Assessment Date: Oct 26, 2023

Dave Winter

Dave Winter


APEST Assessment Introduction

APEST is a ministry assessment emerging from the most comprehensive statement of ministry structure, that of Ephesians 4:7,11-12. Within this passage we find the fivefold ministry of APEST: apostolic, prophetic, evangelist, shepherd and teacher; But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned It is he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be shepherd and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

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 followers of Jesus are to be found somewhere in APEST, living out their nature characterized by a servant-inspired dynamic.

Understanding how your 'Primary', Secondary', and 'Supplementary' capacities work together

The APEST profile test helps you identify your 'primary/secondary' and 'supplementary' capacities. Think of these like your right and your left hand. Your 'primary' capacities will feature 2 of the APEST. We call this your APEST couplet. These two capacities work together in a special way. The first one is your paradigm or lens through which you see the world. These are usually the ideas that you are drawn to and motivate you. For many people this one is a surprise! Many people are also under-developed in this area, which is why we have created resources for you at Your 'secondary' capacity is usually the voice through which you speak to others. This is how people hear you. It is also usually the language you receive the best – your love language if you will. Many people mistakenly think this is their main capacity. Read the description below to see how your two work together.

Your 'supplementary' capacities are not your main ones, but just like you are better with both hands, you are more like Jesus with some of all 5 capacities. Low-development in your 'supplementary' capacities will limit the strength and maturity of your 'primary/secondary' capacities. Read those descriptions and embrace opportunities for God to grow you to look more like Jesus.

Profile for Prophetic + Shepherding

The Prophet Shepherd cares with great compassion and conviction so others may believe with greater conviction. The PS has a compelling side to them - seeking to be with the disenfranchised and see their needs met in a personal way. Being spiritually sensitive they connect people with God in the right way. They believe in a personal place for all people. The PS desires to love people and lead them to greater experience of God and his cause. The motivation of the PS is for people to belong to a community, reaching for a greater cause.







The prophetic function in turn sets the agenda for the job description of prophetic people. Those graced with the prophetic calling will do all they can to listen to God, see what he sees, feel something of what he feels, speak and act on his behalf, and call people to faithfulness and obedience. JR Woodward calls prophets the “heart revealers” in the ecclesia. In my experience, they make the best worship leaders and artists of all the fivefold types. Prophets are often agitators for change. In the name of greater faithfulness they will tend to ask pointed questions that highlight God’s call, the gap between our obedience and his will, and our responsibility to act accordingly. Outside the ecclesia, prophetic men and women are agents for broad cultural change, social justice, and incarnational integrity. They are the God-oriented mystics who call all people to attend to the voice of God, wherever and however it reveals itself.

The prophetic vocation is likely the most difficult of all the APEST callings, partly because of the personal vulnerability involved (God is “dangerous” … he is a consuming fire) but also because the prophetic word, like the Word of God that the prophet seeks to represent, is often rejected by people who prefer their own ways. The prophet is likely the loneliest of all the vocations and the one most open to misunderstanding. I think this is why Jesus calls us to especially respect the prophets in our midst (Matthew 10:4–42).

But because of the close association of the prophet and the unfolding of the will/heart of God, along with the innate subjectivity of this message, prophets can potentially be volatile and divisive people—especially when their gifting is immature and undeveloped. New Testament prophets are therefore put under significant restriction and are subject to corporate discernment and discipline when necessary—we are told to test all prophecy, as well as to hold “false” prophets to account (1 Corinthians 12–14; 1 Thessalonians 5:20–21; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1ff.). The Body truly benefits from mature prophets who follow in the way of the Suffering Servant—the subversive and hidden agent of God.

But prophetic people following in the way of Jesus cannot be moralistic and grouchy religious naysayers; like Jesus, they are also harbingers of eschatological joy and hope, heroes of the faith, declarers of God’s abiding love for his people no matter what, people who find their primary comfort in God himself—the intimacy of the prophet’s connection to God is its own reward.


Bible References

John 1:6-8
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light."
James 1:21-24
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they look like.”


  • Questions what has become normative
  • Disturbs common thinking and practices
  • Agitates for positive change
  • Desires learning for purposes to influence
  • Discerns the message of Truth
  • Seeks to ensure an authentic response to Truth
  • Core issue is one’s relationship with God
  • Urgency felt now, in the moment, “this must happen”
  • Comfortable dismantling the present for future hope
  • Deep compassion for the cause of the people
  • Inspires all people to respond to God’s message
  • May communicate creatively to get message across


  • Maintaining the God focus/orientation throughout the organization through prayer and worship
  • Maintaining covenantal bonds throughout church/organization (love, passion, and responsibility)
  • Cultivating commitments to social justice and commitments to respect the poor
  • Engaging in spiritual warfare
  • Speaking truth to power
  • Encouraging repentance to maintain the God-relationship
  • Maintaining and cultivating a holy imagination of life under God’s rule and covenant
  • Developing prophetic sensibilities in leaders and ministers
  • Questioning the institution where it becomes inhuman, self-protective, and/or oppressive
  • Developing learning through questioning
  • Maintaining the moral and spiritual witness of the community
  • Maintaining the “soul” of the organization
  • Renouncing idolatry and false forms of worship
  • Maintaining the integrity and authenticity to the founding values
  • Developing prefigurative communities that witness to God’s presence and purpose
  • Maintaining self-critical insight in the organization and the people

Blind Spots (Watch out for these expressions of immaturity)

 The Dysfunctional Prophet 

  • Struggles to discern subjective and objective truth of a matter
  • Moody and emotional
  • Obsessed with being right
  • “Super-spiritual”
  • Tends to be black and white in their thinking (lacks nuance)
  • Demanding about their own sense of call, dismissive of others’ callings
  • Self-righteous or self-condemning
  • Easily frustrated
  • Lack wisdom and graciousness
  • Can reject relationships with people when they don't agree

Impact: Integration, the one who knows

  • You have great faith in what you believe, explain these beliefs with others. Your precise knowledge of what God calls us to do will encourage and assure people who naturally question or are indecisive. This encouragement and assurance leads others to confidence, faithfulness, obedience and influence.
  • As a person who boldly communicates God’s truth, be aware of how strong your message can become. Ask those you trust for help with word choice, delivery and timing. The right message at the wrong time may easily be ignored. This may result in people getting tired with the persistence of the same message.
  • You feel great ownership of the message God has given you. Think of ways you can communicate this message beyond words. How can you serve as a way to encourage their greater commitment? Then, commit yourself to serving in places that reflect your passion.






At its core, the shepherd is the vocation tasked with creating and maintaining healthy community, promoting the common good, encouraging people in the faith, and ensuring the welfare of the people as well as the broader society in which the community abides.

Shepherds pay close attention to their immediate environment, noticing details about people and the state of the community. They necessarily have strong empathic aptitudes and heightened capacities for meaningful friendships and relationships. To be a good shepherd in any reasonable sense of the word would be to know all the names and the stories of the people in one’s immediate care. Although this does not exclude a broader shepherd of- shepherds (pastor et pastorium) role that occurs in a larger pastoral organization, it does highlight that calling oneself a pastor or shepherd yet not knowing the personal details of the particular people in one’s orbit probably disqualifies one from being a shepherd in any meaningful sense of the term.

Because of their great sense of and need for cohesion and unity, shepherds will find it disheartening when people leave the community—for good or not-so-good reasons. People, even (or perhaps especially) the most unlikely, most vulnerable, and most insignificant ones, matter to shepherds.


Bible References

John 13:34-35
" '.A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' "
1 Thessalonians 2:6-8
"As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us"
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”


  • Core issue: love for people - individually and collectively
  • Humanizer providing care, concern and correction
  • Creates environments for change, not always comfortable
  • Unifier of an organization
  • Patient and timely with care, stretching people to grow
  • Cultivates loving and mature relationships
  • Aware of the spiritual network within a community
  • Desire to see people enriched, connected and understood
  • Expresses God’s love through creating healthy communities
  • Seeks the dignity and respect of each person
  • Has a vision for growth, sees other’s development
  • Aware of dangers, protects and guards others


  • Cultivating a loving and caring community
  • Being the extended “Family of God”
  • Including the unloved and marginalized
  • Ensuring bonding among the followers in the Jesus movement
  • Cultivating wholesome relationships in community
  • Developing a loving culture
  • Creating a place of healing
  • Developing a high EQ Culture
  • Championing a commitment to discipleship
  • Ensuring the appropriate protection of members (inclusion/exclusion)
  • Maintaining relational glue
  • Developing and maintaining pathways for maturity and discipleship
  • Enacting communal discipline
  • Developing pastoral leadership and ministers

Blind Spots (Watch out for these expressions of immaturity)

 The Dysfunctional Shepherd 

  • Takes on too many people’s problems
  • Obsessive need for harmony at the expense of truth
  • Risk averse
  • Conflict avoidant
  • Lack of a clear plan or strategy
  • Lack of time management
  • Lack of healthy boundaries
  • Measures themselves by ‘counting sheep’
  • Driven by approval or disapproval of others
  • Co-dependent relationships
  • Cloying and over-involved in people’s lives

Impact: Nurture, the one who cares

  • You have the unique ability to provide a comfortable yet challenging space for people, a trusting relationship ripe for personal and spiritual growth. Seek places to serve as a counselor, discipler, care giver or role model. Be aware of the possibility that co-dependency may occur between you and those you are leading. Lead people inward and forward.
  • You naturally see potential, progress and growth; comment frequently on this. Trust your insight to lead people where they need to be. Your insight provides encouragement, learning and trust for development. This type of wisdom is a gift; share it freely so others gain a greater sense of faith in God and belief in themselves.
  • People will feel comfortable around you because you naturally understanding their feelings, emotions and life situation. People may often come to you for help, advice and comfort. Learn to recognize the signs of vulnerability and trust. Observe how open people become, and gently encourage in appropriate ways. Seek ways to connect their growth to the fulfillment of their personal mission and purpose in life.






The evangelist/evangelistic involves the proclamation of the good news that is at the core of the church’s message. Evangelism is therefore all about the core message and its reception in the hearts of people and cultures. As such, the evangelist is the storyteller, the all-important recruiter to the cause, the naturally infectious person who is able to enlist people into what God is doing in and through the church.


Bible References

Luke 19:9-10
“Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.' ”

Impact: Expansion, the one who recruits.

  • You believe the community of faith is a place where people need to belong. This belonging is achieved through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Establish meaningful relationships and a genuine commitment to the people of your community; this will develop a trust in support of the work you are called to do.






The teacher/teaching is concerned with the mediation and appropriation of wisdom and understanding. This is the naturally philosophical type that brings comprehensive understanding of the revelation bequeathed to the church. It is a guiding and discerning function. In the biblical tradition, emphasis falls on wisdom and not simply on speculative philosophy. Teaching, of course, also involves integrating the intellectual and spiritual treasure of the community and encoding it, in order to pass it on to others and to the next generations (paradosis, or tradition).


Bible References

Matthew 7:28-29
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”

Impact: Understanding - the one who explains.

  • You have a keen understanding of what God is communicating to His people; ask to be involved in areas of teaching, small groups facilitation or writing curriculum. Your expanded understanding of common lessons and beliefs will provide meaningful application for others.






The apostle/apostolic: In Greek, the term apostle literally means “sent one.” As the name itself suggests, it is the quintessentially missional (from missio, the Latin equivalent) ministry. Interestingly the French translation of the term apostle (envoy) picks up this sense of commission much better than the English transliteration—an apostle is an envoy. It is very much a pioneering function of the church, the capacity to extend Christianity as a healthy, integrated, innovative, reproducing movement, ever-expanding into new cultures. It is also a custodial ministry … a guardianship. This ministry is therefore also profoundly interested in the ongoing integrity of the core ideas (DNA, organizational principles, or meta-ideas) that generate and maintain systemic health across the organization.

Luke 10:1-3

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.' ”

Bible References

1 Corinthians 3:5-9,11
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. [...] For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Impact: Extension, the one who is sent.

  • Do not be afraid to let your passion and excitement ignite others lives. Craft vision with those around you, letting their APEST vision and voices help create a more complete vision. Listen to the questions and comments of others. Often, these elements will identify details needing to be integrated into what you all are creating together, providing greater clarity. Do not fear over-explaining why certain people, organizations and resources are necessary to realize the vision.


How Does APEST Compare?

  Apostolic Prophetic Evangelistic Shepherding Teaching
Theological roots in God Father, creator, sender (missio Dei), Sovereign, Designer, Judge, Source Holy, faithful, incarnate, transcendent, covenantal, just and true, omnipotent Savior, redeemer, gracious giver, lover, merciful Community in the Trinity, comforter, immanent, intimate, knower (yada), divine parent, compassionate Omniscient, prescient, truth, wisdom, beauty, Logos (reason)
Core vocation Custodian of the DNA
Guardian of the covenant
Questioner of the status quo
Connector to the cause
Social integrator
Mediator of wisdom and understanding
Theological formation
Impulse Missional Incarnational Attractional Communal Instructional
Effect Propagate Incarnate Aggregate Integrate Explicate
Focus A viable future and expansion of the Christian movement God orientation: Keeping the movement aligned with God That people come to know Jesus and join the movement The community living healthily in the love of the triune God Awareness and integration of truth, especially revealed truth
Spirituality-character complex Adventurous and futuristic Has an architectural/systemic sensibility, with an emphasis on risk Transcendent and existential Has a strong intuition of what is right and wrong, emphasizing integrity, obedience, and mystery Relational and communal Emphasis on novelty, sociality, playfulness, and celebration Nurturing and communal, with an emphasis on healing, wholeness, and community Intellectual and philosophical, with an emphasis on curiosity, learning, knowledge, and the intellect
Leadership style Decisive Design focused Strategic Demonstrative Motivational Persuasive Motivational Inclusive Collaborative Prescriptive Analytical
Emphasis in disciple-making scalable and reproducible, discipling someone as they disciple someone else, discipleship systems Hearing the revelatory word (rhema) of God, prayer, and obedience to the voice of God Doing what Jesus did, being good news, and exemplifying Christlikeness to others Inner healing, healthy community life, and relational reconciliation Assimilating the logos word of God and through the reading/understanding of scripture
Overriding concerns Will this help us increase our capacity for mission? Will this help us embody God’s concerns? Will this help us bring people to a point of conversion? How will this affect the organization and people in the community? How will this line up with theology and scripture?
Metrics for success Healthy and systematic extension of Christianity within and beyond cultural boundaries Kingdom multiplication Faithfulness to God’s values through visible and tangible actions and consciousness of God’s character and presence Growth through individual and group conversion and in increasing the number of adherents in the movement People’s experience of a sense of belonging, intimacy, and personal transformation Adequate engagement with, comprehension of, and consistency with truth in all its forms
How it contributes to the health of the movement Ensuring consistency with core ideas Laying new foundations and designing systems around mobilization and extension Anchoring the movement in God’s values and providing critical feedback for constant realignment Explicitly valuing the Gospel as our core story Adding new people Sharing the message in the local vernacular Cultivating and integrating people into a socially cohesive community that fosters relational health and harmony Systematizing and articulating the multi-dimensional aspects of truth Optimizing operational efficiency Building systems of discipleship
Blindspots and shadows Dominance: task-focussed, demanding, and insensitive to others. Immaturity A’s can succumb to being controlling and this can lead to burnout--personal and corporate. Disrespectful: Passionate can become ideological and demanding. Laser-set on truth can become short-sighted, and simplistic. A call to conviction can become critical and condemning Driven: Anything to make the deal, not demanding enough, mistakes “being involved” for equipping or discipleship Drowning: Obsessive need for harmony, aversion to risk or conflict, and may take on too many people’s problems Dogmatism: Demand for ideology conformity and lack of urgency, can be overly critical over certain areas and may choose being ‘right’ over relationships
Historical Exemplars Jesus, Peter, Paul, St. Patrick, Joan of Arc, John Wesley, Aimee Semple McPherson, Jesus, Jeremiah, St. Benedict, Martin Luther, St Theresa of Avila, Ida B. Robinson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr. Jesus, Phillip, George Whitfield, Kathryn Kuhlman, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Carletha CeCe Cole Jesus, St. Francis, Jean Vanier, Mother Theresa, Eugene Peterson Jesus, Apollos, Augustine, Aquinas, John Calvin, Henry Nouwen, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer

What Does the Church Look Like without the Complete APEST?

Dysfunctional APEST

If an apostolic leader dominates, the church or other organization will tend to be hard-driving, autocratic, with lots of pressure for change and development, and will leave lots of wounded people in its wake. It is not sustainable and will tend to dissolve with time.
If the prophetic leaders dominates, the organization will be one-dimensional (always harking back to one or two issues), will likely be factious and sectarian, will have a "super-spiritual" vibe, or, somewhat paradoxically, will tend to be either too activist to be sustainable or too quietist to be useful. This is not a viable form of organization.
When an evangelistic leader dominates, the organization will have an obsession with numerical growth, will create dependence on effervescent charismatic leadership, and will tend to lack theological breadth and depth. This type of organization will not empower many people.
When pastoral leadership monopolizes, the church or other organization will tend to be risk averse, codependent and needy, and overly lacking in healthy dissent and therefore creativity. Such an organization will lack innovation and generativity and will not be able to be transfer its core message and tasks from one generation to the next.
When teachers and theologians rule, the church will be ideological, controlling, moralistic, and somewhat uptight. A rationalistic, doctrine-obsessed, Christian gnosticism (the idea that we are saved by what we know) will tend to replaces reliance on the Holy Spirit. These types of organization will be exclusive based on ideology like that of the pharisees.

version: APEST v2.1 (2015-02)