January 28th, 2018 (by Laura Massinger) // We had the privilege of presenting the fivefold ministry of Jesus Christ (also abbreviated as “A.P.E.S.T.”), biblically based on Ephesians 4:11-16, to the Baptist Church Mollardgasse in Vienna on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th of January. Most of the participants were youth so it was a challenge to present everything in a vocabulary they can digest. Yet God came through and did more than we could hope or imagine.
Danny, Anda, Nate, Insa, and Laura led the workshop this time, with each one of us covering one area/gift of Jesus. The youth were hungry and thirsty to know how they can better serve the Body of Christ with their giftings.
In order to give the youth a broader perspective on the ministry of Jesus, sessions covered included: characteristics of all five areas/people (of apostles, of evangelists, of teachers, of shepherds and of prophets), their main responsibility within the Body, the fruits of their ministries, as well as tensions which can pop up and disunite a church or team.
The whole day Saturday was spent breaking into small groups and exercising these areas with them, which was a blessing for us as well, since we saw God opening their eyes and revealing to them His truths and His ways in their own language. Whether it was meditating on God’s Word (teacher), or listening to God communicate (prophet), or sharing testimony of salvation (evangelist), or caring for the soul (shepherd), or grabbing ahold of God’s mission (apostle), we all had a fun, blessed time.
“Why do you think the fivefold giftings are so important to the Church?” was one of the questions we asked them on the feedback form. Here are a few of the answers:
“Because they belong together and represent Jesus.”
“To function as a team in the best way possible and give God the glory for that.”
“Because there is a danger that churches fall into one extreme and practice only one or two of these giftings. They balance each other in a healthy way.”
“What are you taking away from the workshop?” One participant wrote, “There is more potential in me than I thought. There is already so much potential present in our church, it just has to be activated and cultivated.”
We really enjoyed serving MOGA Church and appreciated their warmth, hospitality, sincerity, and openness to learn.