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Is Five-Fold Leadership Relevant for Business Today?

This is a breakthrough insight which ever Christian business person needs to grasp and apply.

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“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers…” Ephesians 4:11

Paul records that Jesus (“…He Himself…”) anoints some believers with supernatural leadership gifts. Indeed, these roles are critical to the functioning of any faith group. But are they relevant outside the four walls of the church? Could they be just as relevant in the marketplace as they are in the pews?

4 Key Words

The four key words in the next verse give us insight into answering this question.

“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12

Equipping (katartismos) is defined as making fit, preparing, training, perfecting, making fully qualified for service.

Saints (hagios) means those that believe, the morally blameless & consecrated ones.

Work (ergon) means the business, labour, employment, that which anyone is occupied, effort or occupation.

Edifying (oikodome) means the act of building up, to promote growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.

This scripture does not say Jesus gave five-fold ministry to only serve the local church, but to equip all the saints for work. And since 98% of His saint’s work in the marketplace, it is reasonable if not mandatory that these saints be equipped and released to operate in their gifts in the marketplace – not just inside the church.

Isn’t the marketplace the primary place for saints to do the work of the ministry?Already Active

Most secular organisations already apply five-fold leadership without realising its Biblical roots and foundation. These companies leverage such leadership gifts as:

  • founders and entrepreneurs, visionaries, pioneers who push into new territories (Apostles)
  • strategists, planner and evaluators, sees opportunities and marketplace needs (Prophets)
  • sales, public relations, marketing, promoters who spread the good news & inspire the team to grow (Evangelists)
  • local managers, team builders, culture-shapers, human resource and work environment managers (Pastors)
  • trainers, teachers, explainers, and coaches who integrate truth into practical actions (Teachers)

My Leadership Gifts Revelation

Recently it dawned on me that over the past 30 years, I was walking in my leadership gift roles — and did not realise it. And much of that time, I was not actively walking with the Lord.

Yes, I was saved and with salvation, Jesus gave me two primary leadership gifts: being able to peak around the corner and see what was coming down the road in talent, leadership, and business culture (Apostle) along with the skill, desire, and ability to study and explain these truths in simple, profound ways (Teacher).

Now I realise (and have been ordained) that I have been gifted by Jesus with a special anointing in two areas where He can supernaturally lift my work far beyond my natural leadership abilities, resulting in far greater marketplace and kingdom impact than before.

Stepping into Your Supernatural Leadership Gifts

As I wrote in my previous blog, supernatural leadership is simply taking the leap into allowing the Holy Spirit and the gifts of Jesus to be fully functioning in your professional/business life.

Over the next five posts, I will introduce you to each of the five-fold leadership gifts. As we explore these leadership roles together, my prayer is that Jesus will reveal to you through the Holy Spirit’s witness (Romans 8:16) your one or two primary leadership gifts. (We’ll save discussion on all the other spiritual gifts for later).

As you discover your unique gift(s), you will then realize the key channels through which Jesus desires to release His leadership power through you (Ephesians 3:20) to manifest Himself in transforming your marketplace for His glory.

Anybody out there ready to discover and unleash your supernatural leadership gifts?

About Dr. Jim Harris

President of The Jim Harris Group, an international speaking and advising firm dedicated to helping believers in business unleash their unfair advantage in the marketplace. He is the author of Our Unfair Advantage: Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Business and numerous other award winning business books.