In Week 1, we will explore the theological roots of AQ, focusing on the nature and character of God. He is a missional God, which informs His Word and how he acts in the world. Apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos meaning “sent ones.” Translated into Latin the word is missio, from which we derive our English words mission/missions/missionary.
- Understand that the roots of 5Q and APEST lie in God himself
- Explore specifically the rootedness of the AQ apostle/apostolic in God’s nature
- Trace a missional AQ nature through the Bible
- Recognize how God shapes and forms the AQ function and calling
Chapter 4 – Hirsch, A. (2017). 5Q: Reactivating the original intelligence and capacity of the body of Christ: 100Movements.com.
Recommended but optional: Hirsch, Alan. (2012) The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century: Jossey-Bass.
After watching the AQ video, take some time to discuss within your group/church/team/organization these questions:
- What’s your initial response to the discussion from the video about the apostolic being rooted in God
- Why would you say it’s important to recognize AQ originating with God?
Chapter 4 of 5Q refers to the imago Dei, the theological term for us being made in the image of God and therefore endowed with elements of his nature and character. How is the imago Dei reflected as you browse over Table 4.1 (page 50 of 5Q), which displays APEST in Archetype, Culture and Hero Expression? To highlight some specific examples of how 5Q is laced throughout culture, pick 3 of the non-Christian examples and explain how the AQ aspect of imago Dei is reflected in them, even though these individuals are not yet followers of Jesus to our knowledge. A glance at Figure 4.5 may help you brainstorm for keywords as well. Write your explanations in the space below:
Missio Dei, the very nature of God is missional. It is intrinsic to who he is. The video for this week alludes to this missionary nature and sending language several times. His missionary nature is expressed throughout the Bible through overarching themes as well as individual people he calls and sends out. He calls and sends Abraham, Isaiah, Jonah, sends Jesus, and sends the Holy Spirit. The verse John 20:21, for example, encapsulates the apostolic ministry well, where Jesus explains, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” It shows the origin of the sending was with God.
- To what extent have you noticed this missionary and sending language before in the Bible?
- Had you ever considered God to be a sending God? A missionary God?
- Does your church/ministry/organization seem to recognize it’s sentness as a whole, or seem to departmentalize it to the foreign missionaries and outsource it to them?
When we consider reformation, we are talking about the process of reforming a paradigm or practice. We all hold to a particular view of who God is, based on our experience personally and as part of a specific church background. Reading something new may shift or change that. From chapter four, “The roots of the apostolic are grounded in the fact that God is:
- the source of all things–the origin and fount of all existence
- designer, creator, and foundation of all
- the sent and sending God
- the source of pure will and purpose–and therefore the source of meaning
- the electing and predestining God–he works all things for good
- sovereign King over all creation
- the judge–he measures all and judges justly”
After reading those AQ characteristics being rooted in God:
- Which of them are a paradigm shift in your understanding of who God is?
- In general, is seeing the origin of AQ rooted in God a paradigm shift for your personal understanding of who God is?
- How about for your church’s understanding of who God is?
- With these new understanding or perspective, how could this change your practice of proclamation? In other words, now that you see new facets of God, what area of practice could you incorporate them into eg preaching, teaching, evangelism?
This week in your personal Bible reading, put on your AQ glasses and focus on identifying the overarching theme of God’s missionary nature in creation, fall, redemption and restoration. Focus on his call to send individuals such as Abraham, Isaiah, Jesus, the 12 apostles, and Paul.
When you come back together with your church/organization/team, share your insights with the group. What were your two biggest takeaways reading the Bible with AQ glasses? What was the biggest takeaway for you that someone else shared?
As we close this first week, pray for understanding of what God wants you to grasp about this topic. Identify 3 aha’s (key reflections, greater sense of excitement, conviction or understanding) and 3 questions. Write them in your 5Q journal and share them with someone you are journeying with or the group you are studying with.