APEST: The Christian Enneagram
This week we have been looking at the APEST groups on our Facebook and Instagram pages. APEST is an interesting topic, and I compare it to the Briggs-Myers and the Enneagram tests. There are different groups that do not necessarily define who you are, but give common characteristics you may share with people in your APEST group.
"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ," (Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV).
The APEST groups contribute to the idea of the body of Christ. "Now if the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body" (1 Corinthians 12:15-20, NIV).
We are all parts of the Body, and different body parts have different functions. The hand has its function. The foot has a different function. Every part functions differently and almost no two parts work the same.
APEST separates us into our groups so that we can recognize and understand what our function is. Normally, you are either more on the APE side, or more on the ST side. This is not to say that you cannot be a Shepherd and a Prophet, but it is normally one or the other.
I lean more towards the ST side. I love studying God's Word and relaying the information I learn to others, meaning I am a Teacher. I am also very protective of my friends and prefer to keep a small, consistent circle, meaning I am a Shepherd. By recognizing I am a Shepherd and a Teacher, I can better utilize myself for the Kingdom.
I realize that I am not an Evangelist, which means I am not good at going out and bringing people in. Because I realize I am a Shepherd, I know that I am better at taking the people the Evangelists are able to bring in and raise them up through discipleship.
The APEST groups are not meant to put anyone above anyone else. No one group is better or worse than the others. Prophets are not closer to God than anyone else. Shepherds are not more pious than the other groups. Evangelists are not better Christians than the other groups. Apostles are not necessarily better equipped to be leaders. Teachers are not necessarily smarter than the other groups. We are all parts of the Body. Just because we function differently does not make anyone more or less useful.
The APEST groups are meant to help us realize our roll and get a better understanding of how to play our part in extending the Kingdom of God. An Evangelist's talents might be better utilized out of small group, while a Shepherd's talents are better utilized in small group. The APEST groups help us to understand where our place is so we do not try to fill in someone else's place.
Do you want to find out some idea of where your APEST group is? Take the Fivefold Spiritual Gifts Test found on designdiscovery.com and let us know what your results are! It may not be 100% correct, but it can certainly point you in the right direction.