The Forgotten Ways

Alan Hirsch coined a lot of terminology to pretty say the same thing as every other church planting book ever written. Hirsch entitles his paradigm of ministry, “Apostolic Genius” (81) (I’m sure no pride influenced the name). Essentially Hirsch says that traditional church doesn’t work anymore and what we need is church 2.0 which sounds an awful lot like a healthy church.

There are six components to his “Apostolic Genius”:

  1. Jesus is Lord
  2. Disciple Making
  3. Missional-Incarnational Impulse
  4. Liminality and Communitas
  5. APEST Culture
  6. Organic Systems

Confused yet? Here’s a simple breakdown of each one.

Jesus is Lord = Gospel

Hirsch just wants to make sure that Christians are truly living out their faith: “Discipleship is becoming like Jesus our Lord.” Every. Book. Says. This. Moving on…

Disciple Making = Spending time with people and showing them how to live like Christ.

We’ve all read a 1,000 discipleship books. It’s more of the same.

Missional-Incarnational Impulse = Gather in large group and go into small groups

Liminality and Communitas = Take appropriate risks

APEST Culture = Plurality of Elders

According to Hirsch, churches need Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, Teachers. Nevermind the fact that Greek construction is “shepherd-teacher” in Ephesians 4:11 indicating one role, not two. Really, he’s just advocating for a plurality of elders whereby a range of gifts is employed by the body.  Hirsch also conveniently highlights the importance of “Apostles” (sent ones) while giving lip service to pastors.

Organic Systems = Don’t micromanage things

Organic is a cool word which just means to let things develop naturally and not micromanage people. It’s about keeping structures simple and empowering teams to do the work of ministry.

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