By Jacob Dodson
Wooster Mennonite Church

debra-hirsch3alan-hirsch2One of the highlights of the Year of Mission is the pre-ACA missional training event with Alan and Debra Hirsch. You may have seen their names in missional books or Ohio Conference publications, but here is some biographical information about them. Alan was born in South Africa and grew up in Cape Town. As an adult, he moved to Australia, where he experienced a powerful change in his life through the Holy Spirit. It was in Australia that he met and married Debra and they began a life of ministry together. They have served together at South Melbourne Church of Christ, Churches of Christ Victoria and Tasmania Conference, and Forge Mission Training Network.

Since moving to the United States much of their work has focused on developing training systems for innovative missional leadership and movements. Developing missional DNA in churches is of vital importance to Alan and Debra. Their writings describe missional DNA as encompassing six areas: Christology, discipleship, incarnational mission, apostolic environment, organic systems, and community.

When Alan and Debra come for the training event in Kidron they will help Ohio Conference churches understand how to be places of welcome and belonging, cross and remove barriers that separate people, inspire individuals to think and live missionally, respond well to the broader culture’s approach to sexuality and other issues, and ground mission and fellowship in Christ and the gospel. Please consider attending this training event. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from two innovative and effective mission strategists.