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.
ABOUT PEYTON JONES:
Peyton Jones is a serial church planter; meaning if he plants a church, he’ll probably strike again, and leave a trail of church plants in his wake. However he likes to be called a Ninja-planter because it sounds cooler. Like the apostle Paul, Peyton obtains his mission directives, strikes into an unsuspecting community with the gospel, then steals back into the shadows, until it’s time to strike again!
A Huntington Beach, California native, Peyton “accidentally” went into ministry at 19 years old intending to temporarily keep the seat warm while his mentor dealt with a family illness. Years later, Peyton was ordained, chucked his career as a psychiatric/drug rehab RN and served Refuge Huntington Beach full time. In 1999 the Jones’s embarked for 12 years to Wales, the most unchurched part of the UK, with less than 1% church attendance.
It was in the UK that Peyton began discovering the New Testament principles of church planting laid out in the book of Acts. Starting off as the Evangelist at Dr. D. M. Lloyd-Jones’s legendary “Sandfields” church, Peyton assisted their launch of a church plant. After that, he became a evangelistic “preacher for hire” of sorts, called in for evangelism by Pastors. Paul’s ministry jumped off the page at him, and New Breed Church Planting was formed. New Breed began a wave of church planting in unlikely places such as Starbucks coffee shops, ghettos, pubs, and surf hangs.
During his time in Wales, Jones had to become a “tent-making” missionary. His jobs included being a factory worker, firefighter, Starbucks barista, Psychiatric clinical trouble shooter, and University lecturer.
To this day, Peyton plants churches as a means to an end; to disciple, raise up, and equip a new breed of church planter, who will plant a new breed of church.
Peyton has lectured at various Universities, and Bible Colleges. For 2 years he was the Old Testament lecturer at Trinity School of Ministry, formerly known as the Bible College of Wales (founded by Rees Howells) and is currently teaching courses on church planting at Calvary University. He received his MA Theology: Pastoral Studies in 2010 from W.E.S.T. in the UK.
In 2013, Peyton’s first book Church Zero was published by David C. Cook calling churches back to the 1st century principles of ministry.
When Jones isn’t traveling for New Breed, preaching or writing, he’s enjoying his family in San Diego County, Southern California.