In partnership with the Center for Christian Faith and Culture at Malone University, we are pleased to host this free luncheon and lecture for pastors and ministry leaders from all around NE Ohio featuring Alan Hirsch.
Known for his innovative approach to mission, Hirsch is widely acknowledged as a thought leader and mission strategist for churches across the Western world. He considers The Forgotten Ways the guiding work to all of his other writings. This paradigm-shifting work remains the definitive statement of the church as dynamic missional movement. In it he explores the factors that come together to generate high-impact, exponentially explosive, spiritually vibrant Jesus movements in any time and context.
This lecture will be based on the contents of Hirsch’s groundbreaking book. There are six elements that are presented there. They are as follows:
- Jesus Is Lord: At the center and circumference of every significant Jesus movement there exists a very simple confession. Though simple, it is one that fully vibrates with the primal energies of the scriptural faith— namely, that of the claim of the one God over every aspect of every life, and the response of his people to that claim (Deut. 6:4–6). The way that this was expressed in the New Testament and later movements was simply “Jesus Is Lord!” With this simple confession they changed the world.
- Disciple Making: Essentially, this involves the irreplaceable and lifelong task of becoming like Jesus by embodying his message. This is perhaps where many of our efforts fail. Disciple making is an irreplaceable, core task of the church and needs to be structured into every church’s basic formula.
- Missional-Incarnational Impulse: this involves an exploration of the twin impulses of remarkable missional movements—namely, the dynamic outward thrust and the related deepening impulse—which together seed and embed the gospel into different cultures and people groups.
- Liminality and Communitas: The most vigorous forms of community are those that come together in the context of a shared ordeal or those that define themselves as a group with a mission that lies beyond themselves, thus initiating a risky journey. Too much concern with safety and security, combined with comfort and convenience, has lulled us out of our true calling and purpose. We all love an adventure. Or do we? Chapter 7 aims at putting the adventure back into the venture.
- APEST Culture: This involves the active presence of the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching (APEST) functions-ministries listed in Ephesians 4 and evidenced throughout the book of Acts. Especially catalytic for missional movements is the apostolic person. This mDNA relates to the type of ministry and leadership required to sustain exponential growth and transformational impact.
- Organic Systems: Involves the next element in mDNA, the idea of appropriate structures for growth and movement—what in 100M we call “multiplication organizing.” Tending to low control but high accountability, transformative Jesus movements grow precisely because they do not have centralizing institutions that can block growth through control by elites. Here we will find that the exemplary Jesus movements have the feel of a movement and the structure of a network, and tend to spread like viruses.
Assuming the pervasive prior presence and work of the Holy Spirit, these interrelating elements of mDNA form a complex and living structure and present us with a powerful paradigm grid with which we can assess our current understandings and experiences of church and mission.
Hirsch will also provide fresh new examples of growing churches, and reflects on the dynamics of the last two decades of the contemporary missional movement in the West.