Global Missiology English, Vol 1, No 15 (2017)

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5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ

Justin White


Alan Hirsch is the founder of Forge Mission Training Network, 100 Movements, and 5Q Collective. He is the author of numerous award-winning books on movements, organization, and leadership, and he spends much of his time teaching in North America, Europe, and Australia. Some of Hirsch’s other books include The Forgotten Ways and The Permanent Revolution. Hirsch is a passionate, straight forward, opinionated, and provocative writer, and 5Q is no exception.  In 5Q Hirsch argues that, “After 1700 years of entrenched European formulations of church, we have to acknowledge that much of it simply no longer works; the maps don’t fit the territories, and more importantly it does not fully square with the New Testament (xxiv).” He feels that the message of 5Q is “An absolutely crucial key to lasting systemic change (xxiv)” in the church, and that it is “One of the surest ways to experience a renewed sense of symphony in our lives, ministries, and organizations (xxi).” In the Preface, Hirsch challenges the reader to read with “soft eyes,” looking beyond what has become over familiar and habitual with regard to church and ministry (xxi). Hirsch’s most basic definition of 5Q is “The synergy of a holistic recombination of the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching (APEST) capacities referred to in Ephesians 4 (xxi).” The purpose of this book is to expound on this definition of 5Q, establish its validity from God, the Bible and creation, and convince the reader that 5Q must define and shape all that the church is (marks) and does (functions). The next section will examine the content of the book in order to help discern whether or not Hirsch accomplished his stated purpose.