Tuesday, December 07, 2010

138. Grading APEST Content

I have been doing some research on the topic of "vocabularies of organization" (an interesting topic, I highly recommend diving into it.). As usual, I ran across some related material that fascinated me. There is something called The Jaccard Metric that helps analyze similarities between data sets. Dats sets can include computer code, statistics, or...you guessed it....words and vocabularies. So for example, if you have a text, you can measure other texts by how similar or disimilar they are in terms of vocabulary, and even concepts. The Jaccard Metric helps you discover the "distance" between the documents. That is, it helps you gauge, or grade the semantic, linguistic or conceptual distance between the standard text and other chosen texts.

Well, as I was thinking the other day about the APEST ministry matrix, I was struck by the lack of literature available for the apostolic and prophetic functions. Then as I thought about it some more, I realized that the further you move back from the Teaching ministry, the less material you can find. In other words, there is a plethora of material out there about the teaching/preaching ministry, but when you move backwards from the Teacher gifting to the Shepherd/Pastor gifting, there seems to be a bit less. It gets even less when you move back to the evangelism category, and then it gets even worse with the prophetic and the apostolic. The apostolic is by far the most bankrupt of all the gifts when it comes to literature and material to explain it, train people, and explore the conceptual and pragmatic issues surrounding that kind of entrepreneurial, pioneering ministry. I diagram it like this.

The "distance", as Jaccard would phrase it, between the amount of literature available for the S-T vocations and the A-P functions is astounding. The deficit of material out there when it comes to the apostolic vocation is quite slim. How can we go for literally centuries and not have accumulated significant texts that dive into the apostolic function? It is really bizarre when you think about it. Any suggestions as to why this is the case? Let me hear from ya.


Michi said...

I was just wondering if you were comparing the amount of literature and probably know books for each ministry type... could you recommend literature on the apostolic vocation?

Planter said...

Hey Michi,

Anything by Hirsch is a winner, specifically The Shaping of things to come and The Forgotten Ways. Re-Jesus is more from a Petrine apostle angle.

A sort of hard one to find is Agency of the Apostle by Crofton. It is one of those dissertations turned into a semi-consumable book.

Me and Hirsch are writing together on this very topic, and the book should be ready for the shelves by October 2011. As of right now, the working title is Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice.

hope this helps. (Sorry for the plug ;-)