“… the foolishness of God is wiser than men …” (1 Cor 1:25)
God in His ‘foolishness’ did not include PASTOR as one of the appointive posts He designed for operating a house church. The house church was considered by God to be so critically important for building the Body that it is one of two places the Holy Spirits manifests His presence since He arrived as the representative of the Godhead on earth.
The five-fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers was designed for the equipping and edifying of the militant church that is the living church worldwide. They were not restricted to specific locations or regions rather their coverage was the known world of their time. They travelled and did the work of ministry as led by the Holy Spirit. As they did so they added to the church the fruits of their labor.
The house church a constituent part of the living church grew organically. In carrying out the Great Commission the original twelve deployed their apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching gifts to draw people to faith in Christ. Those so drawn were put in clusters under the temporary care of overseers to nurture them to stand on their own. Overseers did not belong to the local church but moved from house to house as it was considered expedient.
Originally, there was no clergy-laity dichotomy in the local assembly. They were all brethren. The purpose of the house church was to function as nursery to nurture and grow believers from babyhood to maturity in Christ. The Holy Spirit Himself was in charge of house churches. The joy of fellowship was the fact that the Holy Spirit was totally in control of proceedings.
Eph 4:11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
In the days of the Apostles those with pastoral calling had no direct role to play in the local house church other than to transmit messages and divinely-received teachings to them through overseers sent to establish them in the faith.
For the house church established by the Holy Spirit and enrolled mostly through fruits of evangelism qualified men and women were given appointments in the church. “And God has appointed these in the church”
4. Workers of miracles
5. Gifts of healings
8. Speakers with tongues
9. Interpreters of tongues
In the early church, every member of a house church was endowed with at least one of these nine gifts to function in the local assembly. They were not ordained by any ‘anointed’ man of God. They simply stirred the gift bestowed to them and carried out the enablement in the local assembly of believers. They did not carry the titles like bracelets. Some functioned in more than one appointive position.
The twelve Apostles appointed from the men who followed them overseers of house churches. They were required to move from house church to house church establishing the new appointees in their roles in the church and strengthening them to continue in the grace of God.
#Reinventing the 12 Apostles’ Doctrine and Fellowship