Everyone Gets to Play (APEST)

Unity and Maturity

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SUNDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Over the past six weeks we have been taking our time delving into each of the five gifts that Jesus gave the people of the church (APEST) in the hopes that together we would each discover more about our own personal giftings, as well as gain a renewed appreciation and understanding of the giftings in those around us.

Ephesians 4 says: ‘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.’

Today we look at the three relationships each gifting need to grow in maturity.

The shepherds get to play...

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SUNDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Today we continue our series “Everyone Gets to Play” Where we have been exploring the five gifts described in Ephesians 4 as given by God to each one of us.

 At its core, those gifted with a Shepherd heart create and maintain healthy community, promoting the common good, encouraging people in the faith and ensuring the welfare of people as well as the broader society in which the community abides.

Shepherds pay close attention to their immediate environment, noticing details about people and the state of the community. They have strong empathetic attitudes and heightened capacities for meaningful friendships and relationships.

They know the names, stories and details of the people in their care. They desire cohesion and unity and find it hard when people leave the community - for good or not-so-good reasons. 

People matter to shepherds - even and especially the most unlikely, most vulnerable and unseen ones.

The teachers get to play...

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SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Today we continue our series “Everyone Gets to Play” Where we have been exploring the five gifts described in Ephesians 4 as given by God to each one of us.

The teaching gift is about practical wisdom and philosophical understanding joined together.

A teacher will be focussed on helping people to see how God wants them to see and experience the world. They bring truth to people to shape and form them

They are similar to prophets and apostles in that they deal with ideas that shapelife.  They are interested in the board comprehension and systematic understanding - and don’t always carry a huge amount of urgency.  There is always more to learn and progress, no matter how small is progress.

Teachers can not teach what they do not know and cannot lead where they will not themselves go - they want ideas to be grounded in real life - they want transformation. 

The evangelistic get to play...

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SUNDAY 26 AUGUST 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Today we continue our series “Everyone Gets to Play” Where we have been exploring the five gifts described in Ephesians 4 as given by God to each one of us.

Today we are looking at the evangelistic gifting – I think of all the gifts this one has been most negatively stereotyped both outside of the church (think Ned Flanders in the Simpsons) and inside of it. This has huge missional implications!

My hope and prayer is that as we explore the beauty of this gift that we will afresh see it, nurture it and release it amongst us.

Evangelists are incredible recruiters - they have the capacity to get significant buy-in from their hearers.  They are persuasive, infections people with appealing personalities.

They spread ideas persuasively - they have significant negotiation skills.  They have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say and makes others want to agree with them!  They are agents of conversion.

They tend to be great social connectors - the kind of people who can link the rest of us up with the world.  They have a capacity to make connections with people in a way that demonstrates social and emotional intelligence - they know who goes with who and how to best invite.

In many ways, their function is genuinely priestly - they mediate between God and people and people and people. 

They have an affinity for the gospel that makes them adept at seeing the gospel in individuals’s unique experience and circumstance.

They really are positive, good news people.  The sharing of the good news is an inextricable party of their capacity to understand people and make connections.

They have a strong relational intelligence and ability to translate the gospel into prevailing culture in ways that make a lot of sense.  They love to ask people to join in.

They are entrepreneurs, communicators, motivators, marketers, and enthusiastic story tellers.

The prophetic get to play...

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SUNDAY 19 AUGUST 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Today we continue our exploration of the five gifts (APEST – Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) described in Ephesians 4. 

We believe that every single one of us is gifted by God in one of these giftings.  Today we are discovering the prophetic gift – the one who sees and hears God’s heart and communicates it with those around them. 

Prophetically gifted people are the heart revealers in the church community.  They are often gifted in the areas of worship, poetry and art. Prophets are agitators for change.  They tend to ask pointed questions and highlight the gap between God’s call and people’s obedience.

Prophets desire for the church to be a restored community that offers an alternative society – with a strong commitment to worship, prayer, spiritual warfare, holiness, justice and incarnational witness. Its probably the loneliest of the five gifts and the one most open to misunderstanding.

When the gift is immature it can be volatile and divisive and if there is a history of misunderstanding they can get grouchy and judgmental.  But the mature gift, like Jesus, brings joy, hope, declaration of God’s abiding love, the call to righteousness and connection.

Outside of the church prophetic men and women are agents for cultural change, social justice and integrity.

The apostolic get to play...

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SUNDAY 12 AUGUST 2018

Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.

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Today we launch into exploring the first of the gifts from Ephesians 4—remembering that the emphasis is on each one of us having been gifted with one of the five.

If this is you our prayer is that in your sphere of influence you grow into all you are called to be. If this isn’t you, our prayer is that you would understand and appreciate and champion those around you who are gifted this way.

In the power of the Holy Spirit, the apostolic person is imbued with an innate sense of the big-picture purpose of the organisation and have a unique gift for life, extension, entrepreneurship and adventure. 

They are pioneering by instinct, they tend to be less risk-averse and move towards the edges - they are catalytic, adaptive, movement also, trans local, pioneering, entrepreneurial leaders who are needed to spark, mobilise and sustain movement. 

Maturity in this gifting grows into seeing the ability to see the church/organisation as a living system and the need to develop and guard the DNA and look after the design and leadership health of the whole organisation.