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This review is from: The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church (Paperback)
Hirsch dose a masterful job in showing how the church of the western world has forgotten the way to be a Christ follower. As Hirsch puts it, "... all God's people carry within themselves the same potencies that energized the early Christian movement and that are currently manifest in the underground Chinese church." (Hirsch, 2006, p. 22) Hirsh then introduces the term: Apostolic Genius which the primary missional strength of the gospel and God's people. He expresses that this strength lies dormant in each Christian and local church that seeks to follow Jesus faithfully in any time. The problem, he rightly recognizes is that today's Christian culture has forgotten how to access and trigger it. Hirsh writes this book to help reactivate it so Christians can transform the world by living transformed lives.
Hirsch identifies in the book six simple but interrelating elements of missional DNA, forming a complex and living structure. They are: 1) Jesus Is Lord: At the center and circumference of every significant Jesus movement there exists this very simple confession. 2) Disciple Making: This is the life-long task of becoming like Jesus by embodying his message. Hirsch believes that 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. 3) Missional-Incarnational Impulse: Hirsch examines missional movements that seed and embed the gospel into different cultures and people groups. 4) Apostolic Environment: This relates to the type of leadership and ministry required to sustain metabolic growth and impact. 5) Organic Systems: Determining appropriate structures for metabolic growth. 6) Communitas, not Community: Too much concern with safety and security, combined with comfort and convenience, has lulled us out of our true calling and purpose.
Hirsch wisely spends much attention as to how in the modern and the postmodern situation, the church is forced into the role of being little more than a vendor of religious goods and services. Which is why many of it's members have become passive. The church is supposed to radically change society and to do so we must tell an alternative story
Hirsch ends quoting church consultant Bill Easum. Easum is right when he notes that "following Jesus into the mission field is either impossible or extremely difficult for the vast majority of congregations in the Western world because of one thing: They have a systems story that will not allow them to take the first step out of the institution into the mission field, even though the mission field is just outside the door of the congregation." (p. 252)