As Paul shares this list please remember this is only a partial list of all the gifts God has made available to the Body of Christ. More are listed in other passages. This list focuses on the particular individuals who helped see the Church begin to grow and those who would be an integral part of its continued ministry. The apostles, the prophets, and the evangelists had the joy and privilege of opening up new regions and people groups to the spread of the Gospel. Paul often saw himself as a pioneer spearheading the movement of the church into areas where the Gospel had never been preached. And church history shows how the other apostles were used of God to open new fields for the Church's expansion.
Now, as the Church is established around the world the Spirit of God gifts many others with the role of pastor and teacher along with other ministers to build up and maintain an active ministry in local churches. Pastors and teachers are often one-in-the-same. A pastor teaches and a teacher may also serve in a pastoral role. But most local churches appreciate a number of gifted Christians to serve in these roles. Each pastor is responsible to God to serve as an under-shepherd and caregiver to the flock. Teachers make sure the believers get to know the truth of the Scriptures and learn how they can apply that truth to their Christian walk. Now, what's coming next in the verses to follow will show that the pastor/teacher is not the only one doing the work of the ministry. We'll see more in the days ahead.