Incredibly empowering book! Thanks, Alan Hirsch for another well-written, deeply engaging read. “5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ” comes alongside the Body of Christ and engages us in a conversation in which we at first think we are fluent. Then, as Hirsch provokes and invites us to learn the ways of APEST in light of J-APEST(the unique way that Jesus relates to all of creation), we either jump off the submarine or strap ourselves in for a deep plunge into what is according to Hirsch, “coded into the whole Body of Christ, and we are but the living expressions of that Body in our given time and place.”
“5Q” is his term for hearing, appreciating, perceiving and engaging the gift of APEST (APOSTLE/PROPHET/EVANGELIST/SHEPHERD/TEACHER) as the way God relates to all things, is revealed in Christ, is expressed in the Body of Christ (BOX) resulting in the Fullness of Christ (FOX) spoken of in Ephesians 4.
My Top 5Q Takeaways are:
I experienced a powerful refocusing of Eph 4:1-15 and the APEST gifts on the Fullness of Christ being expressed through the Body of Christ. “We are to treasure the fivefold precisely because we treasure Jesus and what he is doing through us.” It was very refreshing to take a deep dive into a study on APEST without being distracted from the reason I was drawn to following Jesus in the first place… to be more like Him.
J-APEST “I will sometimes refer to the distinctly Jesus-shaped version of APEST as J-APEST to distinguish it from the creational and ecclesial expressions” I loved Hirsch’s focus on the presence of the five-fold in Jesus’ DNA. Because it was there in Jesus, it is present in us because we are in Christ.
Scenius: (borrowed from Brian Eno) “So I thought that originally those few individuals who’d survived in history-in the sort of ‘Great Man’ theory of history-were called ‘geniuses’. But what I thought was interesting was the fact that they all came out of a scene that was very fertile and very intelligent. So I came up with this word ‘scenius’-and scenius is the intelligence of a whole… operation or group of people. And I think that’s actually a more useful way to think about culture… Let’s forget the idea of ‘genius’ for a little while; let’s (rather) think about the whole ecology of ideas that give rise to good new thoughts and good new work.” This was a brand new term for me. It holds a lot of power and hope to fuel my dreams for revival and the Body of Christ working the Harvest.
The Gift of APEST is in our DNA: “The good news is that APEST has been given at the very constitution of the church in Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and it cannot be removed, although it can be suppressed. It is there… latent in the Body of Christ waiting to be activated.”
Bases and Phases: “We all have a base ministry in which we feel most comfortable. This base ministry flows out of our primary gifting. In order to mature, we have to enter a phase where we receive training and experience in one of the other four ministries.” Empowering, wise insight. Though my APEST tends to be expressed as Apostle/Shepherd/Prophet/Teacher/Evangelist, it is not bad for me to go through seasons of learning when I might behave more like an Evangelist, Teacher, or Prophet if you were to interact with me. I can assume that I will return eventually to my base ministry.
Early on in “5Q…”Hirsch challenges the reader with the following comment… “If you are able to sense something of God’s beautiful design along the way, will you have the courage to change? Will you pay the price to learn again?”