Alan led part of a breakout with Bob Roberts. Alan's work has been driven by his obsession with one question: How did the church grow from 25,000 believers in A.D. 100 to over 20 million by A.D. 300, all the while having no buildings, no attractional services and facing persecution? His study of the church in China provides answers.
Six elements of mDNA (mission DNA):
- Jesus is Lord - distilled everything to single core when professional pastors and theologians were removed form the picture in China - Jesus becomes the center and modeling Jesus becomes the goal
- Missional Incarnational Impulse - as in Acts, the church is pushed outward as a sent people - all great ideas spread like viruses - God is a missionary and the church is a sub-set of mission - not the imposition of another culture but incarnational
- Apostalic Environments - apostalic in that it generates new churches and seeks to hold them together at the same time (think Paul's missionary journeys and his epistles) - the western idea of pastor/teachers leading the church is a maintenance model that will not generate significant mission - the church needs missional leadership systems (servants, not CEO's)
- Disciple-making - obsessed with disciple-making - a growing capacity to live the Word - in the west we've lost legitimacy because we know the Word but don't live it
- Organic Systems - more like the networks of terror organizations than the Vatican
- Communitas, not Community - communitas gathers around challenge, adventure or ordeal - from friends to comrades - a band of brothers or fellowship of the ring - to survive have to band together in a new way