Neil Cole’s recent book, “Primal Fire – Reigniting the Church with the Five Gifts of Jesus” looks at “APEST” or what is sometimes referred to as the five-fold ministry. This is based on Ephesians 4 where Paul says, “These are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors [or shepherds] and teachers.” (“APEST” is an acrostic of these gifts.)
I can imagine this may sound like a narrow topic, however the book is quite worthwhile. “Primal Fire” touches on how the church as a whole should function. And it especially imparts a vision of Christian leadership, painting an image which might be a paradigm shift for many people. Beyond this, Cole shares how these are gifts which every follower of Jesus possesses and can grow into.
“Primal Fire” is not about spiritual gifts in terms of how people usually think of them. Instead, those who hold this model see APEST more as roles which people fill. Through the book, Cole lays out how the church has become imbalanced by only focusing on a couple of these gifts while marginalizing the rest. He makes a case as to the problems stemming from this imbalance as well as what could be if we embrace all of the gifts.
Neil is one present day I respect most for his wisdom. And “Primal Fire” contains as much or more wisdom as any of his other books. It’s well worth reading.