Alan wrote this book about 3 years before I met him in Vancouver. This little book is an incredible introduction to the imagination of those on a missional journey. To be quite honest, I never got this book's message while working with Alan at West Vancouver Baptist Church. I was too arrogant. I thought I knew how the church should operate, how it should work. I had the model down and I assumed that Alan's perspective was just a simple advancement of what I saw as THE biblical way of doing church.
But getting into the imagination of this book has baptized me into a new view of the Gospel and the purpose of the church in this world. This book challenges the arrogance of the church that is based on the assumption that we know that the world needs, that evangelism is giving people answers to questions whether or not they are asking them. We have a package that is wrapped up in multiple layers of boxes and paper, which we have substituted for the Gospel. Tradition, church practices, models for church success, leadership structures, etc. all are wrapped around the Gospel which generate a sense that we have the answers for those outside of the church organization. We have perverted the Gospel with our church stuff.
We have failed to actually listen to what is going on in our world. We do not take the time to engage our context and enter into dialogue with those outside the church. And when we do, we go with a "plan for their lives."
Lord, develop this imagination within me.