To miss out on your calling is to miss out on a large part of why God made you.
And to fulfill your calling is an incredibly noble thing.
After accepting our calling to Christ, the Apostle Paul (through Ephesians 4) wants us to discover this Theogenetic code that is embedded in each and every person on earth. As we awaken the fivefold typology (APEST) in our church planning and discernment, what we will discover is that we are empowered to live into our God-given, Spirit-shaped calling.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:7, “but to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Or put another way, God has planted certain longings and desires in you.
Paul goes on to say, “so Christ Himself gave the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Shepherds and Teachers to equip his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up in unity and maturity attaining to the fullness of Christ.”
Notice that these are not external gifts given to people, but the people themselves are the gifts.
These are people gifts – vocational intelligences – Theogenetic codes that have been planted in each one of us.
Every one of us is made in the image of God to reflect this fivefold typology and when we surrender our lives to Christ, we’re set free to the point that these Theogenetic codes start to animate the movement of the kingdom through who we are and what we do.5Q (APEST) are not external gifts given to people, but the people themselves are the gifts. Click To Tweet
Let’s take a look at these five kinds of people that Christ has given the church:
Apostles: Catalyze and Co-Mission
Apostles are catalysts who start new works, and they co-mission others to join God in the renewal of all things. They are pioneers, entrepreneurs – always moving into new territory. Apostle literally means “sent one.” They are sent to help cultivate a daring environment in the congregation. They love crossing boundaries. I have nicknamed them “dream awakeners” because they help people discover and live out their calling. They help to cultivate a discipleship ethos because they want to see the multiplication of disciples, ministries, churches, and movements. Apostles help people and communities live out the answer to Jesus’ prayer, “may Your Kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Prophets: Expose and Embody
Prophets expose false claims to authority and power, demonstrating how they are not able to keep their promises and uncovering the direction their claims will take us if there is no repentance*. They also embody a countercultural community, calling people to live under God’s reign. Prophets are concerned about social justice. They help cultivate a liberating environment. Liberating people from personal sins and speaking truth to the powers and social sense. I’ve nicknamed them “heart revealers” because they reveal the heart of God and the heart of the people. Prophets call the church to God’s new social order and help them stand with the poor and the oppressed.
*This is an adaptation of Walter Brueggemann, quoted in Tim Suttle, Shrink (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 64.
Evangelists: Invite and Excite
Evangelist have a knack when it comes to inviting people to live in the kingdom of God, and they are able to excite the people of God to be witnesses. I call them “storytellers” because they tell and share God’s story in such a way that everybody realizes that they’re a part of it – either as villains or heroes. They want to help people to become heroes. Evangelists help the church to proclaim the good news by being witnesses and redemptive agents. They help cultivate a welcoming environment helping the community practice hospitality as a way of life.Evangelists share God's story in such a way that everybody realizes that they're a part of it. Click To Tweet
Pastors: Guard and Guide
Pastors guard the community from the wolves and guide them toward still waters. They are nurturers and counselors. I call them “healers.” These are people who create a healing environment and help us work through our past hurts and move toward a sense of wholeness in the context of community. They have a deep sense of the brokenness within us and help us to cultivate a life-giving spirituality and embody reconciliation. Soul healers create a sense of family within the group. They seek to protect people and create environments where people can feel safe to be vulnerable.
Teachers: Interpret and Inform
Teachers are good at interpreting the text and informing others. They are great at gathering knowledge and passing on wisdom. I call them “light givers” because they shed light on the sacred texts and help people understand it in a life-giving way. They help people immerse themselves in God’s story; guiding people to see that the Bible is not merely a book to be read, but a voice to be heard – pulling us into transformative dialogue. Teachers cultivate learning environments.
So which did you most identify with? If you want to live out God’s mission in the world, it’s important to grasp and practice your vocational intelligence within the fivefold typology. 5QCentral will help you learn how God has designed you for mission. We want to empower and encourage you beyond “program manager,” to move beyond a solo leader mentality into releasing the various intelligence that the 5Q brings.
The missional potential of the church is waiting to be awakened. Are you ready?
Church Planters: Discover how you can plant church with 5Q DNA here.
In the comments, we would love to hear about your vocational intelligence and experience. Where are you discovering your five fold (5Q) potential? Do you have questions about 5Q? This article? We’d love for you to join the conversation today! Have you checked out the new book? Get yours here.