Gifted 2 Serve – Week 3 – APEST

July 30, 2017

Gifted 2 Serve – Week 3 – APEST

Gifted 2 Serve – Week 3 – APEST

 

We began a new series a few weeks ago called Gifted 2 Serve. And we began to look at Ephesians 4 specifically on how God has empowered us and gifted us 2 serve.

Review:

The first thing we discovered is that you are a gift to the church.  You are a gift.  God has given you to the the church as a gift to accomplish what he desires.

The motivation for service is not guilt or need, the motivation for service is becuase you have been set free!   You are free!  You are free to serve Him

So Christ gave these gifts to the church, for a purpose.
What is that purpose?  So that the body may be built up.
When is that accomplished?  When we ALL reach unity, and become fully mature, to full measure of the fullness of Christ.

3 kinds of gifts
people gifts (from Christ)
skill gifts (from God)
manifestation gifts (from the Holy Spirit)
Note:  All people gifts and skill gifts are also commanded to every believer.

3 purposes for each of these gifting.  
To do
To be an example
To equip others

Today we will be looking at how to become APEST

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Now before we get started there are many people from different backgrounds that might think different than I do on the “People/Calling” gifts than I do.  In fact being raised in the traditional conservative church that I was, this would have been taught much differently than I am going to teach you today.  That being said after much research and prayer I believe this is what God has led me to teach so that we all may grow into the church God is calling us to be.

Role
Definition
Direction
Burden
Temptation
Partner
Apostle
One who is sent
Forward
Ministry Expansion
Empire building/Agenda
Prophet
Prophet
One who declares
Up
Truth and justice
Spiritual detachment
Shepherd
Evangelist
One who recruits
Out
Lost
Incomplete Discipleship
Teacher
Shepherd
One who cares
In
Community
Holy Huddle
Evangelist
Teacher
One who explains
Down
Depth of understanding
Learning without action
Apostle

 

The fullness of Christ is the goal. Jesus was/is the perfect model of all of these gifts.  He was the perfect apostle, the perfect prophet, the perfect evangelist, the perfect shepherd, the perfect teacher.  So as we grow in our gifts we will begin to reflect Jesus more and more.  We will never attain the complete perfection of these without each other or until we are taken home.

Apostles – Entrepreneurs/Pioneers

Definition: 12 original – 11 other mentioned in scripture – more mentions in NT to apostles than Pastor.  25 times – Pastor once.  – Apostlelos -sent with a message, build a foundation – Latin translation of the word Apostle is Missionary – mobilize on mission.   We are skeptical of this term because there have been many abuses, and so we should be careful if anyone calls themselves an apostle that they are using the term in a truly biblical sense.  But that does not mean that God does not still call those who are gifts to the church who have this as their purpose.  Church planters

Q they ask:  Who do we need to reach?  What new works do we need to start?  Where is the next church plant need to go?  Are there parts of our community that haven’t heard the good news? What new ministry do we need to start to reach them?  Region, Country, World? These people are important gifts to the church to keep us outward focused and fresh. These people love change. In fact they thrive in it.

Calling: Equipping the saint to be on mission for God in everyday life.

Commanded: In a sense, all followers of Jesus Christ are called to be apostles. We are all to be His ambassadors (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We are all to be “ones who are sent out” (Acts 1:8). We are all to be preachers of the good news (Romans 10:15).

Prophets – Social Activist/Philanthropist

Definition: One of the challenges we have in defining a prophet is we think mostly of those who foretell the future.  The most basic definition of the Greek word we translate “prophet” is “one who speaks for a god and interprets the god’s will.” Prophets speak the word of God or announce a word from God.
Prophets apply the mission to the situation in which we find ourselves here and now. They speak from God that challenges to honor what God has done to bring us to where we are and calls us to remain faithful to His word.  Black and white people.  Holiness is important. They speak about justice and mercy. Thus saith the Lord.  Always reference scripture.  (be leary of those who don’t use God’s word as the standard.) They are about longevity and care about justice. Wake up and care for those who have been forgotten and abandoned.

Q they ask: What has God said and what does he want us to do about it right now?  Are we hitting the mark?  I see the plan of the apostle, is that what we should be doing? Will anyone stay long enough to see this transformed?

Calling: Call us to be faithful and obedient to God’s word.

Commanded: 1 Cor 14:1,

Note: Someone who has this calling and is not filled with the Holy Spirit they can be a real pain in the backside.  Sometimes when they are filled the the HS they still are a pain, because we are rebellious and we need to hear it from them.

Evangelist – Salesmen/recruiters

Definition: The root word for evangelism means to proclaim the “good news”.  We talk about this a lot but this is the idea of Gospel Fluency.  We are all called to proclaim the good news but there are some in the church that have a particular gift of evangelism.  I have to admit this is not one of my gifts.  While I love the gospel, and you hear me talk about it all the time, it is not the easiest thing for me to do.  It is something I must practice and be encouraged to do everywhere and in all situation.

Q they ask: Who needs to hear about God’s love?  Has anyone talked to that person?  What are we doing to reach the lost?  Do we have any material I can hand to people? Who can I invite to church?

Say things like… You got to come hear this message.  Gatherers,  They are party people.  Gather and proclaim.   Evangelist are natural sales people.  They can sell you on anything. Recruiters. Throw big events.

Calling: Call us to think of people outside the walls of the church.

Commanded: Mark 16:15; Act 1:8;

Evangelists are given the unique ability by the Holy Spirit to clearly and effectively communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. They are burdened in their hearts for the lost and will go out of their way to share the truth with them. Evangelists are able to overcome the normal fear of rejection and engage non-believers in meaningful conversations about Jesus. Their gift allows them to communicate with all types of people and therefore they receive a greater response to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. They continually seek out relationships with those who don’t know Jesus and are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit to approach different people. They love giving free treasure away for Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:7), and it brings them great joy knowing that the “feet that bring good news” are beautiful to those who believe (Isaiah 52:7). See Ephesians 4:11, Acts 8:5-12, 26-40, 21:8, Matthew 28:18-20.

Shepherds – Caregivers/ Counselors

Definition: The Greek word for pastor is Poimen and simply means shepherd or overseer.
In the Biblical context, shepherds had several different responsibilities to their sheep and ultimately, to the owner of the sheep. They kept a lookout for predators and protected the sheep from attackers. They cared for wounded and sick sheep, nursing them back to health. They rescued them if they became lost or trapped. They spent enormous amounts of time with them guiding them to  he places of nourishment and rest. The result was a trust and relationship that kept the sheep following the shepherd. The sheep were attuned to the shepherd’s voice to the point that even if they were temporarily mixed with another herd, at the call of the shepherd they would separate and follow him.

Q they ask: Who is hurting?  Who needs encouragement?  How do we care for those who are part of the body?  What do they need to hear to help them draw close to God.

Calling: Call us to care for one another to make sure that all are healthy and growing. Make and protect community

Commanded:  List of one another

How is everybody doing?  They are thinking about the heart.  Hospital visitors, Card senders, phone callers.  One on one is where they thrive.  Many times we think this is what a pastor should look like, but their capacity is limited.  Hard to lead large groups.

Note: This is also translated pastor but it is not the same thing as what a modern use of the word pastor. The idea of a pastor is more rightly defined in scripture as an Elder.
In fact not every Elder is a shepherd.  There are many of you here who might have the calling to be a shepherd.  But that does not me you are supposed to lead a church.  Elders were established in the New Testament to oversee the church.  And in order to do that well there needs to be a balance of the gifts in the Elder-ship of the church.  If all the elders of our church were shepherds we would become extremely inward focused and it would be only about those who are sitting here.  The calling of Elder is one that carries many different responsibilities. It is closely related to the spiritual gifts of leadership and teaching.

Teachers – Teachers

Definition:  The word didasko means to teach, instruct, instill doctrine, explain, and expound.  They take great joy and satisfaction in seeing others learn and apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives. They love to see how the Gospel is woven throughout the Scriptures and how it glorifies and magnifies Jesus Christ in the hearts and lives of those who love Him by grace.
Without this gift, the church would quickly fall into error and sin. Teachers are there to make sure that doesn’t happen. They hate when Scripture is abused and used out of context or with ill intent. They essentially connect the dots others can’t see; transfer ideas, knowledge & wisdom.

Q they ask: Are people getting this?  How can we help people to understand better? Is there a way to be more clear and consise?

Calling: Call us to make complex things simple.  To bring the truths of scripture to people in an understandable way.

Commanded: Matt 28:19-20

This is primarily what we do on a Sunday morning right now.  This is what I spend many hours on each week to bring a lesson that will challenge and motivate us to live differently.

Mountain Climbing Analogy

Apostle – Lets take that mountain!  Cast vision, not sure how but we are going to do it.
Prophet – Why are we going up that mountain   Whats the reason?  Does God really want us to go up that mountain?  Is this the right mountain?
Evangelist is running the other way to collect all their friends.  Telling them hey we are going to all go up the mountain.  You need to be part of this.
Shepherd is worried about how everyone is going to make it up.  Do we have enough water?  what about the slow people.  How do we make sure everyone makes it up safe.  Who has the First aid Kit?  If someone is hurt along the way they stay with them and make sure they are cared for.
Teacher – These are the steps we need to take to get up the mountain.  Does everyone know how to tie a knot?

These are built into each of us.  We all have the DNA of God built into us.  And many times it is when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives that we begin to experience the calling of God in our lives in a unique way that is designed to serve Him and His Kingdom.  We see these characteristics in others and used in the secular business world, but often we think that is the only place it can be used. But god desires to use these gifts to grow His church.  The key is that it must be under the control of the Holy Spirit.  If we do not let the Holy Spirit control these gifts or if we try and operate this church in only one or two of these gifts it will end up becoming a problem.  God gave you to this church as a gift to help us grow to be the church he desires. When we do not use our gifts that God has blessed us with to build up the body, we are robbing God and being disobedient to the calling God has in our lives.

To take an only version of the APEST test – Click Here

Note: You are not just one of these things you are a combination of all of these things.  Not every teacher is going to be the same.  Not every shepherd is going to act the same.  That is because they are all created unique with varying levels of gifting but the goals is to grow up to be fully mature and help the body to be fully mature in all of these things.

We don’t go to church, we are the church.  If you are in Christ you are the church.  For those of who are not in relationship with Jesus, they go to church.  But if you are in a relationship with Jesus, if he has set you free, you are the church.  And He wants to use you to take the church beyond the walls of this building to accomplish His work in this area.  You are the gift.


For more from this series you can CLICK HERE.

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