Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Missional Interview with Alan Hirsch

Here is the transcript of an email interview I did with Alan.

A Short Bio from his website:

I am Alan Hirsch. I am hurtling towards 50 and loving it! I live in Australia with my hero and wife Debra and our dog, Ruby. We live in a communal house called ‘Como’ with Mark, Sally, and Andrea. I am a writer, church leader, strategist, educator, and missional activist. I love reading philosophy, studying Judaism, leading a magnificent movement called Forge Mission Training Network, cellaring (and subsequently imbibing) good red-wine, walking, movies, etc.

Now the Interview:

1. How did God move you personally to a Missional mindset? What circumstances or events did He use?

Being involved in an inner city urban environment required us to seriously rethink attractional modes of Church. Also, we had to look seriously at becoming incarnational. But the other thing that sealed it for me was the role I took with our denomination, which required that I begin to assess the situation from a macro perspective of missions-to-the-west. Both of these journeys are articulated in The Forgotten Ways (ch’s 1 + 2)

2. How can becoming missional change a person or a church?

For me it was like a second conversion. It meant a almost totally different reading of myself, my church, and my context. My role was fundamentally altered at the level of identity.

3. What is the hardest hurdle to an individual or a church moving to a missional mindset.

Pre-commitments to the prevailing system, whether it be church growth or traditions. For professional ministers this is particularly difficult, they have so much vested in the system. Economically, personally, and professionally.

4.People around the world are finding creative ways to be missional. Tell us about one or two that you have seen that would exemplify creative missionality.

I have so many listed in The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things To Come, that I don’t think I can really re-articulate them here meaningfully.

5. What has been your greatest reward in being involved in this missional ground swell?

I love seeing people tune into missional ideas. To see the lights come on and so see God move through them in new ways.

6. You can recommend 1 book on missional living. Which book and why?

Missional living particularly? I think Michael Frost’s book Exiles is the best book on missional lifestyle from the point of view of the local missionary. The Forgotten Ways for the macro/systems view (humble eh?)

Make sure you visit Alan's website!

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