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So much has been written in the past few years about the importance of diverse personalities and temperaments within a team.  Be it the DiSC profile, MBTI, the Enneagram, Six Types of Working Genius, or any number of others, there is no shortage of typing systems that help teams work better together.     

Believe it or not, the Apostle Paul wrote about the importance of diverse gifts and roles in his letter to the church in Ephesus in the first Century AD.   

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NIV) 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.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Although we see these five roles lived out perfectly in the life of Jesus, the body of Christ in the Western world is primarily dominated by the roles of teaching and shepherding.

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In the person of Christ, we see all five functions of ministry lived out in full measure

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In part because of the emphasis of teaching and shepherding in the local church, the body of Christ often looks more like this.

We believe God has dispensed these five giftings in every local church, and that a healthy church will have leaders functioning in all five roles to equip people to serve in the ministry of the church.


Within ministry circles, the acronym APEST has come about to represent this diverse ministry idea (taking the first letter of the five functions Paul lists in Ephesians 4:11).  

What Does the Church Look Like without the Complete APEST?




If an apostolic leader dominates, the church or other organization will tend to be hard-driving, autocratic, with lots of pressure for change and development, and will leave lots of wounded people in its wake. It is not sustainable and will tend to dissolve with time.



If the prophetic leaders dominates, the organization will be one-dimensional (always harking back to one or two issues), will likely be factious and sectarian, will have a "super-spiritual" vibe, or, somewhat paradoxically, will tend to be either too activist to be sustainable or too quietist to be useful. This is not a viable form of organization.



When an evangelistic leader dominates, the organization will have an obsession with numerical growth, will create dependence on effervescent charismatic leadership, and will tend to lack theological breadth and depth. This type of organization will not empower many people.



When pastoral leadership monopolizes, the church or other organization will tend to be risk averse, codependent and needy, and overly lacking in healthy dissent and therefore creativity. Such an organization will lack innovation and generativity and will not be able to be transfer its core message and tasks from one generation to the next.



When teachers and theologians rule, the church will be ideological, controlling, moralistic, and somewhat uptight. A rationalistic, doctrine-obsessed, Christian gnosticism (the idea that we are saved by what we know) will tend to replaces reliance on the Holy Spirit. These types of organization will be exclusive based on ideology like that of the pharisees.


At Catalyst, we recognize that the terms "Apostle", "Prophet", "Evangelist" and "Shepherd" are words rarely used in the English language, and sound quite intimidating for use in a 21st century Canadian context.  

For this reason, we have changed the words for these functions to make them more contemporary and less intimidating.

We call those with Apostolic giftings as "Multiplying Team Members"

Here are the three main traits of a Multiplying Team Member:

They find starting new things to be energizing

They are strategic decision makers

They see things holistically and part of a larger system

We call those with Prophetic giftings as "Compass Team Members"

Here are the three main traits of a Compass Team Member:

They question what has become normative

They discern the message of Truth

They seek to ensure an authentic response to the Truth

We call those with Evangelistic giftings as "Story Team Members"

Here are the three main traits of a Story Team Member:

They are naturally enthusiastic and their enthusiasm can be contagious

They can personalize and contextualize the message of God’s love

They are motivated to see people move toward Jesus

We call those with Shepherding giftings as "Care Team Members"

Here are the three main traits of a Care Team Member:

They are patient and timely with care, stretching people to grow

They desire to see people enriched, connected and understood

They are aware of dangers in their group and in the lives of their members and protect and guard others

We call those with Teaching giftings as, well... "Teaching Team Members"

Here are the three main traits of a Teaching Team Member:

They have the ability to naturally translate great complexities into simple teachings

They have a strong desire for people to understand teachings and wisdom of God

They are able to discern their audience’s ability to comprehend and starts there

At Catalyst, we have structured our Church Leadership Team around these five functions, and work towards ensuring every Catalyst Group has a leader within that group functioning in one of these five roles.  


Following lunch at our monthly worship service, each of our church leaders meet with their team members  from across all  Catalyst Groups to equip them with skills and best practices in their area of ministry.  


If any of this sounds confusing, we understand completely.  Some things are better caught than taught, and we trust that when you see this being modelled at Catalyst and see how much fun it is to be on a team with like minded people, we think it will become something you love about our church.


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