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.
One does not have to look very far to see evidence of a one-dimensional and immature approach to organization. For instance, a precocious apostolic leader/church will always tend to see the organization’s problems as being caused by a lack of more distinctly apostolic approaches, whereas the real answer might well be that the group needs more by way of the self-correcting dynamic of one or more of the other four functions.
In order to be an authentic expression of the Body of Christ, each of the APEST functions need all the other functions in order to be healthy themselves (Ephesians 4:12–16). The real answer to our complex problems is seldom one-dimensional.
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.
Like we introduced last week, the 5Q team really does want to know what would be helpful to you! We would love nothing more than to resource your team by answering your questions here on the blog. Also, if you have a suggestion for a future blog post, that the team can address here, then please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Last week we looked at the Dominant Apostle, Disrespectful Prophet and Disconnected Evangelist. This week we wrap it with the Drowning Shepherd and Dogmatic Teacher.
The 5Q team really does want to know what would be helpful to you! We would love nothing more than to resource your team by answering your questions here on the blog. Also, if you have a suggestion for a future blog post, that the team can address here, then please don’t hesitate to let us know. We can’t promise to use every idea, but we’ll do our best! Chances are…if you are thinking about it, others are too. If you are wondering…you most likely aren’t the only one.
Today’s blog is from the request line, “What do unhealthy APEST personalities look like? What if there was a blog post describing what things look like when someone’s gifting is distorted by unhealthy behaviors in their gifting and life?”
As the Founder and Designer, Jesus provides us with the exemplary pattern of behavior against which all other corresponding models, patterns of discipleship, ministry, and leadership in the movement are to emulate. Jesus provides the model of humanity and service by which all disciples are to be evaluated and legitimized. It’s like a spiritual template of sorts—a pattern of behaviors that, once discovered, helps us better understand ourselves and others. And here’s the critical thing in relation to 5Q: Jesus’ person and work are the perfect embodiments of APEST. Conformity to Christ in the Body of Christ must also therefore reflect the fivefold nature of Christ’s ministry, if it is to be authentic ministry!
Admittedly, I have a tendency to become obsessed with concepts that blow my mind and I quickly drive everyone around me crazy with the sharing of my new found knowledge.
But I am actually not an evangelist, it is actually one of the gifts I need to develop.
But when I find something worthy of good news status I easily muster up the evangelist’s drive to tell everyone about the newest greatest thing. And I find myself with the teacher’s need to read, read, and read some more, so that I can fully grasp the magnitude of that which so happened to alter my understanding of the Universe.
But good news, when we discover it manages to harness the imagination of every Christly endowed gift growing inside of us.
You might be an APEST veteran, or you might be completely new to the conversation. Whatever your starting point, we want to start by outlining some of the key concepts, which will help build toward an understanding of 5Q. You might want to keep coming back to some of these concepts, so save this post to Evernote, iNotes or wherever you lock your digital goldmine!
We must be active in all dimensions of human life, especially at the cultural level, because culture is the sphere where people and societies share common meaning. As part of the redemption of all aspects of life we should be actively interpreting movies, literature, pop-culture, experiences, new religious movements, and the like. They can be redeemed and directed to the glory of God. It is precisely these things that have the elements of human searching and yearning in them that must be correlated to the mind and heart of God if they are to be redeemed. This is exactly what Paul was doing in Acts 17 in his speech on Mars Hill. He was highlighting to the Greek philosophers that the search going on in their own writings was a legitimate one. He then directed them to the resurrection of Jesus.