Today’s post is a celebration, or mash up, rather of two great minds and serial co-collaborators: Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost. In 5Q, Alan introduces this idea that the the five fold gifts in the Church create a symphony, melody and harmony played by a range of instruments. In his 2006 book, Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture, Frost paints a picture of what a symphony looks like in Christian community. So, today we spin the two on the same turntable and what we get is an early Christmas surprise: Seven Sounds the Church Makes When It Plays the Symphony of Heaven.
As the Church digs in and rediscovers what it means to make disciples, 5Q has alot to offer the conversation.
It seems that every time the idea of discipleship gets passed around, so does another class or book study. The problem is: while a new class may be greeted with undying gratitude and enthusiasm by a person with a high Teacher capacity, it still doesn’t address the needs of the other gifts. The good news is: Every APEST gift is adept at absorbing and learning how to grow more and more in the image of Jesus. They just do that differently.
Church, we need to direct our energy to develop multiple means of growing disciples.
Sometimes, as we drive down the super highway of church leadership, we begin to feel speed wobbles, an imbalance of influences and gifts that make the road bumpy. 5Q is a tool for re-alignment, a discipline that transforms as awareness grows and application follows. In this post, we look at the dynamics of organizational speed bumps and the tool available to help you and your team find the kind of balance that is sustainable and richly rewarding.
Discipleship and Leadership don’t have to overwhelm you, they don’t have to kill the momentum of your organization! We don’t need a super powered program in order to disciple. The simple form and function of discipleship is embedded in the DNA of APEST. The key is helping others see what they are already doing and align it to the work of the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher.
Discipling 101 requires that we remain patient, be observant and get creative; we watch for words and actions that align to APEST and then suggest creative ways to help disciples live into their Jesus-shaped calling.
Building on the article from the previous week, this post continues to explore the use of language in solving issues in the organization, particularly those in the Body of Christ. What change is possible when we begin to move APEST from an idea, or information, into actual application in the Church? When we look through the 5Q lenses, how does that change the way we see ourselves as ministers? How does it help us diagnose problems and reach solutions that move us toward actual forward progress? Read on to find out!
Today’s blog post is a review of The Permanent Revolution by Len Hjalmarson. If you haven’t read this paradigm breaking work, The Permanent Revolution is a sort of autopsy of Movements. Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim open up the anatomy of what it takes for a movement to happen, what it takes to make movements stick and provide a new strategy to awaken the Apostolic Imagination of the Church of the 21st Century. For an even better understanding of the book, check out this review! Len Hjalmarson has done a great job of working through the structure of the book and synthesizing the key points and ideas. Some of the 5QCollective team have read this book through many times. Hjalmarson has us gearing up to read it again.
Deeply embedded in the assumptions of the whole APEST/Five Fold conversation is the understanding that Ephesians 4:11 is moving the church somewhere; there is a destination in the mind of the Apostle, namely Ephesians 4:12, “His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ.”
The five fold gifts Jesus gives to the church aren’t a jam of the month club that shows up at your door and overcrowds the refrigerator shelf. These are capacities that are meant to be activated in the Body. They are personalities that are exercised in the people. They are grace at work in the most surprising of ways.
Every so often, you run across a book that is so immanently relevant and so incarnately applicable it’s ridiculous. Obviously, we believe this to be true about the new 5Q book and the more dominant titles, like The Permanent Revolution and The Forgotten Ways, however, there are alot of resources in this conversation. If you haven’t read On The Verge: a journey into the apostolic future of the church, we believe that you are overlooking something significant. In all truth, this is not a sales post. While, you should totally pick up a copy, the reason is that On The Verge is a handbook that takes ideas and turns them into action. The authors, Alan Hirsch and Dave Furguson have created a field guide, a creative companion for on the ground apostolic discovery.
Today, we are answering another question from the community: I am currently serving in a legacy/traditional church that has fallen into the same traps of consumerism that most other churches have fallen into these days. We have been working through APEST concepts and understandings of roles for the last three or four years and I have had the vast majority of the congregational leadership take the APEST survey. I need to know how to disciple the apostles in the congregation, of whom the vast majority are successful businessmen who travel quite a bit. How do I work with them as the outliers of the church expression in our community, when most of them probably are better connected and more comfortable outside of the community? How do you do it?
When it comes to incarnational, relational mission, there is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Each community (either a neighborhood or a relational network) is unique, and so are the people it comprises.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make when trying to share Jesus with a community is to go in all guns blazing, with all the “right answers.” Even the Son of God, who was perfectly capable of providing all the “right answers,” didn’t do that. Think about how many times Jesus asked questions as a way of engaging with others. And he entered our world weak, as a baby, and lived among us for thirty years before beginning his public ministry. He chose to be vulnerable and to engage in dialogue.