Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

APEPT Leadership – Apostles

Posted on 11 May 2014 in APEPT, Leadership, Ministry | 2 comments

Over the next week on the blog, we are going to be looking at the five-fold ministry of leadership that is laid out in Ephesians 4, with a concluding thought on how this looks in an established church.

Today, we look at Apostles.

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The word ‘apostle’ means ‘a sent one’ and we see that in their personality. Apostles are go-getters. They love anything new, exciting, or different. They often like travel, culture, and continually seek fresh expressions of faith and life. Their knack for travel means that they are ready to learn and adopt what is useful from culture to share the Good News. Much like Peter and Paul, they feel commissioned to a group, people, or subculture to share the Good News with, and they find a creative platform to do that.

[pullquote]So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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. – Ephesians 4:11-13[/pullquote]

Strengths:

  1. They go to new places to spread the Gospel.
  2. They can share the Gospel in new and fresh ways to people who have never heard.
  3. Creative and motivated individuals

Limitations:

  1. May get bored if ‘stuck’ in one place too long.
  2. Unfocused direction can lead to frustration in church life.
  3. May become disillusioned with a church that can’t ‘keep up.’

What the church can learn from them (What they can teach us): man holding Bible

  1. To begin to ask the question, “Where is God and how can I join him in mission?
  2. To not be afraid of culture, change, or ‘new things.’
  3. That we all are, in one way or another, called and sent out on mission with God.

How the church can help them (Ways to release an apostle for mission):

  1. Allow them to dream. Too often the church gets stuck in routine. Apostles can help break that boredom and create new ways to serve.
  2. Find a group that they are passionate about, and resource them to live faithfully and visibly in that community.
  3. Formally commission them in a ministry, and then charge them with a task to accomplish.

Scripture:

  1. Acts 9. After Saul’s conversion, the text notes that he tried to go to the disciples, but it wasn’t until Barnabas took him to the apostles that Paul had success and acceptance.
  2. Acts 17. Here we see Paul using foreign cultural objects as evangelistic tools, drawing people to Jesus in creative ways.
  3. Romans 11. Paul identifies himself as an an apostle to the Gentiles, he learned culture and customs to relate the truth of Jesus.

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Want to read the whole series? Here’s what’s been published so far:

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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