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The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church [Paperback]

By Alan Hirsch (Author) & Leonard Sweet (Foreword by)
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Item Number 41306  
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Item description for The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsch & Leonard Sweet...

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).

Publishers Description
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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brazos Press
Pages   295
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.89" Width: 6.24" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2009
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  1587431645  
ISBN13  9781587431647  

Availability  126 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:20.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Alan Hirsch & Leonard Sweet

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alan Hirsch is founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and cofounder of, an international forum for engaging with world-transforming ideas. Currently he leads an innovative learning program called Future Travelers which helps megachurches become missional movements. He is the author of numerous books, including The Forgotten Ways, and coauthor of Untamed. Hirsch lives in the Los Angeles area.
Lance Ford is the cofounder and director of, and the former director of the Northwood Church Multiplication Center. With more than 20 years of experience as a pastor and church planter, Lance is a writer, coach, consultant, and an adjunct professor. Ford and his wife live in Kansas City, Missouri.

Alan Hirsch was born in 1959 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Director, Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, Universi.

Alan Hirsch has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Forge Guides for Missional Conversation
  2. Leadership Networks
  3. Shapevine
  4. Shapevine Missionals

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Missions
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Emerging Church

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Reviews - What do customers think about Forgotten Ways?

A bit too early  Jun 30, 2008
Hirsch's work does a good job of helping us rediscover mission and how the role/gift/whatever of the apostle is something that we have placed off into the corner of the church should be renewed. I appreciated his passion for how the apostle as a missional and theological source is needed, but I felt that his book lacked examples of how this is really being worked out. I think his thoughts are grand, but I wonder if the book is out a bit too early and if we'd be better serve by a book that works out some of the implications of his thoughts.
A great introduction to missional thinking and practice!  Apr 29, 2008
Hirsch introduces us to mDNA, the missional DNA of a church or ministry body. This is an extremely useful book to help an existing congregation revision itself and reform itself into a missional community.
The Forgotten Ways  Mar 22, 2008
Investigates Missional DNA (mDNA) and Apostolic Genius. Excellent insight into how the early Church flourished in spite of pressures to kill the Jesus Movement. This is not light reading ... you STUDY this one! Highly recommend!
Retooling the Church  Jan 26, 2008
Tom Griner said...
I hear a desire similar to what I heard years before from the church growth folks...a desire to reach the world for Jesus by retooling Christianity. And they have had some success yet as Hirsch says, Christianity in the west continues a downward spiral. So now we have a new generation who also wants to retool Christianity. The thought is, if only we can be real and get down to where people really are... if only we can be free from the old baggage and have a new view, we can recover the declination. Yet, I believe this new analyses is just more of the same. It too will leave the church empty and void. So what is the answer to this intuitive since that something is wrong? Without sounding to simplistic, I do not believe it is a new view of relevance that is needed; I believe we simply need to be real Christians. What I mean by real Christian is not one who is a Christian in name or who attends church religiously. I mean one who is born of God and who is filled with the very Spirit of God. I mean one who is incarnating Christ. There is a problem, but it is not with how we relate to society. The problem is what we are. Much of Christianity is plastic and religious. Only a Christianity that is an expression of the Word of God in power will be a Christianity that changes the world. And when that kind of Church arises, there is always persecution. If the Church continues to try and find some new prescription that will make it fulfill its great calling, it will continue to go around the mountain. When the Apostle Peter came out of the upper room, he and his fellow brethren turned their world upside down within thirty years. When they preached, thousands were converted, when they prayed the place was shaken, when they laid hands on the sick they recovered. This is the kind of Christianity that is the source of the hunger that people are searching for but don't know what it is. This is the missing link. And this is were risk and faith turn a dull Christianity into a living and breathing expression of God that is worth living and dying for. This kind of Church cannot be engineered by some new set of tools or paradigm. Only a Church filled with God will answer the need of the hour. This is the true Apostolic Genius given by God. Tom Griner

Fantastic! Provokes good thinking and self examination!  Jan 18, 2008
Alan's written a great reminder: The Truth of the Word is increasingly being hidden from view by the organized church. Unintentionally perhaps, but it's the net effect.

Additionally, the not-yet-Christians have gotten an increasingly distorted view of who Jesus is and what He said. Alan also presents and consistently reinforces a great reminder that it's not a pastor's job to tell others about Jesus - this responsibility belongs to all believers. He reminds us that if The Word is actually READ and taken seriously, we will all be on the mission that Jesus intended.

The primary "Forgotten Way" is that we need to go into the world (not expect them to come to us), in the same way that Jesus came into the world. (He did say "go", he didn't say, "build new tabernacles everywhere...")

One concept Alan discusses is "cultural distance". He suggests that "attractional model" used by most churches is (unfortunately) becoming incresingly irrelevant as an effective form of outreach. He shows - and footnotes with stats - that the slice of the population that COULD be interested in visiting a church is decreasing at an alarming rate.

TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: There isn't a complete dismissal or full condemnation of the organized church (although in my opinion some may be due), it's part of the overall equation if our intended outcome is to reach all people. In the book there is a lot of discussion about how (and for how long) the attractional model alone is insufficient to get the job done.

This is a must read for all followers of Jesus. This is not a book that you should consider a "for pastors and seminary students" book. It's for you - especially if you grew up in the church or have been in one for a long time. Read it with an open mind and have your Bible handy for references. It's a great way to review your own motivations - and contrast them with what Jesus said he wanted us to do. The book is VERY well footnoted - something I found quite refreshing.

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