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  • by Torema Thompson.

Priesthood Office vs. Calling

When we talk about priesthood office, we are talking about the spiritual position that God has placed you in within the Body of Christ. i.e. your function. 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Epheisans 4:11-12)

Your priesthood office reveals the way you teach (equip) the saints, whereas your priesthood calling relates to which specific realm of saints you are called teach. Many have thought that their office (i.e. that of an apostle, prophet, evangelist or pastor) is their calling; however, there is a difference. The office God has placed you in is how you function, but your calling is the responsibilities He has given you to fulfil. God has revealed that there are in fact four types of callings that His fivefold leaders could fulfil: 1) The local (pastoral) type; 2) The cross-cultural (evangelistic) type; 3) The social (prophetic) type; 4) The civil (apostolic) type. In this article, I am going to lay out for you the four fivefold (teaching) offices that God has given to His church, whilst also show you the four types of fivefold callings, so that you can see the difference.



  • Spiritual "mothering" - gathers, nurtures and cares.

  • Attached to new/baby believers

  • Raises spiritual children to maturity and then releases them

  • Teaches and trains in bite-sized chunks

  • Gets involved in their spiritual children's lives

  • Cannot carry too many babies at once


  • The David Set

  • Membership type – creating a place of belonging

  • Community-based - specific locality

  • Equipping the local body



  • Preaches Christ/kingdom message

  • One on one / mass evangelism - bringing people into the kingdom

  • Using scripture can bring an understanding of Jesus

  • Brings external healing/deliverance

  • Teaches the Body to lead others to Christ

  • Equips the Body with a fire to be set apart and be used of God "now"


  • The Paul Set

  • Missions type 

  • Publishing a core message

  • Reaching people groups beyond one's own 

  • Equipping the cross-cultural Body



  • Restores the hearts of God's people back to Him

  • Teaches the Body to hear God for themselves

  • Brings internal healing/deliverance

  • Exhorts and confirms the brethren

  • Makes known what God is doing in the world and church

  • Reveals the mysteries of Christ

  • Lays a foundation with the apostle


  • The Moses Set

  • Movement type

  • Leading one's own sociocultural group via influence/example

  • Shepherding outside of the local assembly

  • Equipping the social Body



  • Spiritual "Fathering" - discipline and instruction

  • Sets a pattern/blueprint for the Body of Christ

  • Goes where no one else has gone - breaks new grounds

  • Spiritual entrepreneur - establish different types of works

  • Deals with order/structure 

  • Reveals the mysteries of Christ

  • Lays a foundation with the prophet


  • The Joseph Set

  • Marketplace type

  • Overseeing the Body of Christ in one's citizen nation 

  • Preserving the Body through one's secular profession/occupation

  • Equipping the civil Body

Now that you have read through the above, can you identify your office and your calling? They do not have to be under the same category, but at the same time, they just might be. For example, you may be an apostle by office with a Moses (prophetic) type calling; or a prophet by office with a Paul (evangelistic) type calling; or maybe even an evangelist by office with a David (pastoral) type calling. Can you see how there are many combinations and why your ministry may not look the same as others who have the same fivefold office as you?

The fivefold ministry is called to equip (teach and mature) the saints so that they may be a reflection of Christ in the very position God has called them to. It’s time to acknowledge both your office and calling so that God may be glorified. Amen.

...Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. (Colossians 4:17)

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