For the sake of your own Souls, Please DO NOT ‘Obey your Pastors’

In one of our previous Discipleship Group settings, we had what I would consider a MAJOR breakthrough, a liberation of sorts.  Here’s what happened.  We were going through the Ephesians 4 giftings, and collectively considering what might be the predominant characteristics of an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, and Pastor-Teacher.  The evening unfolded many “eye-opening” concepts for the group, but […]

I No Longer Know What APEST I Am

What’s APEST? It’s an acronym for the people gifts in Ephesians 4:11. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers. Forget for a moment that there is adamant pushback against two of these (Apostles & Prophets) and slight disdain for one (Evangelists). There are still large segments of the Church that put ALL of the emphases on Pastors […]

The 5-Failed Ministry #APEST

“And men gave the extra-biblical 5-fold ‘ministry’ of theologians, philosophers, seminarians, professors and academics, to paralyze and burden both saint and sinner’s alike; for the work of religion, to the perpetuation of infancy in the body of Christ; until as many attain to the disunity of schism and the knowledge of speculation, to an enduring […]

Mission, The Work of an Evangelist, and Going Beyond Soul Winning

The evangelist is less easy to identify in the New Testament, because almost everyone did the work of evangelism. Philip is the only one actually called an “evangelist” (Acts 21:8)  It often perplexes me how easily evangelism is reduced to ‘soul winning.’ The term “evangelist” comes from the Greek and means “one who announces good […]

Is It Time For A DNR on APEST?

What’s a DNR? A DNR is an order not to resuscitate a person who has stopped breathing by trying to breathe life back into them. What’s APEST? APEST in an acronym for the people gifts in Ephesians 4:11 ~ “So Christ himself gave the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Shepherd/pastors and Teachers.” What’s more […]

A Crisis of Sorts Regarding APEST

First, what’s APEST?  APEST in an acronym for the people gifts in Ephesians 4:11: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherd/pastors and teachers.” The purpose of these gifts are for the current equipping of God’s people for works of service, for the building up of God’s body (Church), for reaching towards unity […]

Are You Seeing Ephesians 4:12, 13, 14, 15 And 16 Happening In Your Midst? Or, Is It More Like Jenga?

Are you seeing: God’s people around you being equipped in such a way that they manifest the characteristics of deacon? (Acts 6:1-6) (1 Timothy 3:8-12) God’s people being built up as individuals and as a community? (Colossians 2:7) God’s people demonstrating genuine unity in faith? (Luke 7:9) God’s people demonstrating genuine unity in knowledge? (2 […]

No, of course not, there's no hierarchy in the Church, but… There's a 'Divine Order.'

Found this quote today: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…” (1 Corinthians 12:28). This does not describe a hierarchy, but a divine order. Apostles are first in that order.”   I have seen this work itself out in various ways, but I suspect that the author of […]

How's a New Covenant Prophet Suppose To Act? Part I

Lesslie Newbigin once wrote, “Wherever we look in the Old Testament we find that the prophets and psalmists speak of salvation in terms of actual historic happenings: deliverance from famine, sickness, danger, enemies, and oppression. Therefore, for the biblical writers, to “know the Lord” is not a matter of intellectual contemplation or mystical union; it is […]

In my head, I’d probably call it 'Apostolic Discipleship,' but…

I was talking to a friend today about evangelism and discipleship in diverse contexts. We spoke of successes and failures, movements and mind-shifts, and of laying down and tearing up foundations. We laughed at our mistakes and lamented at some of the directional decisions we’ve made along the way. I briefly described our evangelism/discipleship process […]