As I teach both ministry and marketplace leaders on five-fold leadership, I see amazing levels of excitement as leaders discover their five-fold gifts. As their revelation in five-fold leadership grows, so does their tendency to fall into a tantalizing trap.
So what exactly is the “tantalizing trap” of five-fold leadership?
It is simply to focus more on MY gifts – MY anointment – MY office than upon the reasons Jesus gave these gifts in the first place. How often to you see men and woman more enamored of their gifting, their either real or self-declared “office,’ than they are of the results these gifts are intended to produce in the body?
Ego. Self-gratification. Spiritual superiority. These and more are the tantalizing traps too many today carelessly fall into that end in dysfunction, alienation, and ultimately victory for the enemy.
To help you avoid this tantalizing trap, here is a quick expository on the three core goals of five-fold leadership with an exhortation to focus on the one mega-goal.
Three Goals of Five-Fold Leadership
“And He [Jesus] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ 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; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16
Whenever God repeats something in the Word, it is important. Clearly within these six verses are three distinct goals mentioned (in different ways) at least two times each. The highlighted words wrap themselves around these three obvious goals:
Goal #1: Edify/edifying/fullness = building up unto completion
Goal #2: Unity/knitted together = agreement, oneness
Goal #3: Growth = progressive development, increase
Notice that the Lord does not stop with these three measurements, but continues toward the one mega-goal.
The Mega-Goal of Five-Fold Leadership
The mega-goal five-fold leadership is not about your leadership anointing or even the edification, unity, and growth of your teams. It is ultimately about love (good will, benevolence, affection).
The only way to achieve the mega-goal of love is to take your focus off measuring the depth of your unique leadership gifts, and instead, focus your attention on measuring the edification, unity and growth of your teams in love.
Jesus’ final exam is based upon on how well you release His leadership gifts toward love. Unless you move beyond the gifts themselves into a focus on His outcome of the gifts, you totally miss His purpose for the gifts.
Therefore, to avoid falling into the tantalizing trap of five-fold leadership, measure all your leadership efforts in love.