Multiplication Center

Alan Hirsch: Context

June 13, 2011

I realized we had to adopt a missionary stance in relationship to our context in the West. – Ministry in an inner city setting (Melbourne).
– Church bleached out of society.
– Mostly gays, druggies, middle class population as gentrification began. In order to reach, missiologist have to adopt a direct approach where they embrace each of the cultures of the various tribes.

We were now among the many different tribes found in Western context.
– It is sub-cultural. Sometimes cross-cultural.
– Requires we adopt a cross-cultural missionary methodology.

At the same time I was recruited to work for our denomination. I was to lead our department of missionary education and development.
– It forced me to think from a Macro perspective.
-The local setting forced me to think of it in a micro perspective (on the ground).
– The denominational/trans-local forced me to think about what was going on as Christianity was on the decline across the Western world. What factors were involved with that?
– 12% find the churches attractive. 85% of Australians never went to church. Alienated from current Christiandom expressions.
– More of the same or doing the same thing better wasn’t going to achieve significantly different results.
In America
– cultural appeal that contemporary church got to about 40% of the population.
– 60% un/post church alienated.
– Christianity is facing a crisis. – You have to BE a missionary.
– When you interpret your context as a missionary, you will adapt your methodology to suit. Become/see yourself as a missionary. Everything else will take its cue from that.

Discussion Questions:
1. Consider your ministry context. If you were approaching it from a cross-cultural missions perspective, what would you do differently from what you are currently doing? 2. How many sub-cultures can you identify in your ministry context?

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