Lesson 2




Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Write the Key Verse from memory.

C Identify special leadership positions set in the Church by God.

C Explain how these leaders work together in ministry.

C Explain how spiritual gifts are used in leadership.

C Identify other Biblical leadership positions.


And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)


The Church is the instrument through which God is presently working to reveal Himself to the world. In this lesson you will learn about leaders set in the Church by God. You will also learn of other leadership positions which have emerged because of practical needs in the local church.

The Bible gives specific qualifications which are to be met by those filling the leadership
positions discussed in this lesson. You will study about these qualifications in Chapter



The Bible identifies five special leadership positions set in the Church by God:

And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

These leadership positions are established by God in the Church. They involve a special calling by God and special spiritual gifts. You should not serve in these positions just

because you are asked or because you want to do so. You must be called of God and equipped with the proper spiritual gifts .


Here is a brief summary of the functions of these five special leadership positions:

Apostle: An apostle is one who has a special ability to develop new churches in different places and to oversee a number of churches as a supervisor. Apostle means "a delegate, one sent with full power and authority to act for another.” The apostle has a special
authority or ability to extend the Gospel through the world by developing organized
bodies of believers. Modern terms used for an apostle are "missionary" and "church
planter . ” The Apostle Paul is one of the best Biblical examples of an apostle.

Prophet: A prophet is one who speaks under the direct inspiration of God and holds an office of authority in the Church . A prophet has the ability to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His people through a divinely-anointed utterance.
Agabus is a good example of a New Testament prophet. See Acts 21:11

Evangelist: An evangelist has a special ability to share the Gospel with unbelievers in a way that men and women respond and become responsible members of the Body of
Christ. The meaning of the word "evangelist" is "one who brings good news.” Philip is a good example of an evangelist. See Acts 2 1:8 and chapter 8.

Pastor: The word "pastor" actually means shepherd . Pastors are leaders who assume long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers.

Teacher: Teachers are believers who have a special ability to communicate the Word of God effectively in such a way that others learn and apply what is taught.


These special positions were established to accomplish the following purposes:

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ;

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him in all things which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-15)

The following diagram illustrates these purposes:



Apostles —– Prophets —– Evangelists —– Pastors —– Teachers


Perfecting/Equipping Of Saints

who will

Minister —– Edify

resulting in

Unity Knowledge Perfectness

that the Body of Christ may be

No More Children ———– Grow Up In Him

(false doctrine ) —- (truth )

FINAL RESULT: Effective Working Of All Parts Of The Body In Love


The five special leadership positions work together in the ministry of the Church. The Apostle extends the Gospel to new regions to raise up new churches.

The Evangelist communicates the Gospel in such a way that unbelievers respond and are added to the Church.

The Prophet gives special messages from God to the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Teachers provide instruction which goes beyond the presentation of the Gospel done by the evangelist. They take new converts on to spiritual maturity and train faithful people who are capable of teaching others.

Pastors assume long-term leadership and care for the Church.


The five special leadership gifts are not the only positions of leadership in the Church. Every believer has a function in the Church:

But now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the body, as it hath pleased Him. (I Corinthians 12:18)

Each believer has at least one spiritual gift. His spiritual gift equips him to fulfill his function in the Body:

But all these (spiritual gifts) worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. (I Corinthians 12:11)

We have already mentioned the special leadership gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Here is a list of the other gifts the Holy Spirit gives believers:

Speaking Gifts: Prophecy, teaching, exhortation, word of wisdom, and word of knowledge.

Serving Gifts: Serving, helps, leadership, administration, giving, showing mercy, discerning of spirits , faith , and hospitality .

Sign Gifts: Tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings.

The Bible references which identify these gifts are:

-Romans 12:1-8

-I Corinthians 12:1-31
-Ephesians 4:1-16
-I Peter 4 : 7 -1 1

(The Harvestime International Institute course, "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit,” discusses each of these spiritual gifts in detail . It also provides guidelines for discovering your spiritual gift.)


Two of these spiritual gifts, those of leadership and administration , are especially

important to managers. The gift of leadership is identified in Romans 12:8 as one who

"ruleth" or leads. A person with the gift of leadership has the ability to set plans in

harmony with God’s purpose and communicate these goals to others. He motivates others to accomplish these goals for the glory of God.

In I Corinthians 12 :28, the gift of administration is called "governments.” A person with this gift has the ability to give direction , organize , and make decisions on the behalf of others. The meaning of the word "governments" or "administration" is similar to that of a pilot steering a ship . A person with this gift is responsible for direction and decisionmaking. Like the pilot of a ship, he may not be the owner of the ship, but he has been entrusted with the responsibility of directing it on its voyage.

Titus is a Biblical example of a person with the gift of administration. The Apostle Paul started a church in Crete . Titus was the one who organized and directed it for him :

To Titus, mine own son…For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou

shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. (Titus 1:4-5)

The gifts of leadership and administration function well together. A person with the gift
of administration has the ability to direct, organize , and make decisions. The person with
the gift of leadership has the ability to motivate and work with people to achieve these


Leadership is not limited to believers with these two gifts or the five special leadership positions. Believers with other spiritual gifts may be asked by Church leaders to serve in various leadership positions.

For example, a person with the gift of giving may be asked to lead a committee on church finance. A person with the gift of healing may be asked to lead a group of believers in
ministering to the sick in local hospitals. The work of the ministry for which spiritual gifts are given involves many opportunities for leadership. Even if a believer does not have one of the leadership gifts he has the potential of becoming a leader through proper
development of his own spiritual gift.


There are other positions of leadership mentioned in the Bible that are not spiritual gifts. They are "offices" established because of practical needs of the Church. The offices of deacon , elder, and bishop are mentioned in the New Testament. (Some people consider a bishop to be similar to a pastor. Others consider it a separate office.)

The record of the early Church was preserved by God as an example for us to follow in Church structure. These offices should also function in the Church today. The purpose of these offices is to assist those with spiritual gifts of leadership like the apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers , and those with the gifts of leadership and
administration. Use the following outline to study these positions:







I Timothy 3:1-7

Philippians 1 :1

Titus 1:5-9

I Peter 5:2-3

I Timothy 3:8-13

Philippians 1 :1

Acts 6:1-7

I Timothy 3:11

Romans 16:1-2

Acts 20:17,28-32

Acts 14:23; 15

Acts 16:4; 11:30

I Timothy 5:17

I Peter 5:1-4

Titus 1 :5

James 5:14


Many consider a bishop to be similar to a pastor. He does have long-term care over a group of

These verses indicate deacons have a ministry of serving and helps.

Deaconess are not specifically mentioned in the
Bible. Some churches have adopted this term
for the wives of deacons or other women who minister in serving or helps.

These verses indicate elders provide leadership
in church decisions, minister to the needs of
believers, and assist in development and care

of local bodies of believers

(Note on elders: The word "elders" is first used in the Bible in Exodus 3:16 in reference

to the leaders of Israel . There are many references to the elders of Israel throughout the
Bible. These elders are different from the position of leadership known as an elder in the
Church. The verses listed here refer to the elders in the Church rather than the elders of

Elders, deacons, and bishops are not to run the Church independently of the special

leaders (prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers). Man selects elders, deacons, and bishops , but those with the special leadership gifts are set in the Church by God.


Over the years, many other leadership positions have emerged to meet both practical and organizational needs in the Church. These positions are not mentioned in the Bible, but they are important in the ministry of the local fellowship. The "For Further Study" section of this lesson lists some of these positions.


The following diagram shows how the leadership gifts you have studied fit together in the structure of the Church:


Special Leadership Gifts:

Apostles Prophets Evangelists



Assisted by gifts of administration, leadership, bishops, deacons, elders, and each member of

the body using their spiritual gift in the church in the place God has set them .

The Foundation laid by Apostles and Prophets
Ephesians 2:20

` BUILT UPON THE ROCK , JESUS CHRIST ` Matthew 1 6 : 1 8 I Corinthians 3 :1 1 Ephesians 2 :2 0