Get to Know the A.P.E. Writer’s…Beau Crosetto’s Story

 

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One of the first Dorm Teams at San Diego State

[This is a series designed to bring you into the the unique APE stories of each writer on this blog. We hope each one of you can find a little of your APE story inside of one of us. Read the other stories]

I am primarily an Apostolic Evangelist in my gifting and calling so as we launch this blog, I am extremely excited to encourage others with this gift mix to fully live into these vocations so the Jesus mission can go forward and you can feel fully alive as you give yourself to God’s purposes.

The Apostolic Evangelist Came Alive in Me

When I first got to San Diego State as a staff in 2005, I was intent on seeing dorm ministry start. I was and am deeply passionate about starting new things in contexts where people who don’t know Jesus are hanging out.

So in 2005 when I had the discussion with the existing staff team about why this wasn’t happening, a bunch of excuses came out. The two main ones were 1) it is too hard to get into the dorms because there are six doors that take key cards before you get to the floor and you have to sign in at the front with a guest. Since we don’t know people in the dorms, we can’t get in. 2) Students wouldn’t really come to a bible study right on the dorm floor because it is weird.

I politely, or maybe not so politely, called BS, and said, “we are going to do this”. To give the team credit, they fully empowered me and unleashed me to go and start dorm ministry and make it the primary responsibility of my job to get dorm ministry started and to reach people who were not coming and would not come to our group. I was commissioned to reach people “out there”. I loved this and felt most alive.

The combination of the desire to plant and start something new as well as crack open a hard place (apostolic) with the desire for salvation in freshmen and people to hear the gospel at all costs (evangelistic) was so strong in me.

I will never forget the first day of school in the second year of dorm ministry at SDSU (2006). I was training up a two new student disciples that had committed to being dorm leaders with me. We had a team! The first week I modeled for them how to lead a scripture study right in the dorm and their job was to throw an ice cream party and invite the dorm door by door to come. This was a scary task for them but so good as they learned to risk, be rejected, feel awkward, and experience joy as people said yes to coming.

Kristin’s Conversion

One of those people who said yes to coming was Kristin, and that night she accepted Jesus into her life for the first time! I led a discussion on Luke 15, the lost sheep, and asked the group at the end, “where are you in the passage?” Kristin responded by saying she was lost and then I proceeded to ask her if she wanted to be connected with Jesus. She was ecstatic to do so and explained to us she had no idea how to connect to God but wanted it. It turns out that just a few years before her dad had a heart attack and died in front of her and she had been blaming God for that ever since. This night was the first night she realized that Jesus was good and actually looking for her. He was trying to bring healing to her instead of being the one that was causing her pain.

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE LOOK ON THE FACES OF THESE DISCIPLES I WAS MENTORING!

I cannot explain to you the powerful nature of modeling ministry in unreached places and letting your disciples actually take part in and experience people coming to faith. It is invaluable!

Kristin went on to become a central leader in InterVarsity on campus and was part of our fellowship for 5 years. She is now a teacher and thriving in her faith. You can read her story here if you like.

All I can think about as I write this is this…

What if we didn’t start dorm ministry? Where would Kristin be now?

Beau as a AE leader

This is a great story that can bring tears to your eyes for sure. But you may be asking, “why does this make you an Apostolic Evangelist?” I think that is a great question and I try my best to explain that below in more universal stirrings that were in my heart so you can peak in on my heart and see if that resonates with you too.

Evangelist

The evangelist gifting in me is much more developed and refined as I have been living in this identity for 11 years since my conversion and have been encouraged as this and trained much. Since practically day one of my conversion in college, people have been calling me an evangelist. Here are some examples of why I am an evangelist and why others were seeing this so strongly in me.

  • I love being with people who are not following Jesus
  • I love sharing my faith with anyone
  • I have a deep burden to see people come to Christ
  • I recruit passionately to church services, small groups and outreaches
  • I started God Investigation Groups on my dorm floor.
  • I challenged Christians regularly to share their faith and was bummed when they didn’t.
  • I have led many people to Christ.

Apostolic

But the Apostolic has been growing in me as well over the last 11 years, but I just didn’t have the words for it until recently. It wasn’t until this last year that I started getting language for the apostolic gifting from people like Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson. When I read their writings and talked with them, I was like “YES! This is me”. I am totally apostolic not just evangelistic. This is what resonated with me:

  • The desire to see movement happen. Disciples multiplying disciples.
  • The desire to see decentralized mission happen instead of attractional. What I mean is creating a ministry where people are empowered to go out and share the faith and start ministry  “out there” vs. creating big large groups or church gatherings and just inviting people to those.
  • My fascination with systems and creating framework for mission in the group. I wasn’t just excited to carry out the mission, but I loved thinking about how to shape the whole and change structures around to empower people better to go out with the gospel.
  • The entrepreneurial spirit. I am an activator and have started lots of new things in ministry. I love starting things for God. Planting, and starting new works of God deeply resonates with me. Being entrepreneurial is not necessarily proof that you are apostolic. Evangelists and prophets can be very entrepreneurial. But being entrepreneurial is a great sign!

Sometimes the apostolic and evangelistic can work against each other because the evangelist left to themselves can be dynamic at gathering people to him or herself for the sake of gospel conversation. This can create bigger more centralized groups. This isn’t bad at all, but it can go against the apostolic spirit to decentralize and move out to start new things. For me they have worked together brilliantly because I love launching out to start new things and then gather people inside that context to talk about Jesus. The emphasis on gathering is “out there” not “In here”.

So how about you? What resonates with you about my story? Do you see yourself as someone with apostolic or evangelistic gifting? Is there anything that you would add to the list?

Please comment below!

[This is a series designed to bring you into the the unique APE stories of each writer on this blog. We hope each one of you can find a little of your APE story inside of one of us. Read the other stories]

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About Beau Crosetto

Beau is the author of "Beyond Awkward: when talking about Jesus is outside your comfort zone". He is called by God is to raise up and release people that want to start new ministries (apostolic) as well as people that want to share their faith (evangelists). He currently is the Greater Los Angeles Director for Greek InterVarsity and in charge of specifically seeing new Greek (fraternity & sorority) InterVarsity chapters start on college campuses. Beau is married to Kristina and they have three kids: Noah (5), Sophia (3) and Wesley (6mo).

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