In my early development as a leader, when I looked at the list in Ephesians 4, I didn’t know what my gift was. I was mission-focused – did that make me an evangelist? I used to prophesy regularly in our meetings – did that mean I was a prophet? I looked after a team of people – was I a pastor? What about teaching?
I was part of a Baptist church that joined Newfrontiers – I had no framework of the apostolic ministry as we had been an autonomous local church now connected with a trans-local Ephesians 4 ministry. At that time there was a lot of teaching around this subject which came out of this passage from the Bible. This was primarily because we were seeking to re-establish and restore this ministry structure throughout the church and the movement. Apart from Ephesians 4, we also spent time in Rom 12:3 - 8 and 1 Cor 12:27 – 31.
From Rom 12 I learned that it was not down to my natural ability but was the grace of God! That took some pressure off me as a leader – I realised that the worship I was leading was not down to my leadership primarily but His grace! And from the 1 Corinthians passage I learned again the importance of the primacy of love as your motive in serving and exercising gifts.