What is God’s will for my life?

Over the course of a life in ministry, this is a very common question for most of us. The more we dive into 5Q, really get into the guts of it, the more that believe that APEST is the way to discover the answer. More than just giving an answer though, 5Q launches us on a journey where we discover God’s will as we exercise our calling. Beyond our personal calling, 5Q gives us a way to experience our call as a part of the function of the whole Body of Christ.

Today we are going to interact with several excerpts from the new 5Q book as we explore a deeper sense and understanding of calling.

Much of our sense of destiny and purpose lies in finding our unique calling. I wholeheartedly believe that each disciple is obligated to strive to understand and live into his or her own calling as Christ has apportioned it (Ephesians 4:1, 7). I also believe that APEST is the best way of getting a handle on precisely that calling. I am convinced that clarity in relation to our relative callings can be adequately illuminated as well as developed by use of the fivefold typologies. Certainly, each one of us can, and ought to, develop something of a personal and unique APEST portrait—a picture of one’s unique identity and destiny in and by Jesus.

APEST is so much bigger than little old me finding my ministry mojo. Click To Tweet

When we get our sense of vocation out of sync with our actual roles in any organization, it becomes a mere job that is experienced as something of a burden. I can’t tell you how many people I meet who feel misaligned with their actual roles in the church. For one, not all who go by the title pastor are gifted as pastor-shepherds. This confuses both the minister as well as the people around them, as well as being a cause of great frustration and disappointment, because the misaligned person is unlikely to rightly exemplify or embody the function in a way that has spiritual ambiance and impact.

But, having said this, as you hopefully will have realized by now, I believe that 5Q is actually much bigger than simply providing the vocational profile of individual people at various times in the church—although it certainly includes that. As I have tried to lay out, 5Q is grounded in the being of God himself; woven throughout the creation orders in archetype, myth, and hero; recapitulated in Christ; and subsequently bequeathed to the church, to be expressed in and through the lives of its saints for the glory of God and the edification of his people. The individual saints—you and me, and other people called to serve Jesus—are therefore at the far end of a very deep and ancient redemptive process.

Individuals are simply particular expressions of a grander universal unfolding of God’s purposes in creation and church. APEST is so much bigger than little old me finding my ministry mojo—as important as that is!

We have already noted that Jesus is the exemplary expression of APEST. He is also the Head of the Body, the Giver of these “gifts” to the church. He embeds his fivefold identities (personas) into the life of his Body. These in turn form the backbone and structure for the purposes of the church. And because Jesus is ever-present in the church, and because APEST is the very means by which it attains to Christ’s fullness, we can confidently say that the fivefold functions are actually implicit in the church’s identity, purpose, culture, and mission. They are implicit because Jesus is present at the heart of the church’s life and purpose; 5Q is likewise coded into the very core of the church’s purpose.

5Q is coded into the very core of the church’s purpose. Click To Tweet

In summarizing the theological and holistic sweep of 5Q, we can say that 5Q is derived from the nature and purposes of the Creator-God himself; laced throughout creation in latent forms/archetypes, embodied in historic heroes, expressed in myth, and represented visually in art forms; recapitulated and reconstituted in Christ’s incarnation and atonement; subsequently given by the resurrected Jesus (ascension gifting) to the Body of Christ.

Thereby, we can observe 5Q constitutionally embedded/embodied as APEST functions and purposes in his ecclesia (implicit), expressed through all of Jesus’ called and commissioned people (explicit), so that the church might attain to the fullness of Christ and that he might be all in all.

The church is the platform from which all believers are empowered to fulfill their callings. Click To Tweet

Tools for your Toolbox – Developing your calling in community

Take an inventory of who is around you. What is your primary (base) gifting? What is your secondary (phase) capacity? Do you surround yourself with people who share your same gift. Are you comfortable mixing it up?

We contend that you can experience calling in homogenous environment, but that the experience itself will be anemic. One is a solo. All five are a Symphony!

Intentionally develop a community with diverse base gifts. Invest in a group of all five personalities. Study scripture together, listening to one another, allowing each perspective to weigh in to how you ‘think’ about the passages.

Think differently together! Check out this post on APEST hats that can change the way you identify, engage and solve problems. 

Serve together. Observe one another’s strengths and how each capacity builds the other up resulting in a fuller, more powerful witness of Jesus.

5Q isn’t something you simply read a book about and learn. It’s a people that together give the world a glimpse of the the completed nature of Christ’s Kingdom.

 

If you haven’t started on the 5Q journey you can get your copy of Alan’s new book here. Check out what readers are saying, like Nathan Brewer, who recently reviewed the book on Amazon.

If you are on the go you can listen to a recent podcast that Alan recorded with Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary.

Alan Hirsch
Alan Hirsch founder of Forge Mission Training Network, 100 Movements, and now 5Qcollective. He is author of numerous award-winning books on movements, organization, and leadership, and teaches extensively across North America, Europe, and Australia.

2 thoughts on “Worthy of The Calling You Have Received

  • November 2, 2017 at 1:17 am
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    Although Apest as mentioned in Eph.4 as gifts given to the Church, it good toconsider that Apest is Christ Himself. He is our great Apostle, great Prophet, Evangelist who is the Good News, the Good Shepherd of the sheep and the great Teacher. It will be careless if we see these to be as individuals in themselves but rather it will be safe to consider these to be the life of Christ lived out in individuals thereby building the Body. He is the builder of the Church.

    • Chris Harrison
      November 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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      Thanks for the observation, Sonny! We agree. Jesus is the perfected form of APEST. What we want to communicate is that 5Q is activated fully when the whole Church is working together like a symphony, all five gifts harmonizing with one another, canvasing the world with a Kingdom song.
      Individuals have an instrument to play, a gift to exercise, however, one trombone will never sound like a symphony and the Lord is a masterful composer! Thanks for the comment.

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