Over the past several years I have read every book that Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost have written individually and collectively. I have probably been most influenced by Hirsch’s “The Forgotten Ways“, Frost’s book titled “Exiles” and their collaborative work, “The Shaping of Things to Come.” Having just finished their latest book, “The Faith of Leap“, I believe it may just be their best work to date. They present a theology of risk, adventure and courage that will challenge the reader to step boldly into participating in God’s mission with a renewed sense of purpose.
One element that I have always appreciated about Hirsch/Frost is the way they bring together applicable material/research from a wide range of disciplines (sociology, science, business, history, etc.) and filter it through a theological/biblical lens. This book is no different. Every chapter is replete with wonderful insight, illustrations, and encouragement to engage in mission in a way that will propel the reader out of the typical self-concern to other-concern, from “holy huddle to venturing out into God’s world.” After reading the first chapter I tweeted that it alone was worth the price of the book. However, reading further, I discovered that I felt the exact same way with each subsequent chapter.
To fully engage in God’s mission and live the life He intends for Jesus followers, we must embrace risk and adventure. Hirsch/Frost provide excellent instruction on a range of topics to help the reader do just that. They unpack the critical issue of developing “communitas” rather than simply “community.” They deal with the importance of overcoming “risk aversion” and the dangers of individualism in the realm of risk taking, and the related damage caused by our pursuit of safety and security. They provide practical insight for a church to move from complacency to developing a sense of urgency for God’s mission.
There is also an extremely helpful discussion in one of the final chapters titled “Missional Catalysis” in which Hirsch/Frost illustrate perfectly the need to understand mission as the organizing, catalyzing (and even revitalizing) principle of the church. There is much in each of the seven chapters to encourage the reader to understand risk and adventure as an indispensible component of a life with Jesus. You will certainly not be disappointed with this excellent addition to the missional church conversation.