Frontline Blog

The Forgotten Ways 1 – John Harding

Categories: Authentic Devotion,Church,Principles


As a Senior Leadership Team we’ve been huddling (leadership development / coaching circle) around Alan Hirsch’s book, ‘The Forgotten Ways‘. The book was originally written in 2006, it was a fantastic book back then, but Hirsch has re-written it with lots of new material. The first half of the book is basically an observational study of gospel movements around the world that have grown and made a significant impact in the world around them. He then identifies 6 themes or threads that they all had in common – DNA strands, his analysis of which makes up the second part of the book.

1. Jesus is Lord.

To be honest, this was the point at which I got hooked into the book. At the heart of every gospel movement are people who are living under the Lordship of King Jesus. Jesus reigning and ruling in every aspect and sphere of their lives.

Hirsch observes that often when the gospel explodes and bears fruit within a community, it is because it forces the issue of Lordship. For the Earliest Church polytheism (the belief in many gods) was the norm. So for a person to truly become a Christian and declare ‘Jesus is Lord’ required a dethroning of all other gods, whether that be Baal, Appollo, Diana or even Caesar. This rejection of the gods often came at great cost (persecution), and we see exactly the same dynamic with the rejection of the Lordship of communist regime by the Chinese underground church today.

Of course, this leads us to reflect on what are the gods of our age, of our lives. Not quite so obvious as a giant statue of Diana, the goddess of nature, in the temple of Artemis. But as we’ve reflected on it as a leadership team we convinced its idols like consumerism and radical individualism.

How do we smash down these idols? Well, it’s this is part of the reason why we speak about generosity and giving so often. It’s about making Jesus Lord of our finances. This is how we break the idol of consumerism. It’s why we talk about communities and serving. Making Jesus Lord over self and individualism. It’s why we often call people to respond to the preach, to come to the front as a way bowing the knee to the Lord Jesus.

All of history shows us that when God’s people are living under the Lordship of Jesus, that’s when radical transformation happens in families, workplaces, cities and nations.

Why not take a moment now, in your heart to surrender your life, all of it, to the Lord Jesus? Ask him to come and reign and rule in you, as he reigns and rules in heaven. And ask him to reveal to you any idols that vie for lordship in your life. How will you partner with the Holy Spirit to tear these idols down?