Archive for Hirsch
Here is Hirsch with some thoughts about the imperative and pervasiveness of discipleship. Thanks to the Verge Network for making this available.
Here is the second installment of an interview with Michael Frost–co-author with Alan Hirsch of The Shaping of Things to Come and REJESUS. In this segment, he speaks of a majority in the west that are “disgusted, repelled, disturbed, [or] want nothing more to do with [an attractional model of church].”
The U.S. State Dept (2004) estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are caught in international human trafficking every year. A majority of those are female and half of them are children. This unthinkable crime is happening on an epic scale.
Anne Jackson, author of Mad Church Disease and prolific blogger, is increasing awareness about human trafficking in Eastern Europe and Russia–some of the main exporters to Western Europe and the U.S. prostitution industry. Please check out her thoughts throughout the week to learn more about the modern day slave trade and possible ways to be involved in acts of mercy and justice for those involved.
- “We have to assume now that all mission is cross-cultural.” ~ Alan H
- “It’s not that the church has a mission, but the mission has a church.” ~ Alan Hirsch
- (Speaking about planting churches,) “I’m not even sure what we are trying to do the world wants.” ~ Shawn Lovejoy
- “If you do church to reach church, then you’ll reach somebody else’s Christians.” ~ Hugh Halter
- “The [Christian story] is a peasant’s movement.” ~ Hugh Halter
- “…community has to be the witness now.” ~ Hugh Halter
- “You cannot sell a Christendom approach to a post-Christian world. They are anti-Christian.” ~ Alan Hirsch
- “Go among the people. Don’t assume you know what church looks like.” ~ Alan Hirsch
- “You plant the gospel. You don’t plant churches.” ~ Alan Hirsch
Lately, I have been thinking, studying, and writing a lot on the area of discipleship. Last week I was on my way to be with some church planters in AR. While in route, I stopped for a plate of fried catfish (perhaps this is important when considering being a fisher of men or perhaps I have just missed it the past several years) and to write down this syllogism.
Jesus calls us to be his disciples.
Therefore, I am to be a disciple. And…
He teaches his disciples to be disciple-makers.
Therefore, a disciple makes other disciples.
Two possible outcomes:
I make disciples.
Therefore, I am a disciple.
I don’t make disciples.
Therefore, I am not a disciple.
By extension, if this is the characterization of the disciples that make up the church, then it will be the characterization and evidence of the church. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 should not be descriptive of the church. However, verses 10-17 should be consistent with church.
Hirsch makes a similar argument in his upcoming book, Untamed, and in “No Disciples, No Mission,” a post on the Catalyst site. Not only is this a worthwhile read, it merits serious consideration and reevaluation.
Before wrapping up this post, I would like to encourage those who may attend the churchplanters.com conference this February 22-23 in the Atlanta area to consider participating in the pre-conference event with Alan Hirsch and the founders of The Upstream Collective. The event will deal with Lessons from Post-Christian Cultures. Like other Hirsch talks and Upstream events in the past, I am sure this will be insightful and thought-provoking.
While the number of themes was multiple through 12 hours of videos during TheNines event hosted by the Leadership Network and Catalyst, there is one that is, I believe, key for the church to be obedient–the church must be on mission. A number of speakers addressed the issue including Dan Kimball, Reggie McNeal, J.D. Greear, Ed Stetzer, and Rick Warren as well as multiple others. One clarion voice on the issue, Alan Hirsch quickly laid out 6 keys for the church to “advance the cause of Jesus Christ in our day.” The key points for the church are to:
- Recover Jesus - there must be a primary focus on who Jesus is. Failure to do this can have severely negative consequences. In addition to the key themes of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and coming return of Christ, the church should see the incarnational life as a model for disciples to live.
- Make disciples – this is what Jesus calls the church to do. We are to make little living images of Jesus. If we fail to make disciples, we will not be effective at anything that is relevant to the church. It is possible to have people referring to themselves as Christian, but not to look anything like Christ. This possibility and reality according to some modern day claims should make the church have a serious re-evaluation of the discipling process.
- Engage the world as sent people - God sent Jesus. Jesus came as one who was sent. God and the Son sent the Holy Spirit. The sending character of God says something about how we are to engage humanity. How we are to live life.
- An apostolic environment - to have a missional church, you must have a missional ministry that encompasses the five aspects of ministry found in Ephesians 4. Having a ministry view of only the pastor / teacher is not correct. Church leaders that operate with this myopic view need to expand their understanding and ministry expressions.
- Organic systems - the way the church should organize itself. Moving away from a top-down approach, the church needs to move toward development as viral or movement effect.
- Communitas – we must “put adventure back into the venture of the church.” Relating or fellowshipping together because we are together is not sufficient. There must be a greater cause that draws us toward the purpose of Christ and away from being safe in risk-free environments.
Hirsch concluded his talk with a note of encouragement and strong warning. He said that he is very optimistic about the potential future of the U.S. church. On the other hand he shared:
These are significant times. If we fail here in America, I don’t think it is going to matter too much for the church in the West. I think that the church in the 2/3 world and in the South will do very, very well…and in Asia…it is going very well. But the church in the west, I think, is in very bad shape…in big trouble.
Calling for a recalibration of church, Hirsch labors and hopes for the best for church in the west. While hopeful, he is straightforward in his assessment and warning.