APEST and Leading a Missional Community

I’ve been working with the elders of our faith community on their role, function and responsibilities. One of the many concepts we are exploring is the base leadership gifts described in Ephesians 4 and how this typology of leadership (APEST) functions and the bent each gifted person brings to the leadership group.

APEST

Mike Breen has been doing an interesting series of posts on Missional Community (pop over and read the seven posts he has done so far). Today he posts on how a person with one of the Ephesians 4 base gifts would tend to lead a Missional Community differently than other people with a different base gift. The post offers a good perspective on each gift and helps us understand why each should be represented on the leadership team.

Here’s what he posted:

Apostles Leading a Missional Community

Apostle led MCs will usually be highly attractional, orbiting around someone who has loads of charisma and ability to gather others. Frequently their groups grow the quickest. Their mode of multiplication is often to split down the middle as a result of the pressure of the speed of growth. A mature apostle should have the skills to manage such a maneuver, even though it can be fraught with pastoral landmines, as multiplying a MC can be difficult for some relationally.

Prophets Leading a Missional Community

Prophets will tend to focus on the mission, but not be quite so evangelistic. They often go for high visibility, since they desire an incarnational approach to presenting the Gospel. Generally this means that they and their groups are very radical, often with the highest demands placed upon members. If you know a group in a tough urban context where there is lots of talk and action about reclaiming the city by their very presence and engagement with the people out on the streets, then that is probably a group with strong prophetic leadership. Such groups can grow by multiplying, but often they will keep the core team and allow a new work to bud off into a new context.

Evangelists Leading a Missional Community

Almost certainly evangelists will love to go straight after the People of Peace in their chosen mission context. They will identify the gatekeepers to that place and stay with them. Often you see evangelists literally going out in pairs, finding some People of Peace, building relationships and through them reaching a whole neighborhood that was previously unreached. Eventually they will look to hand the group on and go into a new context or send out others in twos to do a similar work elsewhere.

Teachers Leading a Missional Community

Frequently you will see teachers go into an existing context where the witness for Christ is struggling or almost extinguished. They will give themselves to model how to live the Christian life, whether in worship, community or mission. Mature teachers will do this ever so humbly, so it won’t even feel like teaching much of the time. They will stay for a lengthy season, but many will eventually begin to look for a fresh context requiring their help and then hand on their group. They will send out new groups who will be characterized by having been thoroughly prepared with a clear model of how to do things.

Pastors Leading a Missional Community

Pastors long to bring community transformation, by establishing and then building on long-term relationships. They highly value the integrity of becoming fully embedded into their context. This means that while things are not as spectacular at first, they have a slower and longer burn approach to mission. We have noticed that often this model works especially well in the suburbs. As relationships are at the heart of everything they do, it can be more difficult for them to multiply, but they do find it easier to grow as a ‘bud’ or ‘shoot’ off a small group of people and perhaps to take what they are doing into a neighboring area (or even neighboring street!).

Thanks Mike.

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “APEST and Leading a Missional Community”

  1. Bob Robinson says:

    Rick,
    Does Breen ever address the fact that, in the Greek (according to the Granville-Sharp Rule) Pastor-Teacher must be understood as a single unit? I wonder what damage we do to the text and to our ministry models when we separate pastor from teacher like this.

  2. Rick Meigs says:

    Bob, I had a similar question when I first started reading Alan Hirsch who also separates pastor and teacher. I found no clear consensus among the commentators, but journaled this note as being a reasonable take on it, “In no instance in the New Testament do plural nouns fit the rule; that is, there is no clear example in which plural nouns in the Granville Sharp construction refer to exactly the same group of people. For example, in Matt 3.7 ‘the Pharisees and Sadducees’ are in this construction, but no Pharisee was also at the same time a Sadducee.” (From the NET Bible translators – http://tinyurl.com/yk3kfyc .)

  3. Bob Robinson says:

    Yes, it was when I first read Hirsch that I raised this question myself. I think that Clinton Arnold gets it right in his recent commentary. See a snippet of it here.
    http://www.vanguardchurch.com/Ephesians_4-11_clinton_arnold.pdf

  4. Rick Meigs says:

    Bob, thanks for the Arnold reference. I just skimmed it and like his take, but will give it a deeper look later.