5Q and a Missional Renaissance

The mission of 5Q Central blog is to provide helpful training and equipping for your ministry and leadership. Our goal is to empower you with the awareness and application you need to lead a culture of change and reactivate the original intelligence and capacities of the church. 

A blog post is one thing, but leading meaningful change in our cultural moment is challenging. Am I right? 

Our culture is moving at the speed of busy. It’s like 5th gear, but extra: 6th gear. I can just hear our calendars expanding to fit the larger transmission (OK, no more mechanic metaphors). In most cases, 5Q is a new paradigm that we are trying to teach and in order to help the people in our spheres of leadership learn something new, we have get realistic about the challenges of the typical theological education paradigm or discover something new, a new strategy:

“The strategy needed is a counter-cultural return to biblical mission. What we need to do is advance back to the scriptural blueprint for the church on mission. What the church in the West desperately needs is a missional renaissance.” – Ed Stetzer

Ooooh, tweet me somebody! Hello! 

What we are suggesting is that 5Q, embracing and engaging the five fold intelligences in our ministries, is missional renaissance. 

Renaissance is about rediscovery. It’s not confined to current boxes and doesn’t flourish in the paradigms that have produced the need for the renaissance in the first place. 

In the typical theological education paradigm, there are several methods to teach/learn, instruct/assess. Each method can be very frustrating because our people are running in the aforementioned sixth gear. The typical theological education paradigm requires a significant amount of class time and reading (yes, audiobooks count). There’s the prep time, the lectures, the small group interaction. There are the test, the workbooks, the evaluations, the homework. All of these things can be good, but at some point we have to ask, “Is the classroom going to produce missional renaissance?”

This post is about a new strategy, a strategy that answers the question: “How do you effectively increase the 5Q of your team without competing with the busy calendars, jam packed schedules and over crowded calendar economy of their lives?”

Reinforcing 5Q Capacities Will Be More Fruitful Than Teaching Them.

First, recognize that the five fold ministries are already present in your team. Your job isn’t to teach them or instruct about them. Your job is to awaken them, to activate them. 


How do you do that? You pay attention as you watch them be who they are, doing what they do. The more you are rooted in the five fold, the more equipped you will be to point out what is true about how they already engage the world around them. 


For instance, if you notice that one of your team is constantly encouraging those around her, helping them to connect to the mission of God, helping them see themselves and what they are doing in a deeper way, you can awaken her to her shepherding nature. 

Once you see a person’s gifts, you show them how to see it in themselves. In doing so you encourage their growth, discipling them as you go. Your awareness will help grow their awareness. As you connect what they are already doing to the awareness of their 5Q gifting, they will see how they are already applying their capacity naturally.

One way to approach this, is to train yourself to see the mundane and find it miraculous. N.T. Wright describes this in his book, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church:

“What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”

Do you have a member of your team who is always looking ahead? Are they dreaming further than the team is at the moment? You can encourage their apostolic intelligence. Help them see who God has made them. Help them see how their natural rhythms are a blessing to the Church.

Say things like, “I love the way that you see where all this is going! That is very apostolic. The Church really needs entrepreneurial vision like yours!” 

If someone is expressing God’s heart for in a moment, you can activate the prophetic capacity by sharing, “We all look to you to hear God’s heart on this. The more you are open about what you hear the Spirit say, the more confident we feel about our call to this mission/ministry/process.”

Reinforcing someone’s 5Q capacities will be more fruitful than instructing them. It’s learning in the field, on the job training; giving your team practical and experiential, hands on learning.

Developing an Awareness of What 5Q Looks Like Will Provide Language That Develops Awareness in Others

One thing we return to again and again in our team building cohorts is the idea that awareness is the first step toward building a strong 5Q foundation in your organization. Awareness is the fluent knowledge of what 5Q is, how the five fold quotient appears and grows in every member of the church and how you can provide your team with resources to increase in personal and corporate 5Q awareness. 


“Christian leaders will need soft eyes if they are to negotiate the increasing complexities of the world in which they are responsible to lead. Our human craving for easy answers, ready-made formulas, quick fixes, stability and order have made our eyes hard and have predisposed us to simply repeating what we already know. But as a result, we have been blinded to the deeper patterns, concepts, and potentialities that God has built into human life, the church, and in his cosmos. Soft eyes are therefore necessary to see beyond what has become overfamiliar and habitual with regard to church and ministry.”

Alan Hirsch, 5Q

Seeing is the key to awareness. A keen observer can become a powerful encourager. 

Awareness is the result of asking the question, “What am I seeing in this person?” In order to grow in awareness, you have to down shift, go slower, be intentional about what you are doing. Awareness is the fruit of intention. If you want to hear the five fold symphony playing in your organization, be intentional about listening for it. 

Pay attention to who is playing what instrument. 

Are they holding down the bass? Tapping out the rhythm?

Are they soaring above the melody? Playing counter to it? 

I just totally switched metaphors on you. You can do that, too. Not everything has to be confined to the APEST model. Each five fold personality has countless ways they manifest. 

Are you observing mobilizing gifts? Do you see someone as a recruiter? A negotiator? A preacher/communicator? Do they succeed in sales? Marketing? Are they motivational? Networkers? 

You are probably seeing an evangelist. 


You can affirm their communication or their sales acumen and still be building them up as an evangelist. 

You can tell them, “When I see your success in sales and marketing, I can’t wait to see how Jesus is going to use you to move his love into markets that haven’t ever heard of him!”

Or, “I’ve never seen someone so natural at getting people on board with a plan! I imagine Jesus has got an amazing plan to use that in a way that draws people closer to him!”


Oh, yeah. You just awakened them to the fact that Jesus can use their greatest skills for his greatest good. In doing so, you might just activate an evangelist; and all because you took the time to look with soft eyes and see things in a new, revolutionary, missional renaissance kind of way.

5Q is a Discipling Journey Where Innovation is as Important as Tradition

Application is art. I say that because it really is just that, art. There’s no one application, no one way to “do 5Q.” It’s personal and corporate, current and ancient. Helping fellow travelers discover how to exercise within their 5Q gifting is what discipleship is all about. 


Observe those few who are really engaging 5Q and discovering their own application. Disciple these folks. Move them toward learning. These are the folks you want to walk through the 5Q book , or the companion workbook. This is your core group. You may want to get a hold of the APEST modules that really help you explore and expand the five fold intelligences. 

As you lead, your core, your process will be reproduced in them and they will be the next generation of disciples, awakening and activating 5Q in their social and professional networks. They will see five fold gifts in others and encourage them in practical, down to earth ways. They will find a core to disciple and innovate. And so on. 

There is so much more to share along these lines, but it’s not about the reading, it’s about exploring! As you push forward in your five fold journeys what processes and paradigms are you finding success with? 

We would love to hear from you! How are you talking about 5Q? What approach have you felt really enthusiastic about? What questions do you have for the team? 

We are here for you. Talk to us in the comments below.