The Forgotten Ways, Part 6

If the church is going to become this embodiment of Jesus in a communal way then there is a foundational issue that must be dealt with. That is our conception of what it means to lead. How do we lead if we have set aside the corporate and the coercive models of power?Hirsch argues that there is a change in the leadership environment of the church. This means that there must be an embracing of what he calls "Apostolic Leadership". This kind of leadership he argues is one of function and not office. The concept of leadership as being function and not office is a big deal in the tradition that I come out of. Offices are critical to the leadership of the church in my tradition, those of Elder and Deacon.To move our leadership beyond these offices is not something that can be taken lightly. However, this idea of function means quite simply that...
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 5

Part five is upon us! The Missional Incarnational Impulse. What the heck does that mean? This is another chapter where Hirsch makes it pretty clear that he must define his term in the negative, what I mean is that, a positive declaration of "missional-incarnational impulse" is difficult in and of itself to define, therefore, you have to state what it is not to bring clarity to what it is!Missional-incarnational impulse is basically the opposite of the attractional model of the church. What is the attractional model, you ask? Well, it is the idea that we are to draw people into the church building by providing the best, most exciting, and most relevant programming that we can possibly fathom. I think the best way to illustrate the attractional model of the church is from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."The opposite of this is the concept of mission. What do you think...
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 4

The Heart of It All - Jesus is Lord. So, now what? The first main principle that Hirsch lays out is that of disciple making. The development of disciples has taken on a new cool twist recently with all the emphasis on the Jewish life and what a Rabbi really is and therefore what it means to be a disciple. Hirsch steps in a provides a clear, succinct, and challenging picture of what discipleship is all about. How important is discipleship? Hirsch argues, "if we fail at this point then we must fail in all the others."So what is discipleship? It is the embedding of mDNA into other people. It is that process by which men and women follow Jesus are built into people who can reproduce their lives into others. This is God's plan for sending his message all over the world. And it as Hirsch puts it, "it worked."Discipleship has taken on...
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 3

Hirsch gets going into the "heart of it all" in chapter 3. This chapter lays out the necessity for Jesus to be Lord. This is the center of mDNA, oh, wait, I am ahead of myself. What is mDNA? This is the organic coding for Apostolic Genius. What is Apostolic Genius?Well, it's the results of mDNA.Enough playing around. mDNA is comprised of the five key principles along with the driving story that "Jesus is Lord." mDNA it is argued is found within each believer and when it is unleashed the result is Apostolic Genius which is best understood to be the ability to live out what it means to be the church.The five key principles:DisciplemakingMissional-Incarnational ImpulseApostolic EnvironmentOrganic SystemsCommunitas NOT CommunityThe next few chapters will be focused on these six concepts. So, let's begin with the driving story that Jesus is Lord.The heart of Chapter 3 is this controlling story that Jesus is Lord....
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 2

As it turns out chapter 2 is all about the role of Christendom and institutional Christianity. Who knew? So, again I will outline the chapter and then give you my thoughts on it.Hirsch begins by arguing that the natural way of things is to default back to that which is comfortable and known. He quotes the great philosopher Bono from U2, "stuck in a moment and now [we] can't get out of it". Whenever we seek to try something new we invariably default back to what has proven to work.This is especially true in Christendom where the institutional concept of what it means to be a Christian is so deeply ingrained in our minds and limits our imaginations.Therefore, the way that change can come about is by not simply adjusting the programs but stepping into the very heart of what it means to be the church. Hirsch provides a great illustration, that of the the...
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