Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Imagine APEPT in every local church

We’ve started Imagine – term 5 – this week and it’s already interesting to see how people are responding to the idea that, as a leadership team, we need the impact and influence of each of the APEPT ministries in Ephesians 4. Most leadership teams I know are based around either general distinctives (some are elders, some are deacons), or specific functions – youth, discipleship, mission, worship, etc. Building team around the APEPT ministries does not have to be apart from either model (you can have a prophetic youth leader for example), but it does mean we are more likely to equip a broader base of people ‘for works of service’ as the passage says. With a pre-dominance of either the ministry of ‘pastor’, or ‘teacher’ it should be no surprise what ‘teams’, or ministries, are most likely re-produced in the local church – worship groups, preaching teams and pastoral care teams. One implication of an approach which seeks to draw upon all five areas of APEPT ministry, at least means we should be equipping more people in areas of ministry which engage beyond the walls of the church. Our typical common practice is another of those abberations of NT study and an example of re-producing in our own image. I remember Nigel Wright saying many years ago now ‘a gracious minister begets a gracious church’ – and I would add, a teacher begets teachers and so on. The task of the key leader, or leadership team, must therefore include a drawing upon a broader range of ministry. Here again the primary role is to create an environment in which the APEPT ministries can grow and re-produce.

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