When it comes to the fivefold ministry, there are four teaching offices that God could place you in (apostle, prophet, evangelist or pastor). In addition, there are also four distinct types of callings: the David (pastoral/local) type, the Paul (evangelistic/cross-cultural) type, the Moses (prophetic/social) type and the Joseph (apostolic/civil) type. In this article, I am going to discuss the Joseph type.
The first thing to say about the Joseph calling is that it is apostolic. This is because this calling requires you to be “sent” by God before the brethren. It requires you to go ahead of your brothers and sisters, so that they can be preserved; so that they can fulfil their own destinies.
He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. (Psalms 105:17, AMP)
The Joseph calling requires you to grow and develop in both natural skills and spiritual wisdom so that others might prosper. This is what Joseph did. He was sent before his brethren by God in order to preserve them, in order to keep his family alive - to preserve the next generation. He spent most of his time serving, doing seemingly natural and insignificant things; however, everything he went through, and everything he became was not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of others.
From Slave to Governor
Like Joseph, a fivefold minister with a civil calling is called to govern; nevertheless, before they get there, the Lord Himself will take them through an intense process in order to form His character and wisdom in them. God will personally train them, teaching them to trust in Him and lead His way from a lowly position through to a position of civil influence. Their journey to their position of leadership will also be a journey of growing in spiritual wisdom, as well as perfecting the natural gifts the Lord desires to use.
A Kingly Priest
The Joseph calling is a call to support and nourish the Body of Christ in one's country of residence from a kingly position. It is a call to equip the Body of Christ through one's God-ordained profession/occupation, supporting them in both practical and spiritual aspects of their lives. For the fivefold minister with a Joseph calling, their ministry is marketplace. This is an important part of this apostolic call because, without this God-appointed and anointed marketplace/civil leadership, the Body of Christ will not be able to prosper the way the Lord desires.
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. (Proverbs 29:2, NLT)
The fact that a fivefold minister with a Joseph call has the Spirit, wisdom and character of Christ is the key thing that distinguishes them as a God-ordained leader. Their identity as a son of God is not hidden; in fact, it is the very reason the Lord has given them this position of marketplace leadership in the first place.
Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” (Genesis 41: 37-40, NLT)
Tested Until the Time
If the Lord has given you a Joseph calling, you will know you are a fivefold minister, but you will spend the majority of your time seemingly doing “non-ministry”/secular things. This may seem contradictory, but trust the Lord that He knows what He is doing. The Joseph calling is a very particular kind of ministry that requires a very particular kind of training. The Lord is very strategic and each part of your journey directly sets you up for the next. Your job is to remain close to the Lord in total submission and obedience. The call of God on your life is governmental and it is apostolic; but what He hasn’t told you is when.
Until the time that his word [of prophecy regarding his brothers] came true, The word of the Lord tested and refined him. (Psalm 105:19, AMP)
Like Joseph, you will be tried and refined until the time for the fulfilment of your word. You cannot speed up the process and the Lord cannot set you into your position of civil leadership until His appointed time.
It is an extreme privilege to receive a fivefold Joseph calling; nonetheless, the price to pay is also extremely high. If the Lord has given you a Joseph calling, I highly recommend The Process of Sonship book, so that you can understand the journey God must, is, or has taken you through and why.
May you be blessed and may you receive your calling with all of your heart. Amen.