How to evaluate Five Fold leadership of your church

The Five Fold gifts were given by Christ to build and unify the church. That means they are a big deal.

Doesn’t it make sense that the leaders of your church should be aware of these gifts? 

In fact, shouldn’t they exhibit all five of the spiritual gifts of Ephesians in the way they build the church? And, most importantly of all, shouldn’t they be seeking ways to encourage and activate the gifts throughout the body of their church?

Before we get there, let’s make sure we’re starting from a firm foundation.

First, we build our understanding and desire on Christ. Christ is all five of the spiritual gifts.

Second, we understand and seek our own gifts as a way to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives.

Third, we seek to find and encourage the gifts of others in our body.

The next step, and the one that is both hard and will bear the most fruit, is with your leaders.

You need to look at your leadership with fresh eyes of someone who cares about and has studied spiritual gifts. 

Why? Because the spiritual growth of your gifts depends upon your spiritual leaders.

Leadership, whether a single pastor or a whole team, should reflect the full Five Fold. Even if you have a single leader of a small church and he isn’t gifted in all five, the five fold should still be alive and present in the church. Without them, something will always be missing.

This exercise is not meant to create a critical eye of your leaders. On the other hand, it is meant to give you an informed, Scripture-based way to ask the right questions.

As we go through this, ask yourself whether you can talk to your leaders about these topics that are central to the health and growth of the church. Because if you can’t, that is something worth taking a deeper look at.

Here’s the succinct way to think about your own church and its leadership:

Does the leader show initiative in reaching the lost in new ways and spread heading new directions for the church with effectiveness and clarity? 

This springs from the courage and insight of an Apostle.

Does the leader reveal hard truths of the Gospel, including man’s sinful nature, our need for a savior, and a call to follow God’s word through faithful interpretation of scripture? 

This is the heart of the true Prophet.

Does the leader share the saving grace of the Good News, welcomes others who are lost and sees them reborn, share tales of entering the lives of those who don’t know Christ? 

This is the vibrant life of the Evangelist.

Does the leader truly care deeply for people, not just those who like him or invest in him, but goes after the lost sheep with a protective, loving, and accepting spirit? 

This is the sign of a genuine Pastor.

Does the leader know Scripture deeply and teaches in a clear, powerful, uncluttered way that stretches you while staying clearly within the truth? 

This is the gift of a Teacher.

Here’s a sad, and perhaps frightening, story.

I have seen the difference when all five are misaligned in a church. It is not pretty.

When the leaders don’t recognize their failures and weaknesses in these five areas, you will have stagnation. If the leader is prideful and believe they are gifted in areas they are not, the soil will go badly in that body very quickly. The spiritual fruit will be bitter at best, barren or spoiled at worst.

Great churches deliberately seek out the presence and healthy cultivation of all five gifts.

Take a moment and think about your own church and its leadership.

How are they doing in this?

More importantly, what will you do about it if there is an imbalance?

Let me know what you think.