New Wineskins: Rethinking Apostleship in the Churches of Christ

In Ephesians 4:11, the apostle Paul informs believers of various leadership roles present in the church:

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up … ~ Ephesians 4:11 (NIV11)

Five roles are listed: 1) apostles, 2) prophets, 3) evangelists, 4) pastors, and 5) teachers.

Unlike gift lists found in other places (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8), here Paul specifically calls different types of leaders the “gifts” Christ gave to serve the church. Each role was ordained by Jesus, and specific individuals were created, uniquely gifted, and “given” to fill them.

The goal driving this five-fold organizational scheme was exceedingly lofty – “so that the body of Christ may be built up” – so here’s my question: why does the traditional Church of Christ interpretation of Ephesians 4:11 eliminate one of these roles from the contemporary church equation? —> Continue Reading in New Wineskins

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