understanding healthy godly counsel is essential and never involves telling anyone what to do.
If you have had training in proper godly counsel combined with spiritual discernment you are called as a leader to guide and empower people to make their own decisions. But that’s a topic for another time.
But the fruit and the gift have to work together, just as Word and Spirit have to work together otherwise offence will consume you and that’s what will manifest instead of good fruit.
Stay the course, don’t fight inner healing rather fight the spirit of pride that keeps you from it. Stand firm in the Lord in all your ways and let forgiveness and LOVE be the markers in your life. They will carry you through. In fact, no true minister can sustain a ministry without LOVE.
Loving God and people is not only an essential part of ministry it’s the only way to build a healthy ministry because Christ’s love in us means seeing people and each other through His eyes, lumps bumps and all and still loving each other and standing with each other as the family of God, in spite of ourselves. We love because He loved us first.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV.
Apostle Deborah Bell