This conference has already exceeded my expectations. Why? Dinner with Alan Hirsch. Last night a few of us got to connect with Alan. He is a an apostolic leader, great thinker and author from Australia. Here are some things that I took away from our conversation:
- The mission needs to supersede everything. It is the mission that calls us to church planting and evangelism.
- Church planting needs to be come under the banner of mission and not be put into another category. If church planting is thought of only as missional it insists that every church planter must think about their context and think like a missionary.
- Communitas is different than community. Communitas is a group of people drawn together with a cause and/or a collective purpose.
- We need multiple models and experimental models of new churches.
- House churches often make the same mistake that attractional churches make; we insist that people come to a new and unfamiliar place to meet Jesus.
- We need to think in terms of “redeeming our fun” and starting churches in the places and with the people that we have fun. How about starting a “fun church” where you have fun?
- “Third places” are the spaces where we have fun and are terrific opportunities to start new churches.
- The church will never accomplish the mission of Jesus if we depend on paid staff. The shift was forced in upon the people of China and the church flourished!
- One elderly soft-spoken man called “Uncle L” oversees a movement of churches in China that is reaching more than 3 million people!
- Apostolic leadership is essential for starting networks and movements. Apostolic leadership creates new environments for the gospel to connect with communities and birth new churches. Apostolic leadership also guards the gospel.
- The church in the west has sometimes mistaken entrepreneurs for apostolic leadership. Apostolic leadership is entrepreneurial, but it is more than that.
I’m really hoping that this meeting grows into a friendship. I loved his book Shaping Things to Come and bought it for several people on our team and I just started Forgotten Ways. I’d encourage everyone to pick up both of these books and to check out Alan’s blog.