“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” – Charles Spurgeon
Last night I finally finished The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. When I first picked up the book off of my dad’s shelf two summer’s ago, life was rather ordinary. It wasn’t boring, but it definitely didn’t feel extraordinary.
Basically, I went to church because that’s what Christians did in order to grow and encourage other believers. I loved Jesus with all of my heart, but during that time something always felt like it was missing—a constant feeling that said, is this it?
When I picked up this book, which at the time felt entirely “random,” (obviously it was the Holy Spirit at work) the first few pages drew me into a completely different view of life. I was absolutely astonished by the timeless truths it spoke of, and perhaps that’s the crazy thing: the “forgotten ways” didn’t seem like some new, hip way of being a Christian. To the contrary, it literally awakened something already buried inside of my relationship with God, something so true and real and authentic to the Christian faith.
When I read the Bible, I was always amazed by the early church and their lifestyle. They were bold, adventurous, loving, disciplined, led by the Holy Spirit, and fruitful. They were on a mission, and each and every disciple was tasked to make disciples.
But when I looked at most modern churches, I couldn’t help but see the absence of these characteristics. There always seemed to be a disconnect to the church and the world, like they were separated, and a Christian was forced to live dualistically. Church seemed more like a refuge than a kingdom advancing. Only full-time missionaries lived their lives to spread the good news of Jesus wherever they went and bring hope to the hopeless.
I always wanted to be a missionary.
After reading this book, though, I believe every Christian should and ought to be a missionary, right where they are. If we all began to look at ourselves this way, the world would never be the same.
So whether you’re disillusioned by the church, love it, hate it, or simply want an intriguing read, then I highly recommend The Forgotten Ways. In it, you’ll rediscover the core to Christianity and Jesus’ mission.
And life will never be the same.