Category Archives: Christian Living

A New Way of Looking at Ephesians 4.11-12

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…

In his book Church 3.0 Neil Cole introduced me to a new way of seeing the five gifted leaders of Ephesians 4.12 that God has given to the church in order to equip His people for ministry.

It is not the intent of this blog post for me to get into the debate about how many of these gifted leaders are even given to the church for this period of church history.1 Rather, I want to show what shift in thinking took place for me as I saw this passage from a new perspective.

Previously I thought that the gifted leaders of Ephesians 4.11 were simply gifted leaders who, by exercising their respective gifts, blessed the body of Christ in such a way that people were encouraged and motivated to serve the Lord… “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4.12).

A gifted evangelist might be a Billy Graham or a Greg Laurie. A gifted teacher might be a (pick your favorite Bible teacher that you like to listen to).

And while these men of God would certainly be gifted, the apostle Paul is doing more than simply listing especially gifted men, Neil helped me see what now seems so obvious to me… in Ephesians 4.11, Paul is talking about leaders who are gifted at training others to be effective at teaching or evangelizing, being apostolic, shepherding people, or delivering prophetic words.

While each of us may only personally be gifted in one of these five areas…I’ve come to believe that all Christians need to minister in multiple ways in the various situations and circumstances we find ourselves in through our lives. Sometimes we need to know how to teach someone. Other times we need to know how to evangelize. Still other times we can bless someone with a prophetic word. And still other times we need to have apostolic vision.

According to Ephesians 4.10-12, God has graced the church with gifted leaders who are able to teach others to do the things that they themselves are gifted in.

This is being applied this year at Harvest by me working to raise up men who will be able to handle the Word and deliver Bible messages.

When I was physically incapacitated this week, I was encouraged by how Rick Doctor was able to step in at the last minute to fill the pulpit ably. I doubt this was a surprise to any of us because we have witnessed firsthand how Rick has developed as a preacher of God’s Word.

It excites me to think about how God is going to do this with several of our men over the next couple of years.

I believe God has also gifted me apostolically, so I look forward to seeing how God will use me to raise up others who can develop their apostolic vision.

But I am only one man. What REALLY excites me is the idea that God is going to raise up other gifted leaders in the areas of prophetic ministry and shepherding and evangelism. In fact, I think God has already done that for our church in the area of evangelism… in the person of Rick. If you don’t believe me, watch a few of his evangelism training videos on his YouTube channel!

Who else is God going to raise up as Ephesians 4 gifts to our church? It’s going to be fun to see!

1. I have some friends that believe this is a list of four gifted leaders: apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher. They also believe that only two of these are in existence today: evangelist and pastor-teacher. They believe the “offices” (their language) of apostle and prophet ceased to exist with the death of the original apostles and/or conclusion of the New Testament canon. I used to hold this position myself but became exegetically convinced that all five gifted leaders are still given by God to the church today.

Easter Outreach Ideas

Pray about doing one, or more, of the four EASTER weekend outreach ideas:
(a) Host an Easter Egg Hunt for the children of your neighborhood. Share the Resurrection Eggs story.
(b) Deliver Easter Gift Bags to your neighbors (available this Sunday at our gathering place).
(c) Launch a neighborhood prayer ministry to your neighbors.
(d) Invite people to our Good Friday “Beach Reach” Gathering at Jacksonville Beach (6:45 p.m. near the Seawalk Pavilion).
ALSO!!… Check out these ideas Gina Spong found via Dandelion Resourcing (no longer available on their website)…

The Origins of Popular English Bibles

Click on the image for a closer look.

Interesting how the top two selling Bibles are the only original translations on the list. That is, of course, neglecting to accept that the vast majority of the New Testament of the King James is virtually a revision of Tyndale’s New Testament (1526).


I am excited to announce that we will launching a new podcast very soon.

“Sound of Truth” will debut either at the end of this month or early next month (January).

I will be teaming up with Rick Doctor, one of our elders at Harvest Jacksonville, and Chase, my oldest son. One of the cool aspects of this team is that I am fourteen years older than Rick and he is sixteen years older than Chase. So we have a nice age variety represented. I will be the host, Rick will be my sidekick, and Chase will chime in occasionally, even as he focuses on the technical side of the broadcast.

We will be regularly interviewing special guests from various walks of life, including some of our members at Harvest.

We see this new platform of ministry as a way of getting the wisdom of God’s Word and the Good News of Jesus Christ outside the proverbial four walls of our church’s facility and organization and into the homes and hearts of people in our area and around the world.

Here is the official description of the new podcast…

Pastor Brett and his friends discuss the Bible, current events, and life from a Christian perspective. Brett, Rick, Chase, and their special guests can’t wait to share with you the Word of God and their infectious joy in following Jesus. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the show, straight from Jacksonville, Florida.

We plan on the podcast being available via video on YouTube and via audio on Apple’s iTunes.

Please stay tuned for the launch and help us spread the word.


There are 59 “one another” (or “each other”) commands in the New Testament. But because of repetition, the list can be reduced to 34… 28 positive commands (do this), and 6 negative commands (don’t do this) :

  1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9.50)
  2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13.14)
  3. “…Love one another…” (John 13.35×2,25;15.12,17; Romans 13.8; 1 Thessalonians 4.9; 1 Peter 3.8,4.8; 1 John 3.11,23;4.7,11,12; 2 John 5)
  4. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12.10)
  5. “…Honor one another above yourselves.  (Romans 12.10)
  6. “Live in harmony with one another…”  (Romans 12.16; 1 Peter 3.8)
  7. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…”  (Romans 15.7)
  8. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15.14; Colossians 3.16)
  9. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16.16; 1 Corinthians 16.20; 2 Corinthians 13.12; 1 Peter 5.14)
  10. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (1 Corinthians 11.33)
  11. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (1 Corinthians 12.25)
  12. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5.13)
  13. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6.2)
  14. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4.2; Colossians 3.13)
  15. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4.32)
  16. “…Forgiving each other…”  (Ephesians 4.32; Colossians 3.13)
  17. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5.19)
  18. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5.21)
  19. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2.3; 1 Peter 5.5)
  20. “…Admonish one another” (Colossians 3.16)
  21. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (1 Thessalonians 3.12)
  22. “…Encourage each other…” (1 Thessalonians 4.18, 5.11)
  23. “…Build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5.11)
  24. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10.24)
  25. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5.16)
  26. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5.16)
  27. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4.9)
  28. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (1 Peter 4.10)

The NEGATIVE “one-anothers”:

  1. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14.13)
  2. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5.15)
  3. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5.26)
  4. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3.9)
  5. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4.11)
  6. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5.9)