Turns out I’m an “APTSE.”
To recap, this is in addition to the prior labels:
- MBTI — INTP Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving (scoring very high on intuitive).
- KTS (Keirsey) — Architect, in the temperament of the rationals.
- Enneagram — Type Five, The Investigator with a “Four-Wing” (The Individualist), or “The Iconoclast.” 5w4’s have a more intuitive than strictly rational approach to knowledge.
The past few days I’ve thinking about some questions that cropped up recently about apostles and their role, about the shepherding movement and authoritarian hierarchical leadership structures, and the fivefold ministries generally. In that context, I figured I would check in with Alan Hirsch’s APEST test and see where I came up on this myself (results above). I’ve done these “gift assessment” tests in the past and found several of them to be of quite uneven quality. Some are so obvious that it’s hard not to skew the results by recognizing the test, and some allow you at least theoretically to score full marks on every gift. Others mash together gifts listed in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians into a single test without recognizing any distinction between these types of gifts. This particular test is much better… it allows you ten seconds to answer each question, which amounts to a selection between two words or phrases. Some of these are indicative of which gift is being implied by the answer, but the time limit helps keep you moving through it rather than allowing yourself to analyze your answer at length based on your expectations of the eventual survey results. I don’t know for certain whether a higher score in one or more gifts means a necessarily lower score on others, but I suspect so. A five-page PDF report is generated automatically for download — the image above is taken from page one, which also includes some verbage on the fivefold ministries themselves, including the following:
All five ministries are needed to engender, call forth, and sustain a full ministry in the Jesus movement. In fact, all five ministries in dynamic relation to one another are absolutely essential to vigorous discipleship, healthy churches and growing movements. Ephesians 4:7,11-12 assigns APEST ministries to the entire church, not just leadership. All are to be found somewhere in APEST — a leadership model characterized by a servant-inspired dynamic.
The report then provides one-page overviews for each of the two strongest ministries, and a brief summary of the remaining three on the final page. As my secondary and tertiary were tied (actually the report calls them Primary 1 and 2 and Secondary 1, 2, and 3), it would have been nice to have gotten the expanded version of the “Teacher” as well, but this is probably not a common occurrence, as I imagine most people would tend to score strongly in one or two, and unlikely to have a tie as I did. In point of fact, my own personal experience suggests that a tie between prophetic and teaching is rare enough — depending how one defines “prophetic,” perhaps. Overall the test is one of the better ones on the fivefold ministries, though it’s notable that while spiritual gifts tests are numerous, ones that focus on the Ephesians 4 gifts are few.
Now, I said there were differences between each of the three major Pauline gift lists… a conclusion strengthened by the fact that all three are Pauline yet the terminology is different. In writing about this three years ago, I said:
Associated with each list of gifts is a comment on unity in the body — both diversity in unity and unity in diversity… and maturity in the process. We have noted that each list of gifts is associated with a different person in the Godhead, and I believe we may infer that this will lend us some understanding of the nature of the gift in relation to the giver.
Romans 12: Gifts from God to individuals and which are part of the individual’s makeup. We may term these gifts of being, or inherent nature. Function of these gifts is an act of worship which helps ensure that the church has all the functions necessary in its calling.
I Corinthians 12: Gifts of the Holy Spirit through individuals to express God’s heart in a situation, whether vocally or in the miraculous. We may term these gifts of manifestation, or visitation. Function of these gifts is for God to manifest himself in a given situation to communicate or to accomplish his heart or his will.
Ephesians 4: Gifts of Christ to the church, these are not only ministries, but also individuals given to the church. We may term these gifts of incarnation, or representation. Function of these gifts is intended to assist in the maturation process of the church.
All of this is essentially background material for the discussion to be held… we’ll deal with the Ephesians 4 gifts, the basic meaning of each one, and their hierarchy within the realm of church leadership. In this context, we’ll give a little extra attention to determining what an apostle is and does. In the meantime, how are we so far… I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else divide these three lists in quite these ways to highlight these distinctives as I have. Do they make sense when laid out simply this way?