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time with Alan

May 17, 2010

Mike: As I mentioned in a previous post, Alan Hirsch and I got to spend the better part of the week together.

We did some writing together on Apostolic genius, 5-Fold Gifting, a lot of discussion on movements and we had the privilege of him sharing at two of our Learning Communities.

I thought I would share some of the thoughts he shared that struck our Learning Communities as particularly insightful.

Voltaire: “God made us in his image and we returned the favor.”

We often think Jesus is very nice but not very smart.

Think about it.

Write everything down that Jesus said about money and put it on one page. Then take it to your bank manager and say you are going to start using your money like Jesus advises. You don’t think he’s going to try to talk you out of it?

And then we do change how we think about it…and we subvert the Lordship of Jesus. We’ve co-opted him and made him look like our middle-class American selves.


We need to allow ourselves to see ourselves as missionaries again. Once we start thinking we’re missionaries we’ll behave like missionaries

Ask two questions:
1) What is good news to these people?
2) What is “church” for these people?
(*you can’t know the answers to these questions before asking them!)

In cities like New York, do people feel guilty? NO! But they might feel shame (but that’s a different story). So instead, we try to make them feel guilty so the gospel as we know it can connect.

Perhaps it should connect differently?

What does it say about God that he lived among us for 30 years before he started his mission?

We don’t plant churches, we plant the gospel. The gospel, in a particular context, will create a church that is true and particular to that context. The right of every believer is to receive Jesus and have a community of faith appropriate to their context.

God is a missionary/rescuing/sending God.
We are sent into a specific mission context (like Jesus was).
The context determines how we “do” church.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 26, 2010 10:30 am

    interesting statement about planting gospel, not churches. so should we have a gospel planting network rather than church planting network, i believe so. also so very insightful, the gospel mixed with the context grows the Church, how many times have people tried to grow the Church they want, not necessarily one that is apropriate to the context in which they reside?
    Gospel being relevant to an area, will clearly mean different things in different contexts, need to remove one size fits all culture within concept of growing churches. but thought this was a huge challenge to so many leaders about gospel growing not man growing churches, relevant to particular contexts.

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