Bible Question:

Bible Question: I read through your power point “God's Design For The Church” - and I agree 100% but I think you left some offices out of the church that you don't mention such as in Ephesians 4:11.

Bible Answer:

The document “God’s Design For The Church” explores the teaching of scripture about the leadership team of the church. But Ephesians 4:11 is talking about the spiritual gifts that God has given to some members within the church. Let’s see why this is true.

Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit wrote 1 Corinthians 12 for us so that we understand that spiritual gifts were given to the members of God’s spiritual church so that we might use them to minister to others. He also tells us that spiritual gifts are given to us according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:11). It is His decision. He gives us gifts so that we might help others. The entire chapter is devoted to spiritual gifts. This is important to remember because when we arrive at 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, the Holy Spirit includes the following as spiritual gifts.

And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 12:28-31

Notice that apostles, prophets, and teachers are included as having spiritual gifts.

Ephesians 4:11

When we arrive at Ephesians 4:11 we read this,

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ . . . (NASB) Ephesians 4:11-12

This passage is also talking about spiritual gifts so that we may encourage one another. But when we read Phil. 1:1 or the other passages dealing with church leadership, we see only elders and deacons listed. Elders and deacons are not spiritual gifts. They are titles given to men (elders and deacons) and women (only deacons) for the specific purpose of fulfilling key responsibilities within the church. Those responsibilities are given in scripture and outlined in “God’s Design For The Church.”


In summary, Ephesians 4:11 is a short list of key spiritual gifts. However, elders and deacons are not spiritual gifts but are positions of ministry given by the Holy Spirit to lead the church (Acts 20:28).

Suggested Links:

How were apostles chosen? — Do apostles exist today?
What is the gift of exhortation?
What do we do with spiritual gifts?
Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Warning – You Better Listen!
Proof of the Message