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Work with Deb Hirsch at Praxis Gathering '16: Shaping Disciples for Movement

Discipleship is a lost love in our culture of “Go Big or Go Home.”
At Praxis Gathering 2016, however, we are gathering to recover the act and art of discipleship, and we want you to join us.
This unique annual church planting experience combines real-time practice with rich theology and deep reflection. Participants of all backgrounds, denominations and ecclesial styles will join together to plummet deep into the hands-on work of shaping disciples in their neighborhoods and networks. Join the V3 Movement, leading missiologists and hundreds of passionate practitioners like yourself this September to be equipped, nourished and renewed for a life of intentional, place-based discipleship.

Meet Deb Hirsch

Deb Hirsch embodies the missional practitioner. She cofounded the Forge Mission Training Network, serves as a Missio Alliance board member and has helped lead church planting movements in Australia, Europe and the Americas. We are blessed to welcome Deb back to Praxis this year. In addition to her extensive experience with place-based missiology and practice, Deb speaks, counsels and writes on the issues that are most pressing in our culture and the life of the church. In fact, what could be more culturally relevant right now than conversations about gender identity and sexuality and how they relate to the church and discipleship?

The Missionary

Deb primarily defines herself as a missionary. For sixteen years she and her husband, Alan, led a missional church in Melbourne, Australia. After coming to America and leading a church in Los Angeles for several years, she found that the missional life was opening doors for the spread of the missional message. Now she teaches all over the world on missional-incarnational practices, using the very identity of God as missionary to inform a very practical theology.
In 2010, Deb and Alan co-authored the book Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship, a fantastic resource in which Deb’s history in social work and experience in community development lend themselves to a better understanding of what missional church and relational discipleship look like in practice.
Deb on Missional Discipleship

The Author and Speaker

Presciently, last year Deb published Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality (Intervarsity Press), a work that “reflects her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations about sexuality into the context of the church.” Twenty-five years of counseling and work in this arena provide an especially grounded depth to the book and her presentations on this timely subject. Redeeming Sex has been widely praised for its bold treatment of topics that are often neglected in the broader Christian conversation.
“Nothing has exposed the gap between the church and the broader society quite like the cultural argument over sexuality. Relationships, identities, orientations and even seemingly straightforward concepts such as gender have cut battle lines between the church and the world. In the fog of war and the cloud of conflict, it’s increasingly hard to see our way clearly. There is hope, however. Debra Hirsch has seen it firsthand―in meaningful lifelong relationships with LGBT friends and neighbors, in Christian fellowships and in movements that have held a concern for people created in God’s image and a high view of the Bible’s teaching on sexuality in constructive tension. When you consider the world from the perspective of God’s kingdom mission, it turns out the smoke clears and a redemptive imagination takes root. Discover a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honors God and offers good news to the world” (Amazon description).
C. Christopher Smith of Relevant Magazine says of Hirsch’s book, “This book demonstrates an unwavering Christ-like love for all humanity, and carves out a space for open conversation about sexuality. It flies in the face of the escalating culture wars of our day and invites us to imagine a Church of the future that is shaped by the Gospel virtues of love and unity.”
And Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church, endorses Hirsch’s work with these words: “I can’t think of a person I’d rather listen to give us biblical, Jesus-lens insight—out of the mixture of opinions, confusion, joy, difficulties, grittiness, honesty, hurts, healing, reality, questions, wonder and beauty of this topic—than my friend Deb Hirsch. I believe this is going to totally connect with the hearts of so many needing to move beyond the usual explanations or ways this discussion normally happens as we rethink, rediscover and redeem sexuality.”
Debra Hirsch Discusses Redeeming Sex

Although Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality has taken the bulk of her conversational capacity in the past year, her passion for the missional-incarnational life remains her beating heart, and we can’t wait to hear her discuss the junction of mission, discipleship and the important cultural issues of our time this September. Deb is someone you don’t want to miss at Praxis Gathering 2016. Be sure to keep up with her wit and wisdom on Facebook and Twitter.
[Tweet “Deb Hirsch is someone you don’t want to miss at Praxis Gathering 2016!”] “I wanna work with Debra Hirsch at Praxis Gathering 2016!”

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