This weekend I spent time reviewing Alan Hirsch’s new book 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ.
First, let me give you my review, and then I’ll tell you what I learned. This book is excellent. In it, Hirsch indicates he is working on his doctorate, and this is clearly a well-thought-out theology and practice of his topic that he has been working on for what seems like 15-20 years. (in 2009 The Forgotten Ways was in its 5th printing). Best of all, it isn’t written so that the average pastor will be able to digest the information. This is the piece that we have been missing and is a must read for anyone interested in discipleship or ecclesiology (the study of the church).
This book is the piece that we have been missing in the five-fold ministry conversation and it is a must read for anyone interested in discipleship or ecclesiology (the study of the church).
Hirsch has written several books on this topic, but 5Q goes much deeper into the five-fold ministries, and looks at them through a systematic theology framework, and then gets deeply practical in how they work in a church and in an individual – followed by what “out of balance” might look like.
This is part of what I see as an emerging trend in Western Christianity. We have little tolerance for church-as-social-function and are looking for meaning and purpose – not only in our individual lives but for these organizations we call church. After all, the Church is Christ’s body, but we don’t seem to be healing people or transforming lives like He did. We need an understanding of Church that flows with the rest of life. Hirsch has provided this.
So, I highly recommend Hirsch’s new book. Now. Here is what I learned:
When you get an idea, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to start writing and then keep revising. Eventually, you will reach the “tipping point” where what you have written becomes normative instead of a novel idea. At that point, where theory and practice meet, you get to write something as incredible as 5Q – a handbook of why and how we should live into the 5-fold ministries both personally and corporately.