Much has been written on the subject of spiritual gifts and their importance in the ministry of the church. In recent days I have been reflecting on the fact that there are essentially two distinct types of spiritual gifts: serving and equipping. The serving gifts are used for service in the kingdom (i.e. hospitality, mercy, serving, faith, etc.), while five of the gifts listed in the Bible in Ephesians 4 are specifically for the purpose of “equipping God’s people for service.”
In his blog, The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch puts forward the idea that the church leader needs to know their APEST score to better understand how God has gifted them to lead in the church. APEST is his term based upon the 5 ministry roles found in Ephesians 4: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers.
On his blog, Hirsch has created a test to enable you to discover how these five roles influence your leadership and role in ministry. This is a great test to understand your leadership role. Hirsch also puts for the idea that we are missing the apostolic and prophetic leadership roles in our current expression of the church. In an article published in Christianity Today, Hirsch writes “We needed a new type of leadership, one with the courage to question the status quo, to dream of new possibilities, and to innovate new ways of being the people of God in a post-Christian culture.” To be that kind of a leader, we need to first know who we are as a unique creation of God. The more a pastor or church leader knows about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, the better a leader they become and the more effective they become in leading Christ’s church.
Previously, I had written a post entitled 4 Things Every Pastor and Church Leader Should Know About Themselves. To that list, I add the APEST score. It was interesting for me to note that the results of my personal APEST score fell right in line with the results of my other profiles that I mentioned in my “4 Things” post. Together, these five profiles give a great understanding of how God has wired you for ministry.
Learn first who you are. Then, lead as God has created you to lead!