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.
Over the past several years I have become convinced of the importance of incorporating APEST thinking in to all church planting efforts. I think it is particularly significant when discussing church planting teams. However, most conversations on team development default to recruiting ministry positions such as a worship leader, children’s minister, youth pastor, etc. But, I believe planting a healthy, multiplying church that is effectively engaging its context must involve team dynamics that are informed by the five-fold typology of Ephesians 4; Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher (APEST).
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.
The habits of institution that we have inherited through the European formulas are coded according to a different template than the fivefold one. Christendom churches have generally followed the Bishop-Priest-Deacons model, or the more generic Shepherd-Teacher model (the so-called two orders of ministry), or the Preacher-Elder model of the Reformed tradition. Most of these, as we have seen, have managed to assiduously script a full APEST typology out of the tradition. The net result is that we don’t know how to even talk about APEST dynamics, let alone implement APEST.
This week we wrap up a three week series (post 1, post 2) that addresses learning and innovation in liminal context; how the factors in last week’s post can be applied to leading and learning in the community of faith. We want you to sit with the articles and filter them through your 5Q understanding, specifically. We hope that you will find this series thought provoking and challenging, providing you with new tools for thinking and conversation to help you on your 5Q journey.
In the post last week, we took an inspired look at risk – which is central to the task of moving a team or an organization toward a holistic 5Q approach to being the Body of Christ. Moving forward in The Faith of Leap (which you should read today, btw), we are going to continue to reflect on risk, specifically, the role expeditionary learning has in mission and innovation. What systems are already in place that will help learning become the transformative act of creation that it is meant to be?
Today’s post is about both the encouragement and challenge surrounding risk. This excerpt comes from the next book on your reading list, The Faith of Leap, by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. Is this a 5Q article? Absolutely. The whole approach, the whole genetic re-engineering of the original intelligence and capacity of the Church, depends upon our willingness to engage risk; to become stakeholders in a new venture that is simply a return to what we were created to be like, look like, exist as.
Each week, we provide a glimpse of the work and purpose of 5Q in and for the Church. It’s always critical to return to the source: Jesus. 5Q is a gift of grace that Christ has given to His Church, so today we focus especially on the giver. If you haven’t seen Alan’s Verge Video on “Jesus as Lord,” then you get to do that today. It’s a ready made sermon illustration, so if you are preaching on Sunday, you’re welcome. It’s also just true and glorifying of our God! The post itself is an excerpt from Untamed, a phenomenal book by Alan and Deb. It will get you thinking, for sure; thinking about the nature of one who has made us in His image.
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.
Today, we look at an excerpt from The Forgotten Ways and examine new expressions of church as a movement, a move away from Christendom ideal of monument and toward nothing short of the survival of the Christian Church in the West. The Forgotten Ways is a work that successfully attempts to remind the Church of its Movemental DNA and how we can re-harness the power and promise of Christ that has always been central to the passing on of the faith through the Body of Christ.