The second half of my week in Spain was spent at Montserrat–a 1000 year old Benedictine community north of Barcelona. The setting was incredible. The focus of the time was a conference on Mission and Innovation within the church. Alan Hirsch, coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come, was the guest lecturer. Representatives from some nine different European countries and the U.S. were present.
Hirsch laid a foundation for why he believes that the current model of church will not be effective in reaching the 80-85% of the unreached peoples of the world. He cited statistics
showing the rapid decline of the current established church–noting that the current models are that of church growth and the attracitonal model.
Hirsch argued for six core elements of missional DNA that he feels are essential if the church is to survive and be effective in today’s postmodern setting: first and foremost, the clear biblical principle that Jesus is Lord; second, a Missional Icarnational Impulse; third, an Apostolic environment; fourth, Disciple Making; fifth, Organic Systems; and sixth, Communitas.
There were some great exchanges within the group as we sought together to figure out what it might take to become a more missional movement in Western Europe and the U.S. More later on each of the core elements.