FiveTwo: Movements and Gifts

One of the problems with FiveTwo is that it is a movement. The thing about movements is that they move (or at least try to move). They change things already instituted.

For example, Christ instituted the office of public ministry. Jesus himself gave pastor-teachers. Ephesians 4:11. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders (pastors) in all the churches they planted. Acts 14:23. Paul wrote to the churches about the qualifications for pastors, elders, and bishops, three titles of the same office, each title adding to its richness. Through this we know that what the Church needs are pastors. His gifts show us our needs. Our true needs can be identified by faith that Jesus gives us what we need. We need the preached and taught Word of God and the right administration of the Sacraments.

A movement tries to go beyond, to move, to change. So movements like FiveTwo, instead of receiving and using the gift of pastors, chose what a movement feels it needs. A movement, unlike a church, feels it needs leaders, coaches, vision casters, entrepreneurs, and such. Those are the names of agents of movement.

Those leaders busy themselves with things not pastoral, and then the needed pastoral ministry is neglected. Because those leaders are not pastoral, the movement does not require of them the qualifications for pastors. On both these fronts, the works of pastoral ministry and the qualifications for pastoral ministry, this has the effect of striking the shepherd under the appearance of still having one. Then, spiritually, the sheep are scattered. Their hearts, minds, and confidence are not gathered to the Gospel, but are gathered instead to the vision, the motion, and the growth.

For another example, Christ instituted the Sacraments. He instituted Baptism. He said, go into all the world, baptizing. He instituted Communion. He said, do this as often as you drink it. As with his institution of pastors, these gifts of Christ show us our needs. We need the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit. We need the blood given and shed for us, for the remission of sins.

Partly because it is a movement, FiveTwo changes what a sacrament is. In making one of its core ideas “sacramental entrepreneurs,” the nature of sacraments does not change entrepreneurship as significantly as entrepreneurship changes the nature of sacraments. As changed, a sacrament is something that promotes the vision, produces motion, and cultivates growth. Consequently, other things besides Baptism and Communion could be sacramental, such as music. See, for example, the FiveTwo article, “The Sacramental Nature of Music.” According to this, a host of things in Paul Tillich’s multi-tiered ideas of sacrament now have sacramental nature, and music is one of them.

If a movement is successful by movement standards, namely, motion and growth of numbers, congregations become large and that brings on the next wave: management. For big things not to become unwieldy, they need to be managed. The phase that follows vision casting and coaching is corporatism.

Therein lays an irony. FiveTwo cannot start new to reach new. By starting new, that is, by being a movement and moving away from the gifts of Christ in pastors and Sacraments, it will reach old. It will become like a corporatist synod rather than becoming like the Church. The flaws of the existing synod from which it wants to move will become its destiny. Entrepreneurs, unless they fail, eventually incorporate. They take on the inevitable traits of corporatism.

Movements often are defeated by success. Then a new round of dissatisfaction and itchiness for change brings on the next movement. Solomon said well, “All is vanity and grasping for the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14. Mick Jagger sang well, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

The solution is satisfaction in his gifts. The solution is faith that He knows our true needs and we don’t except by his revelation of them. The solution is grateful reception of his gifts. The solution is faith in his Word when He said, “I will build my church.”

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