The first clue to the divine origin of 5Q can be found in the first few chapters of Genesis. It has continued to intrigue us in that it enables us to gain insight into the archetypal aspects of what it means to be human, to be made in God’s image, and to live in relation to God. Again, once we …
In many ways, this personality-linked aspect of APEST comes very close to being an identity issue and not just a matter of function and calling. It is quite conceivable that the fivefold could be used as a means to profiling personality and helping people live into their unique sense of identity as a follower of Christ.
Tim Catchim, co-author of A Permanent Revolution, commented in a recent conversation a truth so simple and plain that it’s easy to miss altogether: “The gifts of APEST are competencies that are all borrowed from Jesus. Since they are all his, all in him, we borrow them from Him.” It’s a refreshing perspective and one that we need to remember. …
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about a man who throws a great banquet (if you’re not familiar, read Luke 14:15-24). A man prepares a big party for all of his friends and neighbors, and one by one, they all offer horrible (and highly offensive) excuses as to why they cannot come. The man then tells his servant to go out into the streets and invite in everyone that he can find to come and enjoy the party. It’s a beautiful picture of who is invited to come and be a part of the Kingdom of God.
Lots of analysis has been focused on this interpretation. Whether it is the correct one or not is subject to debate, but you have to admit, it’s a good one!
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?