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 chu rch 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.
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. 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.
Alan Hirsch is convinced that the inherited formulas for growing the Body of Christ do not work anymore. And rather than relying on slightly revised solutions from the past, he sees a vision of the future growth of the church coming about by harnessing the power of the early church, which grew from as few as 25,000 adherents in AD 100 to up to 20 million in AD 310. Such incredible growth is also being experienced today in the church in China and other parts of the world. How do they do it?
The Forgotten Ways explores the concept of Apostolic Genius as a way to understand what caused the church to expand at various times in history, interpreting it for use in our own time and place. From the theological underpinnings to the practical application, Hirsch takes the reader through this dynamic mixture of passion, prayer, and incarnational practice to rediscover the dormant potential of the modern church in the West.
Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network. His experience includes mission and church planting to the marginalized as well as leading at the denominational level. He is coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church.