"Male" and "female" ministries in the Church
First posted: March 2004
Last updated: May 2004
This article describes which of the five ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11 are portrayed as "male ministries" by the Scriptures and which are portrayed as "female ministries". The Holy Spirit wants us to differentiate between the two types of ministries in order to understand what has gone wrong in the Church up until now and to understand the Lord’s prophetic purposes for us in these latter days.
We will share about the spiritual implications of "male" and "female" ministries in future articles.
Samuel's five siblings
"And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD" (1 Samuel 2:21)
This passage says that the Lord visited Hannah after she gave Samuel over to the Lord at the temple, and that she conceived and gave birth to 3 sons and 2 daughters. It is interesting to note that the Bible never mentions these 5 siblings of Samuel ever again. Why, then, would the Holy Spirit inspire the writer of 1 Samuel to record this in Scripture? They are there as a figure of the fivefold ministry in Ephesians 4:11:
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11)
Samuel's 5 siblings are a prophetic figure of the restoration of all 5 ministries in the latter days, since Samuel himself is a prophetic figure of the remnant Church that the Lord will raise up in these latter days to manifest the latter-rain glory. Why are there 3 male siblings and 2 female siblings? Which of the 5 ministries have a "male" functionality and which have a "female" functionality?
"Male" and "female" functionality
To answer this, we first have to ask ourselves the following question, "In a traditional couple, what is the role of the man and the woman?" The man's traditional role is generally to go out and work and acquire provisions for the family, while the woman's traditional role is generally to stay home and to administer and nurture that which the man has gone out to acquire. The man's role (in a figurative sense, of course) is a role of "outward projection" and of "bringing home things", while the traditional woman's role would be one of "staying home" and of "nurturing and administering".
Please don't misunderstand me when I speak of a woman's role in this sense. The Lord has spoken to me about what He will do with women in these latter days. There is prophetic Word in the Scriptures that shows that God will restore the ministry of women in these days and that He will raise up mighty female apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Galatians 3:28 clearly declares that, in Christ (in other words, in the "Anointed One"), there is neither male nor female. In other words, when a person moves in the Anointing, he or she moves in the authority of the Spirit, and there is no difference between male and female. God willing, we will share more about this in a future article.
When the Lord began speaking to me about the man's and the woman's roles in a household, He was referring to the typical functionality of each, or, in other words, the functionality that each, by nature, is most adapted to in the natural realm, as God designed it. Fathers tend to be good providers for their children, but tend to be bad "nurturers", whereas mothers tend to be great "nurturers" and administrators of the resources that men bring home. When we use the terms "male" and "female", therefore, we are not speaking of literal men and women. We are speaking about functionality. A literal "female" believer can be called by the Lord to perform a "male" ministry, and a literal "male" believer can be called by the Lord to perform a "female" ministry.
If the "male functionality" is one of "outward projection", which 3 of the 5 ministries are "projected out"? And, if the "female functionality" is one of "staying home to nurture", which 2 of the 5 ministries are called to "stay home to nurture"? To answer this, we have to analyze each ministry briefly. God willing, we will be posting future articles that study each ministry more closely, but, for now, we will focus on the question of whether or not a given ministry is "male" or "female".
The role of an apostle
To understand the role of the apostolic anointing in every believer, we have to look at the following passages of Scripture:
"For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand." (2 Corinthians 10:14-16)
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand." (Romans 15:20-21)
In these passages, the Holy Spirit is revealing the apostle Paul's natural tendency to go to new territories. Apostles, by nature, are "trail blazers" who have an innate desire to "break new ground", to go into spheres of spiritual influence where others have not gone before.
Apostolic ministries such as Paul's tend to be gifted with a special wisdom from the Lord that gives apostles a special revelation anointing in various spiritual arenas. Galatians 1:11-17 shows how the Lord gave Paul a special revelation over the Gospel of grace that he was called to preach to the Gentiles. Considering that the Greek word apostolos means "one sent", apostles are messengers sent by God with a special message, and it generally is a message that has not been heard before.
Apostles are many times sent into hostile territories, as Paul usually was, to announce revelation that defies the mental paradigms that are accepted in those places. It's no wonder that the Lord said in Luke 11:49 that prophets and apostles are murdered and persecuted. As 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 shows, apostles are called by God to pay a price so that they can pave the way for others. They are called to suffer and travail so that others coming after them can receive the benefits of the path that God has opened through them. In that sense, John the Baptist was an apostle, since he was sent (Malachi 4:5, Matthew 17:10-13) to prepare the way for the Lord (Luke 3:4).
Apostles generally do not win over a great number of converts. When the apostles Paul and Silas went to Philippi and were flogged and jailed, God used their suffering to break the spiritual stronghold of satan in that region, but Acts 16 only records the conversion of the jail keeper and his family, and of Lydia and her family. The church of Philippi, however, was born there, and the Lord made it to grow and prosper after Paul and Silas' departure. David Livingston is another example of an apostle who broke new spiritual ground in Africa, even though he did not win over a great deal of converts, but brothers such as Reinhardt Bonke are now reaping the harvest that was sown through the life of David Livingston. As the following passage shows, some are called to sow while others are called to harvest:
"And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours." (John 4:37-38)
Apostles are generally given special revelation over specific spiritual areas. Jesse Duplantis, for example, is called the "apostle of joy", because God has given him special revelation that others do not have over the joy of our relationship with the Lord. Kathryn Kuhlman is an example of an "apostle of the Holy Spirit", because the Lord gave her special revelation over our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Kenneth Copeland is an apostle to whom the Lord has given special revelation over our divine nature and God's calling for us to be One with Him, just as the Lord Jesus and the Father are One (ehad in Hebrew). When the Lord anoints an apostle with a special wisdom revelation, he calls him or her to go out into hostile territory to defy human wisdom so that others may share in that revelation. This usually implies a great deal of suffering, since most religious minds will generally reject and attack apostolic wisdom, just as the Pharisees and Sadducees so often did during the Lord's ministry on Earth. All of this, therefore, shows how the apostolic ministry is an "outward projection" ministry, qualifying it as a "male" ministry. This, then, is Samuel's first male sibling.
God does not place apostles into the Body of Christ so that they will be worshipped and revered as demigods by awe-struck believers, but rather as fellow co-laborers who will impart the apostolic anointing that has been given to them upon their fellow brothers and sisters, empowering them to move in the same anointing (Matthew 10:8). Every believer in the Body (not just an "apostle") is called to move in an apostolic anointing that opens up a channel of wisdom revelation into his or her mind and that births in him or her a deep desire to suffer and to pay a price so that others may enter into new revelation and knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:15-22).
The role of a prophet
To understand the role of the prophetic anointing in every believer, we have to look at the following passages of Scripture:
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
Verse 7 of Amos 3 is a very well known passage, but most believers do not notice what the Lord says 4 verses earlier in verse 3. What is the relationship between these two verses and why are they so close together? The clue to understanding this is in the following passage:
"The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men" (Psalms 115:16)
This passage means that God's sovereign will is done in Heaven, but that what happens on Earth is conditioned on what men are willing to allow to happen. God has given this mighty privilege and responsibility to the sons of men. There are so many wonderful and mighty things that God wants to do on Earth, but He must wait for one of us to lift up his or her eyes and see His vision for the Earth. When one of us does this and believes the vision, coming to agreement with it, Amos 3:3 is fulfilled, and two begin to walk together: God and the prophet who sees and believes the vision. That is the reason why God does not do anything without first revealing it to His servants the prophets.
When one of us comes in agreement with His vision and begins to declare it prophetically on Earth, the vision begins to manifest itself. That is why the Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy over the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 (verse 4 and 9). Why would God need Ezekiel (a "son of man" as He calls him in verse 3) to prophesy over the bones when He could have done it Himself? Because He has given the authority over what happens on Earth over to the sons of men, as Psalms 115:16 declares. This is why the emphasis in the Lord's prayer is not over asking for our personal needs but for God's will to be done on Earth, as it is done in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). God wants sons and daughters whose whole ambition, whose whole desire in life, is to see the fulfillment of the Father's will on Earth. God's eyes are searching out for men and women who are willing to lift up their prophetic eyes and see God's vision for these latter days, so that they may come in agreement with Him and declare the vision prophetically so that the vision will be manifested on Earth.
We can see, therefore, that the prophet's main duty is to see God's vision for the Earth. This is why 1 Samuel 9:9 declares that prophets used to be called "seers" in Israel. If a person wants to know if it will rain later in the day, he must go outside his house and see if rain clouds are coming. You can't see the vision of what the Lord wants to bring about by staying "home". This shows, therefore, that the prophetic ministry is an "outward projection" ministry. It goes out of the house, so to speak, to see the vision, and comes back inside to declare it. While the apostle anointing brings to the Church a provision of wisdom and revelation, the prophet's provision for the Church is vision. The apostle shows God's children who they are in Christ. The prophet tells them where they are going.
In conclusion, the apostolic ministry is Samuel's first male sibling, and the prophetic ministry is the second male sibling. Both ministries tend to work together and are ministries very much related to suffering and sacrifice, as the next passages show:
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:19-20)
"Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute" (Luke 11:49)
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come" (Luke 10:1)
The role of an evangelist
To understand the role of the evangelist, we have to go to 1 Samuel 17. When David went to fight Goliath, verse 40 declares that David chose 5 smooth stones out of the brook. These 5 stones represent the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11. In verse 49, however, the Word declares that David used only one of those five stones to defeat Goliath. If each of the 5 stones represents a ministry, which ministry did the stone that David threw represent? To answer this, we have to look at what David spoke to Goliath before hurling the stone at him:
"This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17:46-47)
Here, David does two things:
This means, therefore, that David "threw" prophetic word and apostolic word at Goliath before attacking him with a literal stone. Since the literal stone was projected towards Goliath, it cannot represent one of the two "maternal" or "female" ministries, leaving the three "paternal" or "male" ministries as the only options. However, since David threw the prophetic stone and the apostolic stone, not literally, but figuratively, in verses 46 and 47, we can only conclude that the stone that David threw represents the third "male" ministry.
Ephesians 2:20 declares that apostles and prophets lay the foundation. Their work, in many senses is invisible, and is done through intercession, suffering, isolation, and rejection. This is why the stones that represented these two ministries were not thrown literally but figuratively. Through the work of the apostles and the prophets, however, the foundation is laid for the evangelistic ministry to come and bring down Goliaths and all spirits of self-exaltation in the heavens. Evangelists are therefore "giant-killers" that destroy spiritual strongholds so that people can be converted to God's truths in great numbers. In Luke 10, the Lord sends 70 disciples in pairs to every city and town that He Himself would later go into. These pairs represent the apostolic and the prophetic ministries laying the foundation for the manifestation of the Lord through the evangelistic ministry. In Luke 10:18-20, the Lord declares that He saw satan falling like lightning from the heavens, representing the fall of the spiritual Goliaths that try to establish their names in high places.
In chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Acts, we see the same principle at work. The disciples gathered to pray in the Upper Room, and, by doing so, they were living out the following prophetic word in Joel:
"Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?" (Joel 2:12-17)
Through this intercession, the Word that comes 11 verses later was fulfilled:
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke" (Joel 2:28-30)
We can see from this that the Upper-Room 10-day intercession of Acts 1 was done with a strong prophetic anointing. There is also a strong apostolic anointing in this intercession because the Lord sent the disciples to pray (Acts 1:4-8), and, as we mentioned earlier, the word "apostle" comes from the Greek word apostolos, which means "one sent". It was also during these 10 days of intercession that the apostles found a replacement for Judas, which is a figure of the restoration of the true apostolic ministry in the latter days, one not based on human prestige and a message of earthly prosperity but rather on the grace of God because of a spirit of integrity and righteousness (Acts 1:15-26). God willing, we will be discussing this in greater detail when we post future articles that talk about the apostolic ministry in greater depth.
After their 10 days of intercession, the Spirit burst upon them and they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Peter then began to preach to the people of Jerusalem who witnessed the event and 3,000 souls were added to the Body of Christ in one day (Acts 2:14-41). There is a spiritual reason why Peter was the one appointed by the Holy Spirit to speak that day, and it is because he had a calling as an evangelist; when he was called by the Lord, the Lord told Peter that he would be a "fisher of men" (Luke 5:10). We can see therefore, how, after an imbuing of apostolic and prophetic anointing during 10 days of "invisible" prayer, an evangelist was the one sent forth by the Holy Spirit to win a great number of souls for the Lord. As we read the words that Peter spoke that day (Acts 2:14-40), we can see a strong prophetic and apostolic anointing upon him; he refers to the prophetic word in Joel and in Isaiah, and reveals the spiritual meaning of passages in Psalms 16, 89, and 110, thereby showing an anointing of apostolic wisdom upon his life. This is the reason why most modern-day evangelists don't manifest the power and the anointing of the Spirit and why so few are converted to the Lord: there is no apostolic and prophetic anointing upon their lives. An evangelist imbued with apostolic and prophetic anointing is a giant-killer, a mighty man of God that can tear down principalities and powers in the air and build the kingdom of God on Earth. "The days will come", says the Lord, "when I will raise up a mighty Church of evangelists, mighty men and women with heavy apostolic and prophetic anointing on their lives. They will be My Sons and My daughters, and they shall manifest My Glory on Earth".
Summarizing, we can say that the evangelistic ministry is an "outward projection" ministry that goes out to bring down spiritual giants in order to turn large numbers of hearts unto the Lord. It is when evangelists behead giants that total victory over the enemy can be achieved and spoils can be taken (1 Sam 17:51-53).
Therefore, the three "male" ministries are: apostles, prophets, and evangelists.
The role of pastors and teachers
There is a reason why we study the roles of pastors and teachers together rather than separately, as we have done for the other ministries. If one looks closely at Ephesians 4:11, we can note an interesting detail:
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11)
Notice how the first three ministries are listed separately ("some, apostles", "some, prophets", and "some, evangelists"), whereas the remaining two are mentioned together ("some, pastors and teachers"). The reason for this is, first of all, as a subtle way of confirming that the first 3 ministries are "male" ministries of outward projection while the other 2 tend to stay "home" (i.e. ' inside the house of God) and work together to nurture and grow up what the other ministries have brought "home". A second (and analogous) reason is the fact that the 5 ministries mentioned in this verse correspond to the 4 faces of the living creatures mentioned in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4. Since there are 5 ministries and only 4 faces, two ministries have to correspond to a single face. We will be sharing more about this in a future article.
To understand the combined role of both of these "female" ministries, we have to look first at the three components of our souls. The first commandment, according to the Lord, is the following:
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:37)
Whereas the male ministries are designed to feed the authority of the spirit, the female ministries are designed to nourish the soul. Teachers are designed by God to "feed" the mind by teaching the wisdom revelation received through the apostolic anointing in the Church. This means that the male ministry of "apostle" brings to the Church wisdom revelation and the female ministry of "teacher" cultivates and reinforces this wisdom in the minds of fellow believers.
While teachers are designed for the mind, pastors are designed to nourish and strengthen the remaining parts of the soul, i.e.- the heart and the emotions. Since the Greek word for pastor used in the New Testament literally means "shepherd", we can say that pastors are placed by God into the Body of Christ to ensure that the hearts of fellow believers are always "steered" towards God's will and that the emotions of fellow believers do not "stray" from God's vision and purposes. The male ministry of "evangelist" brings to the Church converted hearts, and the female ministry of "pastor" nourishes and strengthens these converted hearts, making sure that they are always focused on God's will. Likewise, the male ministry of "prophet" brings to the Church the vision and purpose of God, causing believers to "fall in love" with the Lord's vision. Of the 3 male ministries, the Scripture shows the "prophet" to be the most "emotional" of the three. The prophetic ministry is designed to channel the power of our emotions towards the vision of God. The female ministry of "pastor" then comes along to nourish and strengthen the emotions of fellow believers to make sure that they stay channeled towards the vision and purpose revealed through the prophetic anointing.
The teaching ministry alone is not designed to produce spiritual revelation, because revelation comes through the apostolic anointing. This is why so many churches are doctrinally stagnated, teaching the same things year after year after year, without having the Bible come alive to them as a book of mighty secrets and spiritual principles. Likewise, the pastoral ministry is not designed to receive prophetic vision or to tear down spiritual giants. This is why there are so many weak churches wandering in the desert without vision, because they are led by pastors that have kicked the prophetic anointing out of their congregations in order to pursue a human vision that does not come from God, lording themselves over God's heritage (1 Peter 5:3).