Hirsch on the mission of the church...
Enjoying a session with missiologist Alan Hirsch here in KC today. You can check out the mQuest event I'm writing you from. We're struggling with what it takes for the church to accomplish it's mission in the world. Hirsch identifies five aspects surrounding the core of the conviction that Jesus is Lord:
Core: the claim that Jesus is Lord. Nothing else is Lord. Jesus is utterly unique as God's only son and God's ultimate strategy in mission.
1 The church must make disciples. If its outreach and growth strategies are leading people to become disciples that know how to reproduce themselves... lights out. The church will not grow.
2 Missional-incarnational impulse. The very same strategy that God chose in sending Jesus to humanity's context is exactly what he expects of every member of his church. Every person in the church should have the inner drive to embody Jesus in every human context that knows him not!
3 Apostolic environment. If we're in fact building the church God's way it will look like the way the church grew in the apostolic age before it was institutionalized and identified as Christendom.
4 Organic systems. The structures serve and follow the growth, the growth isn't driven by the organization. Example: the church in China!
5 Communitas (not community). Communitas is better than community in that it is community with the right uniting passion. When a group owns a goal bigger than itself and lives for purposes beyond its own consumerist interests, then it experiences communitas.
Some very stimulating thoughts Christians can challenge our current understanding the church about. Are we still stuck in institutionality as a church or are we a living, thriving organism capable of doing the mission of Jesus everywhere God situates us in society.
How about you? If you're Christian this could really bug you! Are you just a member of a club, or do you really have the DNA of being a Christ follower?
If you're not a Christian, you're probably bugged by Christians whose affiliation seems somehow off-track from the person of Jesus and what's he's all about. As someone who can probably be one of those annoying Christians my apologies for giving a distracted impression of the one I claim I follow.