After an amazing run with real reader reviews and some amazing guest posts, this week we wanted to return to the source and take a deeper look into a question that we run into quite often as we begin our favorite part of 5Q: Equipping and Training the Local Church. The question is simply: “Why is this important?

To apply softer eyes, gain some altitude, let’s ask it this way: “What difference will 5Q make in my life, my family, my church?” Or we also hear it like this, “Do we really have the problem that 5Q has been written to address?

This presents a challenge for some leaders. Although we believe that it’s one that the book addresses quite well, the truth is…If you don't see what the problem is, then you won't see 5Q as a solution.

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So we wanted to focus this week on an excerpt from the book and get your mind working in a new direction. Do you see your church, your ministry described in the paragraphs below?  Does this help you understand the potential consequences of waiting to level up your 5Q?

Read on and we’ll ask you a couple of other questions below.


Because it is the active way of expressing the Body of Christ, the fivefold system is all about the symmetry, proportion, and interdependence of the functions. When one function (or person) dominates the others, it must have a detrimental effect on the whole Body.

Churches with a dominant function, or that are led predominantly by a certain type of leader, tend to flavor the whole ministry with that function, as well as the spirituality of that church.  This often creates an unhealthy bias that disrupts the spiritual ecology of Jesus’ body. So, for instance:

Apostle

Churches with a strong apostolic bias tend to break new ground, constantly pushing the bounds of creativity in ministry and forging ahead into new territory. In these communities, spirituality tends to be experienced as something dynamic, adventurous, and innovative. However, when the apostolic is dominant to the exclusion of the other types, the organization will be task-driven, demanding, and alienating.

Prophet

Churches with a strong prophetic bias tend to speak truth to those in power and do well at justice-oriented ministry. In these churches, spirituality is equated with care for the poor, the marginalized and the outsider. These churches will also call forth a passionate response to God in worship and prayer. They will also engage in spiritual warfare and discernment of spirits. However, when the prophetic is over-dominant, the community can be outright whacky, overcritical, demanding, moralistic and judgmental.

Evangelist

Churches strong on evangelism and led by evangelists tend to be characterized by a heart for those who don’t know Jesus and have a strong emphasis on evangelism. In these churches, spirituality is equated with a heart for the lost and telling others about Jesus. When dominant, the church will feel like an Amway convention, relying on marketing methodology, charismatic leaders, and will very likely be shallow. The church will tend to be pushy, opinionated, and aggressive.

Shepherd

Churches led by leaders who are strong on shepherding tend to do well at loving each other and caring for the needs of the Body. Spirituality will be strongly communal and relational. But when the shepherding function dominates the others, the community can become risk-averse, co-dependent, cloying, exclusive, overprotective and cautious.

Teacher

Churches with a strong teaching function tend to be well-informed, wise, patient and committed to discipleship. But when the function is dominant, the church will likely be an over-intellectual, objective, knowledge-based community where right doctrine is seen to be more important than right doing. Such a church is likely to be controlling, anxious, fussy and doctrinaire. In these teacher-dominated communities, spirituality can easily be equated with listening to sermons and acquiring Bible knowledge.

We believe strongly that 5Q is the gene therapy that the Body of Christ needs. It’s that simple. Click To Tweet

In human development theory, this type of imbalance in either people or in human systems is called precocious development, and it is generally considered to be a disorder with an associated pathology.† Think of a child who is freakishly overdeveloped in one dimension of life (e.g., math or art) and ends up relying too strongly on his or her overdeveloped capacities, failing to develop the other essential aspects needed for proper functioning in the world. For precocious people, then “holistic maturity is very difficult due to the over-reliance on their strengths and the arrested development of the other areas. True maturity requires integration, which is difficult when the over-developed strength mimics wisdom but masks deep immaturity. Literally, therapy and inner healing are needed to bring health and wholeness.††

https://goo.gl/sg9S2b
†† Attributed to Jessie Cruickshank, author of “A Mature Approach To 5Q


Some Questions For Thought:

  1. Do you notice precocious development in your Church/Ministry?
  2. Which dominant trait does your Church/Ministry lean toward?
  3. Does it create issues that you are able to identify?
  4. What if there is a way to restore balance and health? 

We believe strongly that 5Q is the gene therapy that the Body of Christ needs. It’s that simple.

5Q isn’t activity, it’s identity. It’s who we are, who we have been created to be.

If you haven’t read 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ, begin the journey today and order your copy here. If you are ready to discover more, check out our Resources page. If you might be ready for some Coaching and Training, find out how a partnership with 5Q Collective might help you see health and wholeness restored in your local context.

5Q isn’t activity, it’s identity. It’s who we are, who we have been created to be Click To Tweet

Chris Harrison
Chris is a husband of one, father of three, musician, creative, storyteller, futurist and Editor-At-Large of the 5Q blog. After more than twenty years in youth, worship and lead ministries in Los Angeles and Phoenix, he and his wife, Rebecca, are planting a new multi-ethnic faith community in Houston, TX. You can catch his other APEST related posts and assorted musings at his new blog, fivefoldbible.com.