LifeShape 5 the Pentagon

This information is not original with me, but from a fascinating book I found entitled, “The Passionate Church: The Art of Life-Changing Discipleship.” Since I am a visual learner, I have included my personally designed diagrams along with my own notes to help in my disciple-making and teaching efforts.

The pentagon is a tool for enabling every believer to recognize his or her worth and how to contribute to the building up of the body of Christ.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ… Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. –Ephesians 4:7, 11-13

We must change our thinking as to who the church really belongs to. Church leadership based on high control is not attractive to this emerging generation. Their journey of faith in community is not about doing church but about being the church. God does not expect you to be who you are not, but He does want you to be all that He made you to be. Remember that we have nothing to offer except what God Himself gives us.

A Spiritual Gift is Not Your Ministry:

We ought not interpret all of the “gift” passages on the same level. Take a look at the three main “gift” passages in this way:

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. –Romans 12:3-8

Motivational Gifts – Think of these seven gifts as your motivation in life. What are the things that bring you the most joy, things that you seem to do with a certain ease and effectiveness (while other things you may do are just the opposite). The bottom line is, “What motivates you to do the things you do in the kingdom?” The seven listed here are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership and mercy. These are foundational. These are our motivational gifts which will be exercised through a ministry.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ… Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. –Ephesians 4:7, 11-13

Ministry Gifts – Each believer is given a gift, just just those with a special calling to vocational ministry. We are to take our passion, or motivation, and exercise that gift in a ministry of service. The five ministries are briefly explained in the picture above. So, we take our motivational gift and exercise it through a certain ministry. What about those controversial gifts found elsewhere in the Bible?

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. –1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Manifestation Gifts – These gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and not evidence of the Holy Spirit inside of the believer. No one walks around always speaking in tongues or always healing people as they walk down the street. These are not permanent roles, they are given at a special time for a special purpose. As I follow God’s leadership in my life, I will take my motivational gift (the way I am wired) and exercise it through a ministry. If God should find it necessary for me to need a special manifestation of His Spirit, he will grant me a manifestation gift to carry out my ministry.

The Fivefold Foundation for Ministry:

Here are the five ministry gifts found in Ephesians 4.

Apostle – This is from the Greek word apostolos, meaning “one who is sent out.” Apostles are visionary and pioneering, pushing into new territory, establishing new ministries, being innovative in kingdom work.

Prophet – This describes people who hear and listen to God and the prophet foretells and forth-tells the message of God. They can step back and get a clear picture of what is happening and discover creative solutions to help develop a vision. They understand the time and what people need to do.

Evangelist – This one brings the good news and share the message readily. They love spending time with non-Christians. They may not be Billy Grahams, but they are able to gather people and make the gospel relevant to lost people.

Pastor – These are the shepherds of God’s people, one who cares with a tender heart. They see needs and offer comfort. They spend a lot of time with Christians, building them up for their effective service.

Teacher – This is the guardian of the Word, looking for ways to explain, enlighten and apply spiritual truth.

How to Find Your Base:

The authors challenge us to take an honest look at ourselves. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? These have little to do with being the life of the party or not, but rather with how one functions and processes information. Extroverts enjoy taking things through with others as they make decisions; they can easily ad-lib. It appears that most apostles, prophets and evangelists are more extroverted. Introverts process things internally. They are refreshed and recharged by spending time alone. These are your writers, painters and composers. This is not a clear-cut way to determine one’s ministry because most of us fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

Finding Your Phase: Pioneers and Settlers:

Pioneers enjoy the stress of doing something new, reaching beyond themselves to discover new frontiers and challenges, looking for the next opportunity to explore. Settlers are committed to continuity, stability and conversation. They prefer to grow and develop plans rather than scrap what they have started and begin again. They like to see things through until the end, knowing what to expect, and are comfortable when things move along according to plans.

Both pioneers and settlers are vital; to the American west and to the church as well. Pioneers are looking beyond what they have accomplished to see what lies ahead. Without settlers, we would never keep the land that the pioneers have started. Pioneers move on to new territory; settlers occupy and build with deliberate efforts

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