The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch is a book about 'reactivating the missional church'. Alan calls us back to the beginning – to what he calls 'apostolic DNA'. This apostolic genius has six ingredients: Jesus as Lord, disciple-making, missional-incarnational impulse, apostolic environment, organic systems, and communitas.
Alan critiques contemporary church growth models, making a call for a movement away from what he calls the 'attractional' model approach. This has generated quite a bit of discussion and debate. Click here to read an article in Christianity Today by Dan Kimball (read the comments section too), as well as a response from Alan.
For me, I see the spreading of the gospel taking place through two approaches: 'go and tell' (Matt.28:18-20) and 'come and see' (John 1:40-42; 4:29-41). I think it is 'both/and' not 'either/or.' Of course, the 'come and see' approach only works if people are doing the 'go and tell' step first. We need to begin thinking and acting more like missionaries, even in our Western world context.
Alan is an insightful analyst of church and culture. This book is not a light read but it is an excellent discussion starter for where the church is now and where it should be going. Click here to visit Alan's blog.