Five Reasons Why *5Q* by Alan Hirsch is a Need-to-Read Book

NOTE: The beginning section of this review is cross-posted on the Amazon site for 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ, by Alan Hirsch (2017; published by 5Q).

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I know it’s not normal to write a review before finishing the book. However, in this rare case of Alan Hirsch’s *5Q*, I am. That’s because I’ve read enough to know that I WILL finish it, because the first quarter of the book (preface, intro, and first two chapters) provided more than enough threshold details for me to recommend specifically why I believe you should read it, too.

In a nutshell: I am convinced from a combination of constructive and destructive experiences in 40-plus years working with non-profits, church plants, and social change activism that applying paradigm systems theory is essential to successful, sustainable transformation. And, the way I see it, *5Q* provides a conceptual framework for identifying deficiencies in our system compared to the revealed ideal, and a set of practical skills and tools for filling in gaps and filing off excesses in our systems.

This means 5Q can drive both context-based intervention when things have gone toxic, and prevention of problems in our start-up and sustainability efforts. So, 5Q is valuable to those working in situations that focus on Kingdom embodiment and personal discipleship: churches, church plants, social transformation endeavors, community development, missional impact metrics, and spiritual abuse survivor advocacy.

For those not yet acquainted with the core concepts of 5Q, here’s the kernel of the system. Ephesians 4:11-13 specifies a fivefold structure of giftedness in the Body of Christ. Using the acronym of APEST, these are: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers. The APEST giftings are meant to work together. Christ manifests all five and they are key to the Church universal’s genetic code. As with any genetic aberrations, a deficiency or duplication of any fivefold chromosomal element can lead to chronic illnesses, sterility, or even premature death of a body.

*5Q* is an intermediate introduction to Alan’s lifetime work in missional ministry. In it, he presents (1) the revelational and incarnational bases for the APEST typology as the Body of Christ’s genetic system, (2) practical outworkings of the system for individuals and organizations, and (3) solutions for addressing related problems. Additional component trainings and tools are available from “5Qcentral,” making this a robust, holistic system for context-sensitive ministry movements.

Here are my five observations from the first 25% of the book that convinced me to read the rest. I hope you’ll find reasons to read it in these as well! Continue reading

Review of *UnLeader* by Lance Ford

Hear ye, hear ye … I have just posted my first-ever book review on Amazon!

It is for UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership … and Why We Must, by Lance Ford (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2012). I received a review copy in September 2012 and read it then — and have peeked at it (and the stack of notes I wrote!) off and on ever since. I was planning to post a review last year, but other circumstances took over for a while and many things disappeared into that vortex.

However, what the time-lag added to the writing of my review was the reality that for 16 months, UnLeader keeps coming back to mind as really something extraordinary. I hope what I’ve posted will give a fresh and helpful perspective on grasping the value of what Lance Ford has produced, and the gift it is to the Kingdom. I also hope you will buy a copy, read it, and be changed by the  powerful and empowering message that Lance Ford offers!

And here is that review … Continue reading

New Tutorial on Critical Thinking Skills and Transformation Tools Posted

It has been a long time since I posted anything here. But that doesn’t mean I’ve been inactive! Over the past few months, I’ve been writing and editing a huge amount, actually. I am nearing completion of an introduction to bringing together “Opal Design Teams” for transformational, intercultural ministry. My deadline to get that short book to the editor is coming up soon, and it should be available in January. I’ll post details once everything gets finalized. Once it’s done, I plan on launching into the final edits on my curriculum series that expands out this introduction with more detail, illustrations, images, case studies from films, etc.

Meanwhile, I did produce a new futuristguy tutorial on Transformation while in the process of writing on critical thinking skills and tools for transformation, for the Opal Design Teams book. (This also appeared as a two-part guest post on my friend Julie Anne Smith’s blog.)  This tutorial is futures-oriented. It covers some basics of how to detail events and discern the times. For my main illustrations, I’ve drawn on case studies from secular and Christian organizations that are dealing with allegations or proven situations involving abuse of power, failure to report crimes, cover-ups, and the like. Sadly, this represents a significant layer of bullying in contemporary culture. But there is hope for that situation to change …

So, check out the tutorial – and I hope you find it of help in seeing new ways of perceiving an individual’s or organization’s past, present, and future!

Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #4: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-How Do We Fix a Leaky Boat, and Who Can Best Lead in Doing So?

If you haven’t read Addendum #3 yet, start with that. This post won’t make sense without it …

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Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #3: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-When Churches are Like Leaky Ships, How Do We Fix the Boat?

Addendum #3 deals with church systems being like leaky ships. Addendum #4 will suggest tools for fixing the boat, and preview who might be best equipped to lead in that process.

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