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fivefold in the old testament

May 7, 2018

Many of us have come across the fivefold or APEST gifts of Ephesians. Although there is still some debate I strongly believe that these gifts are normative for the church and that a mix of the gifts produces a great leadership team.

Quite intentionally when I helped to lead at Majestic Church we had a leadership team of Elders who were Prophetic, Pastoral (Shepherd), Evangelistic, and Teaching. It seemed to work well.

When we hear the fivefold gifts described, we are often pointed to new testament examples, but today I wondered if these gifts are normative can we find great examples in the Old Testament:

a classic example of an apostle is Abraham, a visionary whose inner vision/conviction that God would give him a promised land caused him to keep pioneering all his life. Although he left home, he had enough leadership qualities to bring a large company of people with him, and quick decision making and persuading skills to put together an company to chase down an alliance of Kings.

with all the APEST giftings there is a shadow side, where the strengths have an opposing weakness: With Abraham we see that he didn’t read people well, we are not told of what Sarai/Sarah thought of being passed off as his sister, and there was clearly difficulties with having his nephew Lot as part of the company.

If we want to see a Prophet, we only need to look as far as Moses: Here was someone who had been given privilege and opportunity, growing up in Pharaohs palace was like have an MBA from Havard. But we find Moses as the classic prophet – passionate about justice. When he discovers a Hebrew slave being  ill-treated he exploded in anger and kills the perpetrator. Here is an immature prophet who is then exiled to the desert for 40 years.

Fortunately the story doesn’t end there, (although Moses continues to be impetuous – which eventually leads to his not going to the promised land) through taking the time to listen to and watch what God is doing Moses receives revelation, the law, and takes the people out of Egypt with a whole display of signs and wonders. Yep classic prophet there.

In my next blog I will introduce an Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher from the old testament.


One Comment
  1. As above permalink
    May 8, 2018 1:40 pm

    Thanks for this, I’m looking forward to more especially the A!

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