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.”

About T. R. Halvorson

T. R. Halvorson was born in Sidney, Montana on July 14, 1953, baptized at Pella Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sidney, Montana on November 8, 1953, and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota in 1968. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Sidney, Montana. They have three sons and six grandchildren. T. R. farms at Wildrose, North Dakota, and is Deputy County Attorney in Sidney, Montana. He has been a computer programmer; and an author, conference speaker, instructor, and consultant to industry in online legal information. He is among the authors of the religion column in the Sidney Herald at Sidney, Montana. He is the Editor of


FiveTwo: Movements and Gifts — 5 Comments

  1. 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.

    Ah, but they will be at the top, reaping the six figure [times X] incomes, the entertainment “retreats” paid for by Thrivent and LCEF, taking the trips…. And deciding who is expendable [mostly genuine Lutherans].

    You didn’t think this was about “saving the lost”, did you?
    (It wasn’t last time round either.)

    Thanks, TR! You nailed it.

  2. Look there is nothing wrong with the five two network. We have just included a five two event in our online newsletter that goes out to all in our district. We are proud of this group: Text reads:

    September 22-24, 2015
    WikiConference 2015 (the annual gathering for the FiveTwo Network) is a conference that is coordinated and presented through collaboration between organizations and ministry experts in various ministry fields. These people are on the front lines and in the trenches. They are passionate about reaching God’s lost in their communities and they are practicing what they are preaching. WikiConference is for any church leader-staff or volunteer-who wants personal, practical ways to better reach the lost in their community.

    This years Wiki Conference, under the theme, “Start New to Reach New” will again be held at CrossPoint Community Church on September 22-24, 2015. The entire conference will be held at their location at 700 S Westgreen Blvd, Katy, TX 77450.

    The Eastern District has purchased a block of ten reservations for this conference. Five of those reservations have already been spoken for. We want YOU to utilize one or more of the remaining reservations! Visit the Wiki Conference website at for more information on travel and lodging costs. To “claim” one of the remaining paid-up reservations, phone Barb Sigafoos at 1.716.634.5111 x18 or email her at [email protected].

  3. @T. R. Halvorson #3

    Does Eastern District teach Tillich’s multi-tier theory of sacraments as is promoted by FiveTwo on it website?

    Will Eastern District [What does that encompass?] be kind enough to pick up the 5/2 “movement” and take it to themselves, since “Eastern District” “is proud” of it?

    [The problem with “movements” is that the body, when it has ridded itself of one, requires cleansing (as any Mother of an infant knows). The only worse problem is irregular elimination (as Synod should be realizing).] 🙁

  4. @T. R. Halvorson #3

    Eastern district already has given a thumbs up to the fivetwo group and clearly sees nothing wrong with praise bands. Just attend their convention this week and you will hear all about it. Even our synodical president will be there to clap too.

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