How did the number of Christians in the world grow from as few as 25,000 one hundred years after Christ's death to up to 20 million in AD 310? How did the Chinese underground church grow from 2 million to over 100 million in sixty years despite considerable opposition? In The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch reveals the paradigmatic insights he discovered as he delved into those questions. He then translates these findings into the context of the contemporary Western church.
Hirsch identifies six latent potencies in God's people that lie dormant and forgotten until something catalytic prompts the rediscovery of them. These elements are clearly seen in the church during times of phenomenal growth and impact, but he suggests that they are actually always present and can be reactivated to create apostolic movement. He describes them as the centrality and lordship of Jesus, disciple making, the missional-incarnational impulse, organic systems, apostolic environment, and communitas (a type of community formed in situations of significant ordeal and/or mission).
A key missional leader, educator, and strategist, Hirsch draws from his own experiences, as well as the experiences of ministries around the world, to provide examples of growing churches, church planting movements, and other missional projects. He further illustrates his points with charts and diagrams, as well as a glossary of terms and an index.
Church leaders, strategists, seminary professors, and students will benefit from Hirsch's discoveries and his ability to put those ideas to work in contemporary churches and ministries.