I need to come out and say it: I really love Alan Hirsch, his writing, his heart, and his passion for seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ enflamed in those who read his stuff. I've read everything he has written and the message is consistent: Fall back in love with Jesus, passionately engage new paradigms of spreading the gospel, and creatively seek fresh missional expressions of Christian living.
Right Here, Right Now is another strong examination of what it takes to become a fresh, missional expression of the bride of Jesus.
In this book, Hirsch provides the "nerdy" theological overview prior to each section, and makes his stamp through "fly-bys" on approximately every other page. Lance Ford, the co-author, provides the extremely practical and applicable expressions of missional living.
I love this combination because so often, the nerdy "theologian" inside all of us gets stuck in the theoretical and fails to apply the thinking to everyday living (I'm confessing here). This book, however, challenges a person to think deeply about what it takes to live missionally all the while pressing people into extremely practical versions of living.
Personally, I was challenged to:
* Create more community and permanence. I need to reach out to our neighbors and set aside more time to eat with "strangers."
* Adopt a single mom family. I love this idea.
* Simply engage in everyday encounters. Sometimes I fail to look past the check-out clerk or the bank teller because I'm thinking of something else. Instead, we need to simply smile, converse, and love on the people right in front of us.
The one side I slightly disagree with is his critique of the attractional model of church development. Attractional, they write, equals extractional. Yes, this CAN be true, but all "attractional" does not need to mean "extractional." To be attractional doesn't mean we must pull people out of their current social contexts AS LONG AS we are pushing this message of "stay where you are" and "go be the church right where you live."
Whatever the case, read this book...Especially if you have never read any of Hirsch's stuff before. I pray that God will continue to give a platform to Hirsch to speak, write, and spread the good, good love of Jesus Christ wherever he goes.
Keep writing Alan, and everyone else, keep reading and applying!