What is APEST?

The APEST assessment is a profiling instrument designed to assist you in finding your ministry style in relation to the philosophy of the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4 (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, Teachers). It has emerged from over 10 years of practical application of this model in various ministry contexts.  

The APEST--both Solo and 360--was written originally in 2008 and 2009.  The current version of the APEST was written in collaboration by Alan Hirsch, Jeff Weber and Jonathan Reitz.

The APEST Assessment is a reliable test that measures your behavior against the FiveFold Ministry standards found in Ephesians 4.

PUT ANOTHER WAY... APEST is an online, formative, self-assessment is designed to solicit an individual response to a series of questions.  APEST is a subjective assessment, offering questions that may solicit more than one applicable answer. APEST measures an individual’s current ministry motivation and expression in ministry settings. As a result, APEST leads one to new areas of learning and integration for increased ministry engagement. APEST provides a quantified result to identify one’s current place for influence within a larger community.

Ministry vocation is a mixture of personal identity, God’s calling, the Spirit’s gifting, and community discernment. We only really know ourselves and our ministry impact in relation to others. So we believe that the best way to know your ministry is to somehow assess its impact on people around about you. So while you can easily do the individual profile, we really recommend that you consider doing the 360 degree test as well. This is a great tool for communities and leadership teams as a whole as it will allow you to ensure that you have a more complete ministry mix necessary to be missional church.

The APEST material originated in the writings of Paul. For there to be movement or growth in any context, a team should draw upon the natural energy and momentum inherent in each member. Every person functions in unique ways. It is remarkable when a group allows each member to function out of their natural capacities, thus contributing to the overall movement, direction, and wisdom of a team. APEST™ is designed to help people identify their natural, ministry motivation and expression in a given situation.

View sample profile report.

APEST Descriptions

APOSTLES extend the gospel. As the “sent ones,” they ensure that the faith is transmitted from one context to another and from one generation to the next. They are always thinking about the future, bridging barriers, establishing the church in new contexts, developing leaders, networking trans-locally. Yes, if you focus solely on initiating new ideas and rapid expansion, you can leave people and organizations wounded. The shepherding and teaching functions are needed to ensure people are cared for rather than simply used.

PROPHETS know God's will. They are particularly attuned to God and his truth for today. They bring correction and challenge the dominant assumptions we inherit from the culture. They insist that the community obey what God has commanded. They question the status quo. Without the other types of leaders in place, prophets can become belligerent activists or, paradoxically, disengage from the imperfection of reality and become other-worldly.

EVANGELISTS recruit. These infectious communicators of the gospel message recruit others to the cause. They call for a personal response to God's redemption in Christ, and also draw believers to engage the wider mission, growing the church. Evangelists can be so focused on reaching those outside the church that maturing and strengthening those inside is neglected.

SHEPHERDS nurture and protect. Caregivers of the community, they focus on the protection and spiritual maturity of God's flock, cultivating a loving and spiritually mature network of relationships, making and developing disciples. Shepherds can value stability to the detriment of the mission. They may also foster an unhealthy dependence between the church and themselves.

TEACHERS understand and explain. Communicators of God's truth and wisdom, they help others remain biblically grounded to better discern God's will, guiding others toward wisdom, helping the community remain faithful to Christ's word, and constructing a transferable doctrine. Without the input of the other functions, teachers can fall into dogmatism or dry intellectualism. They may fail to see the personal or missional aspects of the church's ministry.