Today at FORGE we dug around in the APEPT (apostle/prophet etc) stuff for quite a while with Hirschy and Andrew doing a great job of sparking our thinking.
Part of the exercise was to locate ourselves in the APEPT matrix, something I never find easy.
I was sharing with Alan on the way home that my sense of calling is very clear – to communicate the gospel to ordinary Australian people in ways they can understand and then to create church communities that they will want to be part of.
download this is england movie That has been my sense of calling for over 10 years now and I have no doubt about where I am to be investing my life.
But… when it comes to trying to fit myself into an APEPT framework it gets tricky. I feel like I am driven by a passion for seeing people come to know Jesus (evangelism), but I am also deeply aware of the need to develop church communities that are indigneous to them (apostolic). Both these things seem to sit in tension for me. Some days I am more apostolic, some days more evangelistic. Currently its a pretty even game between these two functions in my own life. Of course then you add teaching and it gets confusing. I actually feel a significant aspect of the apostolic role is to be a teacher – to communicate and protect truth. I do a lot of teaching – enjoy it and feel like I am pretty ok at it.
There are also times when I feel called to be prophetic – to call a spade a spade even if it is going to annoy a few people. I do this less, but by the nature of what we do there is a prophetic edge. Lately I feel this has been growing rather than lessening.
Then there’s the pastoral side of things. I don’t think this is my primary calling at all, but I can do it. Its not that I don’t care, its just that it doesn’t rate as high a priority as the other stuff in my psyche. I am not a gifted pastor, but I would strongly argue that if we don’t care, then we don’t look much like Jesus!
So – I feel the tension that always exists between being an evangelistic apostle who loves to teach or an apostolic evangelist who loves to teach. At times I wish the whole thing was simpler!
But I wonder if this isn’t how God intend it…
Let’s face it – whatever gifts he has given to me – whatever the make up – at the end of the day it is up to me to do what he calls me to, and be that any part of the APEPT schema.