by Peyton Jones
Paul shares the blueprints of Jesus’s masterplan of filling the world with Himself through His church in Ephesians 4:10-12"
“He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip the body of Christ for the work of the ministry.”
Paul lets us in on the secret that Christ is going to fill all things through the church fulfilling the five aspects of his ministry that he started on earth; the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching functions. What Jesus started before his ascension, the church has been left behind to finish until his second coming.
Don’t you think that those five aspects therefore, the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching aspects should therefore be evident in the church’s gatherings?
If the church truly is the vehicle through which Jesus will fill all things, then these five functions of Christ’s earthly ministry should be visible, functioning and felt.
So, how come they’re not?
Why can I walk into a church and immediately know that the teacher runs the game in an evangelical, word-based church where the sermon is the main event?
Or how is it that I can enter a charismatic/Pentecostal church and have flashbacks of the late night commercials for videos, and think, Prophetic Leaders Gone Wild!
If I go to a missional house church, the shepherds tell me they want to “do life together” and rub some life on life. Okay…but we don’t even know each other man. Don’t you know how to romance a girl a bit? Take me out to coffee, or dinner before we move to the next stage of our relationship? Shepherds run the game in missional house churches.
Where can I go to experience all five five functions of Christ under one roof? At the end of the day, the people shouldn’t have to choose from one congregation to the next which of the five APEST functions they’re going to get.
That’s where you come in.
When you plant a church, you have the chance to get it right from the beginning. When laying the foundation, Paul says, “No other foundation can any man lay than Christ.” But what if I’m only laying 1/5 of the necessary mortar? If I lay the foundation of a teacher, I leave 4/5 of the mortar in the bag.
I want to lay a foundation of all five functions of Christ, and build upwards upon that foundation so that ALL of Christ is felt, seen, and most importantly, known.
So here’s the kicker, how will people experience all of the functions of Jesus in your gatherings?
How will they experience the apostolic ministry of Christ through the church?
How will they experience the prophetic ministry of Christ through the church?
How will they experience the evangelistic ministry of Christ through the church?
How will they experience the shepherding ministry of Christ through the church?
How will they experience the teaching ministry of Christ through the church?
There hasn’t been a lot of work done in this area. So how can we help leaders to begin to think through the embodiment of Christ’s full functioning ministry in our gatherings?
At Newbreed Training, I’ve written a course that goes deeper into this topic and provided both a free downloadable tool to do a check up on your gatherings today
You can purchase it, but it’s also free to members of the Newbreed Training Collective.
That’s where I am focusing most of my writing and development of thought right now. I have no plans to write another book at the moment, but would prefer to train people from all tribes, denominations, and networks to lean into their callings and plant churches that mirror the best practices of the early church.
I look forward to seeing you there, as we explore how to craft a missional APEST gathering for your church, micro church, or missional community.