Book Review: 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ – By Alan Hirsch

29 Nov 2020

By Tanwin Tanoto

Alan Hirsch, one of the keynote speakers at Collective this year, takes a deep dive into the fivefold ‘APEST’ ministry in his new book 5Q.

If you are involved in ministry in any capacity, I am sure you are familiar with APEST –Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers. Some of us may already function in one or more of these areas. So, you might ask yourself, why would I need to learn more about it?

Well, what Hirsch uniquely brings to the discussion is not just theological, cultural and practical insights, but his big-picture biblical view of APEST, as described in Ephesians 4:1-16.

In this book, Hirsch argues that the fivefold pattern can be seen everywhere in the Bible – from creation, to the Old Testament, to Jesus Himself. In other words, Hirsch shows APEST as a biblical archetype – where it is grounded in the person of God, recapitulated in Christ, given to the Church, and finally expressed in our callings.

The first half of Hirsch’s book is theological and biblical, while the other half is practical. It is also a technical book, so it is comprehensive and reads like a six-week training seminar. If reading is not for you, alternatively you can do the seminar online. Check out for more information.

On a personal level, the book opened my eyes to the significance of APEST in the ministry of the Church. Not only is it important in an individual’s ministry and calling, but more importantly in the Church and community. So, I highly recommend this book as one of the tools every leader needs in their toolbelt to raise up and equip other leaders in their church and community. It is also a good book to read together with your fellow ministers, elders, and ministry team.

As Hirsch states: “The fivefold provides us with the most viable ‘marks of the Church’ that we have at our disposal. The marks, by definition, must be identifiable in the life, liturgy, and functions of the Church; it is here, then, where the fivefold typology really gets to shape church life and culture.”

* Alan Hirsch is an Australian author and thought leader in the missional church movement