This is a Guest Story by Beau Crosetto, a spiritual entrepreneur who loves starting new things for God so all people can engage the conversation. His blog is committed to exploring how these conversations can happen online and offline.
Just a few months ago in a fraternity house at San Diego State University, I had a guy who was not a Christian thank me profusely for starting a bible study in his house so he could talk about the things of God. He said:
I have never felt this comfortable with my self ever before, and I cannot thank you enough. I am surprised that at a Bible Study in the fraternity is where I felt most at home.
I believe that Christians need to be having more encounters like this in the world and the church needs to start defining itself more through these kind of experiences. This should be normal for us than it is.
If you’re anything like me, you get teary eyed at a quote like that because a guy who longs to know God but just didn’t know how to connect is finally rubbing shoulders with Him. But the problem is, so many Christians and so many churches are setting up shop and waiting for people to come to them! And they just aren’t coming.
This is why I am starting the blog, “Release the APE”. I am committed to seeing these kinds of conversations happen in fraternity houses, pubs, business, and cafes. I am doing my best to motivate leaders to start doing church “out there” in the real world.
I want to encourage others to stop “doing church” only inside the snug but intimidating walls of the church building. If church is going to start and keep happening like this, APE’s have to be released into the world.
What’s an APE? APE stands for apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic and these are the catalytic leaders in the church. These are the leaders that make things happen on the outside of the church and tend to spark things for God “out there”. APE’s are you and me! You probably have never heard of these words because most churches don’t ever talk about it and it is not often found in the language of most. You can find it in Ephesians 4.
Here are some ways to think about these words from a non-religious perspective. Most businesses have these type of leaders and sometimes its more helpful to think about it from that point of view and then see how we can activate this better in the church.
- Apostolic: Entrepreneur, visionary, expander
- Prophetic: Challenges status quo, justice minded, committed to cause.
- Evangelistic: Promoter, recruiter, marketer,
You can read all about how I define these terms further here at ReleaseTheApe.com our new blog!
This idea has been germinating in my head for a year but really came to me clearly in the last few months. It was during a grad school class over lunch that a few buddies and myself came up with release the APE. We thought it was catchy, fun, and really powerful when we started unpacking the idea.
I have been following John and Tentblogger.com for a while now and he has been instrumental in helping me build this blog and brand. I just committed my self to these four things almost every day the last few months
- Reading through the “Launching a WordPress Blog” series
- Applying at least one step in the series every day
- Getting really focused on categories
- Including others in this journey with me…especially some famous people
This blog, which is launching on September 3rd, has 8 other writers besides me. I have asked other fellow APE’s to write with me, some who are buddies and some that I didn’t even know. JR Woodward, is one of those such people I didn’t know. He just came out with a book on this topic “Creating a Missional Culture” and it is getting a ton of buzz. Well, I emailed him and asked him to write on the blog once a month. He said yes! It was as simple as asking.
I can say a bit more about focused categories and asking others to write. Because I knew exactly what the point of the blog is and how we would focus, it has been very easy for me to ask others to write (both known writers and unknown). The idea and content is grabbing people as I share the vision and it is extremely gratifying and exciting even though we haven’t started yet.
The idea of writing with other like-minded people is fun, energizing and allows me to write less but also more. A post will be out five days a week, but I only have to write three days a week. Plus it allows for other’s networks to see what we are doing too. It expands reach. But who knows, it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
All this to say, that a guy with little experience in the blogging world has been helped a ton by Tentblogger and here is my attempt to get into the game!