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The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Alan Hirsch(Author)

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Taking a look at the demise of Christianity's influence on Western culture, Powell and Hirsch present an assessment of today's congregations and offer an alternative plan for ministry that's designed to transform the church through incarnational mission, messianic spirituality, and apostolic structure. 250 pages, softcover from Hendrickson.
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Book details

  • PDF | 250 pages
  • Alan Hirsch(Author)
  • Hendrickson Publishers Inc (1 July 2003)
  • English
  • 5
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By Matt Wilson on 31 August 2005

    Finally, a book which offers a real alternative to the contemporary church leadership mindset. Frost and Hirsch's most important point in this book which contains so much good stuff, is that Christ's desire for his people, the church, is to be a transforming presence in the world - an Incarnation. They illustrate, in slightly tongue in cheek fashion, the way that the church has signed up pretty much wholesale to an Attractional model of church - essentially tipping the great commission on its head, turning Christ's 'Go' into 'Come'.I really hope loads of church leaders read this book and begin to realise that attracting people to their building is totally NOT what their job is about, Jesus came to destroy the temple and rebuild it out of living stones.

  • By Forth Write on 21 June 2006

    Utterly excellent - at last a book which has the honesty to say of our modern context 'we're not at all sure how to do mission' but then takes some important principles and expands them to help us dream about what mission may look like. Rather than imposing a blueprint, rather than saying 'this is what the world is like and this is how you have to be missionary' - it said to me 'take time to discover your world and then listen to what God may be saying into your context'Stepping out of a world which we Christians effectivly described into one in which all our 'language of description' often seems to be Martian is most disorientating. This book says 'yes it is isn't it - here are a few tentative suggested first steps'.

  • By Stephen Bentley on 3 December 2012

    This book sees the church in the Western world is in crisis. Numbers of Christians attending church is at record low and Christendom is dead with the loss of Christian influence. It seems the institution of the church doggedly gripping onto the last vestiges of the old ways dying at its core. Frost and Hirsch boldly state we need revolution not evolution to bring the church in the West into a second reformation . It is a popular book with pioneering ministries with which I am involved. It centres on the need for an ‘Apostolic’ movement as “the mode of the New Testament church - to describe something of its energy, impulse, and genius as well as its leadership structures.” It seems the missional approach of revitalising the first century Christian spirit to recapture the determination to preach Christ even if we are martyred for so doing.THE BOOK’S AIM AND MOTIVESIt has a bold style: starting by demanding “you read this first” and the reader 'will find it unnerving'. I have concentrated on the last section ‘Apostolic Leadership’ as this is the theme of this module. The APEPT theology is imaginatively argued. There are five types of leaders essential for this church revolution rather than the Pastor/Teacher roles that seminaries present train for. This theme is widened to five ministries of congregants and its is in favour of devolved ‘Eco-leadership’ and small but numerous church plants or cells. . “We believe such a matrix is the antidote to the triangular or hierarchical model that empowers certain leaders and dis-empowers the majority of Christians.”CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THIS THESISI chose it knowing it was from a differing theological perspective to my own; hoping to be challenged. I found it engaging and well written in parts: merging theology and business practices as we have done during our module. The book argues using Einstein “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Creativity is the essence of God and innovation it argues is essential for business survival as seen in de Bono’s hatsAs with others from this persuasion it looks back to glory the early Church’s ‘Apostolic Age and believes we need to recapture this essence to find ‘God’s missional truth’. I believe the early church was confused and extremely varied. Paul writes at lengths in his letters addressing many faults with the church in this period. Paul and Peter were at odds about whether Christianity was a new religion or a Jewish sect. I think they over simply the greatness of this ‘Apostolic Age’.There is also criticism of how the Pentecostals view this same ‘Age’ with their mega-churches; reinforcing my view of the lack of clarity of exactly what the first church was like.This jars with my postmodern and cultural specific approaches. Here is stated Christ changes cultures rather than adapts to them. Yet the great examples it proposes are being cultural with “gays at the Subterranean Shoe Room” which states “when he does start leading people to faith” revealing to us that he has not yet been successful by the books standards. The Birmingham ‘Maji’ uses “incense, projected images, and ambient religious music” again appears more New Age than distinctly first century ChristianIts a great contribution to the debate

  • By John Bidwell on 22 November 2012

    This book may shock the traditionalist, but the Billy Graham style outreach no longer brings in the seekers. Why? because over the last 20 years the culture has changed. Without compromising the Gospel, this book analyses the cultural changes and suggests new ways to engage culture with examples of successes. We expect people to come to church, but this book is encouraging Church to go to the people, to get out of our comfort zones, and really think what Christendom has created and how this is a barrier to effective evangelism.This book will challenge the reader and may disturb the vicar who is often entrenched in a comfort zone of traditionalism.

  • By Belsay on 13 January 2016

    This is a great book. I picked it up for a post graduate course I'm reading for but found it straight away to be very pertinent to my relationship with Jesus, our desire to connect to our community and my life as a leader in a local church. There is so much good stuff in this book. Hirsch and Frost cover a whole lot of issues and manage to regularly illustrate it with case studies and go to the scriptures. This is an intelligent reader around a whole bunch of issues re church planting, church decline, Missiology, ecclesiology, culture, the gospel, the fivefold gifts and loads more. Some will be frustrated that it doesn't go deeper (Eg its treatment of the fivefold gifts, and its sweeping 'tour' of the Christendom period which makes some generalisations) but in fairness to the writers, the panoramic vision of the book inevitably means some compromise on depth and detail which I think they manage without simplifying. Hirsch and Frost write as practitioners and as academics (a commendable blend!) and have some clear and strong things to say but do so without railroading the reader. It made me want to think and read more and I'm so pleased someone recommended this text to me.


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