DISCUSS Alan Hirsch’s message on Missional Velocity using the guide below:
1. Hirsch explains that the longer we are a part of a church community, the more our meaningful connections with people outside of the church tend to fade. Have you observed this in your own life? If so, how? How does this get Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost “backwards”?
2. Hirsch says the gospel spreads on relational grounds. What does this mean?
3. Hirsch explained the concept of “Cultural Distance.” Who are you most equipped to reach in the world? People from other cultures? Or people from your own? Certainly, we can and should evangelize anyone we can, but where does it make the most sense to focus our attention in daily life?
Have you ever observed Christians who are eager to reach people outside of their culture but avoid evangelizing those closest to them? Or have you ever done this in your own life? Why do you think this happens?
4. To be missional is simply to live on purpose as a disciple sent to make disciples in the midst of everyday life. We follow Jesus and do what he is doing right here, right now. Hirsch says, “The church is a sent people. There is no such thing as an unsent Christian; we are all missionaries. Therefore, we are under obligation to take the message out to where people are at.” Did anyone ever come and meet you where you were at? What difference did it make in your life?
5. Many people are interested in God, Jesus, or spirituality, but they feel differently about church. Have you ever felt the same way? Do you observe this in the people around you? How?
6. Hirsch explains that growing, healthy churches can have a strong, powerful impact, but institutions can’t possibly reach everyone, or bring every person into their doors. What is the most effective way to be reached with the gospel? By a church advertisement, or a person you know? What does this mean for your everyday life as a disciple?
7. The best way to meet Jesus is through a Jesus-follower. The answer to reaching the lost, it seems, is not to create bigger, better churches, but healthier, holier disciples.
Why is it tempting to focus on nicer buildings or programs, instead of on creating healthy Jesus followers?
How does focusing on making healthy, holy disciples impact church communities?
8. If we are living as missionaries right here in our everyday life, we need to be with people, know them, and learn from them. Rather than presume everyone should conform to how we live out our faith, we understand that there are many diverse expressions of faith within the church, and we shouldn’t have to give up all of our cultural connections to be welcomed into a faith community. We don’t all have to look and act the same way, and yet there are many things that should be consistent throughout the Body of Christ.
What are some examples of negotiables and non-negotiables when it comes to living as a disciple? What things should be evident in every believer’s life? What kinds of practices will vary? Why do we need both unity and diversity in the church?
9. It’s easy to get confused when Christians talk about things like discipleship, or living missionally. Let’s keep it simple. Come up with your own clear definitions below:
What is a disciple?
What does it mean to live on mission with Jesus?
ASSIGNMENT: If you haven’t done so already, invite someone onto the Discipleship Pathway
this week. Come ready to discuss any updates or questions you may have with your disciple next week.