Thursday, August 13, 2009
Ever Felt Like You Didn't Know Who You Are?
Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about the Church (as in, the Body and Bride of Christ and not just where we all go Sunday morning), my role in it, and general frustrations. He asked if I had ever taken a "spiritual personality" test called APEST (to find out more, go here). The reason he stated was that many churches hire pastors expecting "shepards" and if that is not your tendency in personality then it usual can frustrate you.
Of the 5 personality types, the "shepherding" one was dead last on my list. Great. I came out as a "Prophet-Apostle". Meaning God has enabled me to discern His will (note: I am NOT claiming that every word that comes out of my mouth is His) and voice it to people and places. Prophets do sometimes foretell the future but, in my case anyway, it applies more to speaking spiritual truth.
After taking the test I debriefed with the friend who had sent me to the site and told him my "personality". He asked something very telling about myself: do you ever feel annoyed with yourself? Like you are saying the same things, even repeating yourself and you know others get annoyed hearing it but you cannot help but say it? Sort of shocked I replied: A lot, actually.
Prophets are like that. We often see things that are wrong, outside the will of God, or can be done better and we HAVE to say something. Just as with the other "spiritual personalities" they have to teach, shepherd, evangelize, or start new things- to NOT do those things would be counter-intuitive, uncomfortable, or frustrating.
So here is my prophet spiel: this is one of many things that the Church is missing and doing wrong. We have regulated these spiritual personalities to fit our mission both in which personalities are given out but also how they are utilized and if they are well accepted. These personalities must work in tandem with each other or the church will continue to cripple itself.
Think of the church movements over the last years: you have churches that pretty much only disciple (thus neglecting evanglistic or apostolic gifts); you have mega-churches that only evangelize (thus creating new believers but not teaching or even shepherding); you have inbred churches whose only concern is maintaing the status quo and making the sheep comfortable (thus marginalizing any prophetic word that will move them forward).
When any of these personalities are overemphasized, wrongly pushed, or a section of the list is omitted you have a lopsided Church. Over the next weeks I am hoping to take a look at these personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can work to make the Body stronger.