The uniqueness of the apostolic gift lies in the ability to pioneer new, innovative and mission-minded works. Apostles help the church develop and maintain the call to go and be sent. He or she has a built-in urgency for the future and is strategically forward thinking.
Apostles are prone to see larger vision rather than focus on minor details. They are entrepreneurs, groundbreakers, and strategists that seek to spark change and get something started. Apostles impact communities through extension and the strong desire to plant the Gospel and mobilize others to do the same. They need to sense movement and change or they will get restless with the status quo. Apostles influence the world around them by ensuring that Christianity is transmitted from one context to another, from one era to the next.
The genius of prophetic leadership is the ability to discern the spiritual realities in a given situation or community in timely and appropriate ways. Prophets have an innate sense of knowing the mind of God on issues concerning growth and transformation, both individually and corporately.
Those with a prophetic calling will do all they can to listen to God, see what He sees, feel some of what He feels, speak and act on His behalf, and call people to faithfulness and obedience. He or she is a questioner and agitator for change, freely disturbing the status quo and challenging individuals and organizations to move in a different, God-directed path. Prophets influence others with the truth and are not afraid of speaking even when it may cause tension by going against the dominant way of thinking and practice. Prophets tend to have a stronger than usual passion and zeal for holiness, justice, and righteousness.
Evangelists are strong communicators and recruiters, utilizing the natural woo they have to win people over to both spiritual and non-spiritual ideas. Evangelists can easily recruit others for a cause. They are communicators who create an invitational culture, “sneeze” the movement message, are deft at changing others’ minds, and engage people in culturally relevant ways.
Evangelists communicate the Gospel message in a way that people respond through salvation, and have greater faith in themselves and their purpose. Evangelists are generally comfortable around believers and non-believers alike. They have the ability to relate to non-believers and can easily transition conversations into spiritual matters. They are not afraid to “go there” with spiritual topics and have an ability to lead people to faith.
Shepherds influence by nurturing, protecting and caring for people, drawing them closer to the Father. They often have a unique understanding of other’s feelings and emotions, creating a sincere relational bond. Shepherds will seek to create safe environments for spiritual growth and discipleship. Shepherds are humanizers; they provide the emotional glue for the caring of individuals within an organization.
Shepherds function as the caregivers of individuals. They are people-oriented motivators who develop and support healthy relational systems. Shepherds have the unique ability to know and understand the needs of people and the ability to develop others. They focus on current needs and manage people through meaningful and personal contact. They enrich communal experience, develop social bonding, and protect the Body, promoting and facilitating healing and wholeness.
The genius of teachers is their ability to reveal and communicate the wisdom of God, having the unique gift of explaining and seeking explanation. They inspire others to learn and obey the truth of Christ’s teachings and commands. They focus on the integration of truth into the personal and social elements of the community by helping to develop a Biblical worldview, resources for learning, transmitting ideas, and integrating life and thinking.
Teachers are often systematizers, seeking to organize various intellectual and practical parts into a working unity. With this type of understanding, teachers advance a cause through clear and simple communication. They create and articulate organization and structure to others for the fulfillment of a cause or task. Teachers impact the community through understanding and influence others by clarifying the mind and will of God so people can gain wisdom and understanding.