Make a fist.
Now look at it.
You’ve just created a weapon.
A powerful one if the arm behind it knows how to throw a punch.
Welcome to FIST leadership.
Unfolding your fingers so that they’re extended examine them individually. On their own, each finger isn’t particularly intimidating. You wouldn’t expect to see anybody fighting with just a finger unless you were watching a 1970s era Kung Fu B-movie.
Yet each finger has a unique function, like the five roles outlined in Ephesians 4:11, “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers”.
The pinky finger is God’s toothpick. Nothing picks spinach from between the bicuspids like an extended pinky. The ring finger tells my spouse I’m committed to her for life. The middle finger tells people I’m angry with them. The index finger points. Lastly, the thumb gathers and touches the other four fingers, bringing them together into a fist.
In a future series of articles, we’ll look at each of them individually, and unpack what their role and function is, but for now it’s enough to know that each of them acts on their own in a unique way, yet when they come together they pack a hard hitting punch.
What if our churches were trying to fight the good fight with only one finger extended against the onslaught of the Kingdom of darkness? Would it explain why we keep getting our tail kicked and our butt handed to us in a doggy bag?
New Breed holds that there are 5 different types of leaders operating today that work together to form a FIST that the Holy Spirit can use to deliver the knockout punch to the enemy time and again, throughout every age, and in every culture.
An apostolic-type leader is a church planting, front-line missionary committed to taking the people of God back out to the front lines to aggressively expand the kingdom of God. They are your spiritual entrepreneur and team leader. Their “A-Team” can do the impossible on the cheap, and “apostolic-types” are the team Hannibal. He’s the thumb that gathers and touches the other four fingers, bringing them together into a fist.
The prophetic-type leader is concerned with hearing from God; be it collectively, or prophetically. They are concerned that people aren’t just “playing church” but meeting with God. They tend to walk in the supernatural a bit more than the average bear, bringing God into the body as a reality, rather than an idea. Like the Old Testament prophets, they are the index finger, always pointing people back to Jesus.
The evangelistic-type leader does the opposite of the apostle. Rather than constantly motivating the church to go out, the evangelist compels the lost to come in. They are the middle finger because they bring the scandal of the cross and the offense of the gospel before people’s eyes.
The shepherd leader is consumed with discipleship. They are inwardly focused and concerned with nurturing healthy sheep. For this reason, they tend to appear more conservative, but they are the ring finger, committed to the sheep, willing to lay down their life for them “till death do they part”.
Teaching leaders are the pinky. They can pick the poppy seeds of bad theology out of the hard to reach places. They don’t want you ingesting that stuff. They are exact, and delicate. They spend time on the finer points of theology to create right thinking. Like Lloyd-Jones used to say, “Right thinking leads to right living”.
One finger is cool. One finger is different. One finger breaks easily. Put them together though and you can do some damage. A return to the team leadership of the New Testament is essential in these dark times.
We’re not in peace time anymore ladies and gents. We’re in a war. These are fighting times, and if we’re gonna stand a fighting chance, we’d better learn to make a FIST.
(If you are interested in learning more about this subject, check out Peyton’s new book “Church Zero” with David C. Cook, available for $2.51 for a limited time on Kindle download. To order the book, and read reviews, go here.)