The ministries of the church are ordained by God to carry out divinely ordained functions in God’s purpose. Some of the ministries of the church are catholic and eternal. Others are local and limited to specific needs of the church in a given place. Consider the following ministries ordained by God.
First, there are the ministries of apostle and prophet. These ministries head the list of “gifts” that were given by Christ to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,” (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:28). These ministries were catholic or universal in their scope, not limited to any particular location. The church universal is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” because God gave the revelation of his word to the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:3-5). Only a limited number of apostles were chosen by Jesus, and the gift of prophecy was also a time-limited gift (1 Cor. 13:8-10). The universal ministry of the apostles and prophets had to do with the revelation of God’s word and the establishment of the mission, worship, and doctrine of the church for all time. The teaching of these individuals is authoritative, carrying the authority of Christ himself (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6,14; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Peter 3:2,15-16; 1 John 4:6).

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