I’ve been meaning to read Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost’s The Shaping of Things To Come, for quite a while now. I actually purchased it from a book store in La Conner, where the owner had taken to heart the missional incarnational approach to ministry, that this book talks about.
Frost and Hirsch are proposing that the way that we have done church for the past 1500 years, is not going to work in our current post-Christendom era. They then go to give examples of new ways that people are trying to reach their communities. Including a church planter who started a shoe store in hopes of one day starting a church with the people who are buying shoes from the store. Or coffee shops that provide a place for forum’s where people can build community and discuss ideas. (That’s what the nextchapter.com was doing in La Conner).
Frost and Hirsch also talked about the different types of leaders that will be necessary to keep the church moving forward in this new era. The Christendom model of church was attractional and assumed that people should come to us for all things religious. But the New Testament model of Church was Go Out with the Gospel. The types of leaders that thrived in Christendom were the pastor/teachers. Frost and Hirsch advocate that we start to build churches around the Apostle/Prophet/Evangelist/Pastor/Teacher model.
It would be unwise to say that the church doesn’t need to change. And Frost and Hirsch provide a lot of great ideas for how the church could change. I would recommend this for anyone contemplating a church plant. It might give you some great ideas on what your church could be instead of doing the same old thing.
I think this was a very helpful book, and I started reading it before I knew that it would be one of my texts for school. So Yippee, I got this one done and out of the way.