Admittedly, I have a tendency to become obsessed with concepts that blow my mind and I quickly drive everyone around me crazy with the sharing of my new found knowledge.

But I am actually not an evangelist, it is actually one of the gifts I need to develop.

But when I find something worthy of good news status I easily muster up the evangelist’s drive to tell everyone about the newest greatest thing. And I find myself with the teacher’s need to read, read, and read some more, so that I can fully grasp the magnitude of that which so happened to alter my understanding of the Universe. (And teacher isn’t my primary or secondary either).

But good news (whatever we deem worthy enough to consider good news) when we discover it manages to harness the imagination of every Christly endowed gift growing inside of us.

I think it’s because once you see something seriously good, it is hard to unsee it.

Once you discover the magnitude of the APEST relationships and how they correlate with each other and you see them play out in your everyday world, it is hard to unsee them.

I have never started a business, although my husband and I are constantly scheming over the next big thing we could sell to the baby boomer generation (we are millenials, after all).

My husband in proper Apostle/Evangelist fashion has boldly ventured head first into nearly five arenas of “research” for business startups in our almost 13 years of marriage until he landed in a successful direction.

What I have learned about the APEST and the nuances of primary gifts (bases), and secondary gifts (phases) is that there is nothing more profoundly different than the Apostle and the Prophet.

Apostles are urgent, visionaries, entrepreneurs, dreamers, innovators, risk takers. Prophets are cautioners, refiners, listeners, pattern seekers, and questioners. As I often like to say: “Apostles GO and Prophets SLOW.”

But the one thing they share together is an absolute unrest within the status quo, which makes them a formidable pair both in the body of Christ as well as in the business world.

Once you discover the magnitude of the APEST relationships and how they correlate with each other and you see them play out in your everyday world, it is hard to unsee them. Click To Tweet

Not long after I became obsessed with APEST, my husband and I were watching the PBS series “START UP” which details the story of successful small businesses in the United States.

Several businesses were showcased, in order to detail how they became successful. (See PBS START UP 2013, episode 3).

Story after story began with a boldly creative, ground breaker with a million ideas who came across a reflective friend they greatly respected. This listening friend always managed to ask just the right questions to get to the heart of what the ground breaker was trying to accomplish.

The urgency of the creative entrepreneur met with the cautionary questions of the reflective friend… it is the visionary and the refiner of the vision… the Apostle and the Prophet.

In Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

The Apostle/Prophet relationship is a key to successful movement.

Apostles are urgent, visionaries, entrepreneurs, dreamers, innovators, risk takers. Prophets are cautioners, refiners, listeners, pattern seekers, and questioners. As I often like to say: “Apostles GO and Prophets SLOW.” Click To Tweet

At face value they have nothing in common. In fact, if we are unaware of the relationship and the roles we play, these two roles may even work against each other.

BUT if we recognize that at the foundations of the world God designed people with completely complimentary gifts that could embolden, empower and move mission forward then we can become partners: both visionaries and the refiners of the vision.

My beloved husband, the Apostle Evangelist, moves with urgency from one big idea to another. I, even as an Apostle Prophet, seem to appear cautionary compared to him and we are both Apostles.

When I accidentally stumbled upon Hirsch’s work with the APEST I was working with a Prophet/Evangelist. We drove each other crazy.

I had a million ideas that he was constantly “cautioning” me on.

It wasn’t until we discovered the APEST and the concept of the Apostle/Prophet relationship that we recognized how we complimented each other and we managed to thrive in our work! 

So if in successful small businesses across the United States, the dynamic relationship that completes the bold entrepreneur is the person they respect who asks the questions they haven’t asked themselves, what would the church look like, if our Apostles were partnered with Prophets?

Apostles burn fast and hard. We don’t have time to worry about the what ifs? (Like the time I booed the prophet’s idea of “testing candles” and then we almost burned the church down in the middle of my sermon. I seriously had to eat crow).

Prophets left to themselves can become seriously critical and can spin an organization into circles of self-critique.

But together the movement maker, with the refiner, can move with thoughtful purpose that goes somewhere.

The gift of this relationship is apparent in the stories of successful small business. So what would it look like in an organization built around the power and dynamic of the mission of God?

How do we begin to build a church culture that doesn’t thrive on one Apostolic charismatic personality but is also partnered with the cautionary thoughtfulness of the prophet?

This is a powerful relationship worth sharing and seriously good news in the making. May it be so.

 

Apostles burn fast and hard. Prophets left to themselves can become seriously critical and can spin an organization into circles of self-critique. Together the movement maker with the refiner can move with thoughtful purpose that… Click To Tweet

What APEST pairings do you see working well together? Let us know in the comments.

Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg
Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg is the official "disturber and equipper" for Zion Mennonite Church's Collaborative Ministry Team located in the small, rural midwestern community of Archbold, Ohio.