Alan Hirsch: Organic Systems | VIDEO

Verge Missional Community Conference – Intro Video

Alan Hirsch: Organic Systems

Organic descriptions of the church abound in scripture. Images such as body, field, yeast, seeds, trees and vines are plentiful. An organic or living systems approach seeks to structure the common life of an organization around the rhythms and structures that mirror life itself. From there we can try to emulate as closely as possible this innate capacity of living systems to develop high levels of organization and adapt to varying conditions. Relating a living system approach to church connects with the idea that every group of God’s people has everything within them needed to adapt and thrive in any setting.

Movements that reach exponential impact and growth all demonstrate at these characteristics: they have a transformative vision of the world, they structure organically in networks, power and function are distributed to the outermost levels of the organization and therefore they can spread virally, and they are committed to reproducing and to reproducibility.

Keys to Understanding

  • We believe that our message is for the healing and transformation of our world and we are obligated to deliver it
  • Our organizational structure is as simple as possible and can be easily reproduced
  • We operate in networked structures, decentralized and comprised of many different elements within a system
  • Our community has an innate capacity to reproduce, allowing for rapid multiplication, empowering mission and releasing movements
  • The approach to organization is structured around the common life of the group and the rhythms of life itself
  • The central task of leadership is to bring the various elements of the system into meaningful communication and relationship


About The Author

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Founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network. Alan is also part of the leadership team of Christian Associates, a missional church planting agency with focus on Western Europe. Known for his innovative approach to mission, Alan is a teacher and key mission strategist for churches across the western world. His popular book with Michael Frost The Shaping of Things to Come is widely considered to be a seminal text on mission. Alan’s recent book The Forgotten Ways, has quickly become a key reference for missional thinking, particularly as it relates to movements. His recent books include ReJesus, Right Here Right Now, On The Verge and his newest book called The Permanent Revolution. His experience in leadership includes leading a local church movement among the marginalized as well as heading up the Mission and Revitalization work of his denomination. Alan is and adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary and lectures frequently throughout Australia, Europe, and the U.S.

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