Over the last couple of days I’ve been reading The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsch.
Very few books have captured by imagination in quite the same way that this book has done of late. While definitely weak in terms of Christology (needs to lay some more concrete ground on who Christ is and the Gospel), the entire concepts of the “Apostolic Genius” and mDNA has reignited a passion in me for missional living and church planting.
Throughout the book Hirsch hammers the notion that a healthy church should be a reproducing church. If 80 percent of women decided not to give birth in the US, the country would be in trouble. How come it is any different for the church? Referring to the mega-church and how it really hasn’t done anything great in the last twenty years despite its statistical and supposed success, he comments on their inability to easily reproduce and the distorted standard of “success” they have created.
Let’s face it squarely: its is darn hard to reproduce a Saddleback or a Willow Creek…A church like that, with all its professional departments, charismatic leaders, large staffing, and financial resources, simply cannot be easily reproduced. If we put this up as the sole model of effective church, the net effect will be to marginalize most people from ministry and church planting, and it will effectively put a contraceptive on the reproductive mechanism of the church. It will certainly stifle genuine people movements, because it necessitates a professional concept of ministry with a massive building and resources. (Page 215)
Great book. Read it critically, but it will well be worth it.