How can we as the church be the "light of the world" Jesus intended us to be? How can we reflect Jesus to a world that is desperate what he has to offer?
When the 5 Ephesians 4 gifts Jesus gave to his body are in operation in a local community (church), that church will literally be Jesus to the neighborhood and city around them. At City Church, our mission is to "Live Like Jesus" because we believe when Jesus said, "You are the light of the world" He anticipated his follower demonstrating who He was to the world around them. The reality is that we will never be able to do that unless we learn to walk in the 5-fold gifts Jesus gave to his church. What are those vital gifts Jesus gives?
He... gave gifts to his people... - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (shepherds), and teachers to equip people for the works of service... until we... attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:8,10)
Apostles and Prophets, Evangelists and Shepherds, Teachers. Gifts Jesus gave to the body. Gifts that equip us to live like Jesus (work of ministry) and be like Jesus (maturity and stature).
Jesus himself embodied each of these gifts as He was - The Sent One (A), Truth Teller (P), Story Creator (E), Caretaker (S), and Mind Opener (T). Jesus enables some of his children to embody these gifts in exceptional ways as He did. The body of Christ is meant learn from them how to live out those aspects of who Jesus was. Each of member of the body (church) has the capacity to embody these gifts in some measure as we are created in Christ's image. When we reflect the fullness of the APEST, we reflect the fullness of Christ himself.
A local church that is learning to identify and activate these gifts in its membership and leadership, that is committed to equipping ALL of the body to live like Jesus, and that believes each one of us has this potential because the Spirit of Jesus lives in us will be well on its way to seeing the power of Jesus and his gospel transform a neighborhood and city.