Monday, July 26, 2010

Highlights from the forgotten ways - pt. 2

Part 2 of my highlights from Alan Hirsch's book, The Forgotten Ways (Go here for part 1):
  • p. 184 - "Failure to deal with dysfunction will always undermine the organization or community's health."
  • p. 185 - "Rather than thinking of the early church as noninstitutional, we need to think of it rather as 'preinstitutional.' All living systems require some form of structure in order to maintain and perpetuate their existence."
  • p. 188 - "As far as I am aware, no historical denomination has ever been able to fully recover its earlier, more fluid and dynamic movement ethos again."
  • p. 191 - a working definition of a "movement."
  • p. 193 - Characteristics of movements: A thirst for renewal, A new stress on the work of the Spirit, An institutional-charismatic tension, A concern for being a countercultural community, Nontraditional or nonordained leadership, Ministry to the poor, Energy and dynamism.
  • p. 196 - chart detailing the differences between "organic missional movement" and "institutional religion."
  • p. 197 - "Liquid church is essential because it takes the present culture seriously and seeks to express the fullness of the Christian gospel within that culture."
  • p. 198 - ** Part about the difference between "the body of Christ is the church" or "the church is the body of Christ." "The reality of the church is to be found only 'in Christ.' Christ is our origin and truth. To be a Christian is to be joined to Christ and to be joined to Christ is to be joined to his church."
  • p. 214 - "If we are to recover our latent Apostolic Genius in the West, we need to ask exactly the same question of ourselves. What is the irreducible minimum of the faith? What can be done away with? What is too complex and heavy to carry into a new missional situation and an adaptive challenge." ****
  • p. 215 - ***"If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything begins to look like a nail. We need other tools."
  • p. 221 - "Communitas... happens in situations where individuals are driven to find each other through a common experience of ordeal, humbling, transition, and marginalization. It involves intense feelings of social togetherness and belonging brought about by having to rely on each other in order to survive."
  • p. 226 - ***"...the Church is always in a state of crisis and... its greatest shortcoming is that it is only occasionally aware of it." "...to encounter crisis is to encounter the possibility of truly being the Church."
  • p. 232 - "Mission is, and must be, the organizing principle of the church." (?not sure. what about worship or glorifying God??)
  • p. 233 - "Roxurgh and Romanuk... say that the role of leadership within the church is to cultivate environments wherein the Spirit of God might call forth and unleash the missional imagination of the people of God."
  • p. 235 - (Atlantic Olympics organizer) "I have always thought the way to engage life - in business and personally - is to set enormously high goals that seem absolutely unattainable, and work from the conviction that you're going to pull it off. By doing that I'm convinced that you are going to reach half of them. As for the others, you're going to go further than you would have otherwise."
  • p. 240 - "The fact is that God is everywhere. He is already deeply involved in human history and in all people's lives."
  • p. 245 - Questions with clear "yeses" and nos." (post this separately).
  • p. 248 - "...at the edge of chaos is the sweet spot where innovation takes place if handled correctly."
  • p. 252 - "following Jesus into the mission field is either impossible or extremely difficult for the vast majority of congregations in the Western world because of one thing: They have a systems story that will not allow them to take the first step out of the institution into the mission field, even though the mission field is just outside the door of the congregation." ****
  • p. 252 - "It's futile trying to revitalize the church, or a denomination, without first changing the system."
  • p. 260 - "...the theologically most fertile parts of the Bible are all, yes all, set in the context of the people of God facing significant danger and chaos." *****
  • p. 265 - Seven critical disciplines (Pascale et al): 1) Infuse an intricate understanding of what drives organizational success; 2) Insist on uncompromising straight talk; 3) Manage from the future; 4) Reward inventive accountability; 5) Harness adversity by learning from prior mistakes; 6) Foster relentless discomfort; 7) Cultivate reciprocity between the individual and the organization.
  • p. 266 - "God never intended his leaders to be people with all the answers and all the vision. Rather, our role is to help God's people discover the answers for themselves through the activity of leaders who awaken their imagination and stimulate a search. Our task is not to control, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit try to both harness and direct the flow. We move from being managers to being servants or, even more specifically, cultivators of fields or environments wherein certain behaviors or actions take place." ***
  • p. 268 - "...there are 111 million Christians without a local church in the world today. These people claim to take Jesus seriously but feel alienated from current expression of church."
  • p. 271 - "...it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." *****