I think we all have one of these gifts. In fact, I tend to think that most of us have a primary operating gift and a secondary or supporting one. (And Apostles tend to know how turn any one of them on in spurts, but are excellent at none.)
My description/understanding of each:
- Apostle: Visionary leader. Pioneer willing to move ahead and take risks. Often the first one to speak up and the first one to stand up. They are usually the radical type. They will be the first one into the island and the first one out. They are kinda like the engine---or the front bumper of the car. May get themsleves in trouble easier than others. Many Apostles are Pioneers. Some run over top of people. But they inspire us! They call us ahead. They see the mountain and are ready to take it on! Usually very engaging and captures the attention of the room he/she is in.
- Prophet: Sees God. Hears God. Speaks up for God. Tuned in to the spirit more than most of us. Sensitive to God's voice. And then shares what they sense. Often see pictures, visions, and dreams. Maybe these folk are a tad like the instrument panel in the car and tell you what's up, what's ahead--often stuff you did not see at all. May scare people at times by being too whack. But they carry a deep spirituality that we all love and are inspired by.
- Evangelist: Madly in love with Jesus, won't stay quiet about it and must tell everyone they can. Carries heavy burden for lost people. Mouthpeice. Like the horn of the car, perhaps. Tend to get carried away too quick and leave with too much undone. Need to care about discipling too, though they forget it sometimes. Fired up for Jesus. Usually have a story to tell about how much they love the Lord. Stand out and speak up. Usually emotionally charged--and it's good--it's refreshing!
- Teacher: Love to correctly talk. They want to share, but it needs to be accurate stuff. They are not a fan of some of the other loud mouth gifts that have no idea what they are saying. These poeple love when they can help people "get it"! They long for truth and want to share it. They can tend to be cautious and thinkers. Maybe like the GPS in your car. Play a guiding role. Offer a voice of wisdom that is deeply needed. Keep other gifts out of trouble if the other gifts will listen.
- Pastor: Lover of people. Oozing compassion. Tuned into YOU and the details of your life. Good memory. Deep lover. Shepherd. Can care too much and become entangled. They are really into the relationships being formed inside the car. Side note: Most of the Pastors you have met are not Pastors according to this definition. My heart breaks for them as they are forced to be someone they are not for a paycheck.
We need all of these gifts in the church. For some crazy reason, we do not encourage these ministries to be actively and evenly carried out in the church. Please reread the last sentence. I know what I am...I think. Who are you? Do you see yourself here? What do you think of this stuff? Teach me something. Comment or email me. Interested in what you know.