Friday, April 25, 2008

The Forgotten Ways

What am I reading? I am posting short synopsis of what I am reading. I will not be critiquing, for that is for you to do after you engage the material for yourself.

The Forgotten Ways: reactivating the missional church
www.theforgottenways.org

Bibliographic Citation
Hirsh, Alan. The Forgotten Ways: reactivating the missional church. Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Brazos Press, 2006.

In Alan Hirsch’s follow-up to The Shaping of Thing to Come he systemically lays out a paradigm shifting pattern for a new way to understand church, or has he contends, an ancient way to understand church. Using a model he defines as Apostolic Genius, combined with a truncated study of both systems theory and chaos theory, he proposes are return to a more fluid organization and missional focus of the church. The six components, each defined in a chapter with both practical application steps and real life illustrations, are:
1. Radical commitment to a Christocentric theology.
2. Focus up intentional and ongoing disciple making.
3. Allowing for organic systems to develop instead of institutional structure.
4. Creating an apostolic environment that allows for gift based leadership to emerge.
5. Commitment to a missional-incarnational impulse where the church and the world intersect and interact
6. Communitas not just community as a gathering but rather community that practices a radical, accountable and dangerous journey of Christian life.
Hirsch contends that church that forms itself by this model becomes “profoundly ‘sneezalbe,’” easy to export and adaptive to the culture where it exists. This form of viral Christianity is the kind that has survived, even spread, in areas like Communist China, where normal practices of faith had to give away to a more organic model.
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