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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

McKnight's "Jesus Creed" on Hirsch/5-fold

Scot McKnight’s influential blog, Jesus Creed, is up with a review of an earlier Alan Hirsch book The Forgotten Ways that, like his book The Permanent Revolution, deals in part with 5-fold ministry. The review, by John Frye, is somewhat disappointing to me because having read and reviewed Hirsch’s Permanent Revolution I was hoping to see Frye interact with it. Nonetheless, it is a helpful post and it raises some of the same questions I have attempted to raise in my piece for Books & Culture. Here is a key quote from Frye:

Because there is no one “pure” early church or historical template on how to do church at the pastoral leadership level, I have no problem with those who want to learn about and implement the five-fold ministry model. I cannot say that there is anything wrong with it. Hirsch offers very stimulating and pragmatic ideas around APEPT. Yet, I do push back on that model or any other model that allegedly trumps or replaces the traditional view of pastor.

I believe that Frye will find that in The Permanent Revolution Hirsch again “offers very stimulating and pragmatic ideas” but he also goes much further in putting forward the idea  that the APEPT model “trumps or replaces the traditional view.”

1 comment:

  1. I read and reviewed The Forgotten Ways for a seminary class, "Local Church Ministry in the 21st Century." Having been a part of and serving a few churches of varying size, I can relate to Frye's take on the book particularly as he points out the differences the concepts have on a larger church when compared to a smaller one. I have also been a part of a Church that in a very practical way applied the 5-fold concept in a pastoral leadership team. This church intentionally had leaders on this team that fit, by gifting and "wiring" Hirsch's definition of each role. The one thing that must be pointed out though is that on that team the pastoral role led the team. This was key in a local church setting as shepherding the flock was paramount.
    Now serving in a smaller church, the leadership team is made up only of the gift sets available, but even so, shepherding the flock or the pastoral role is on the forefront of the teams mind.
    I believe, based only on having read Forgotten Ways, that Hirsch's concept comes from the missional perspective, a perspective with seemingly as many different definitions as published thinkers on the subject. With the changing focus that the "cutting edge" missional mind takes, it is clear where the apostolic role taking a lead comes from, with a continuously outward focus. As with all change a balance is required to care for the flock that is not quite as "mobile" and will stay planted rather go off planting. For these the pastor will remain the prominent focus.
    Just my read and application.