Missional Church Resources
While the following resources may be helpful in understanding the missional church movement, the EFC does not endorse any one specific definition of the missional church, rather desiring readers invite God to speak into each situation in a personal way. Although it is growing, it can be difficult finding missional church resources specific to the Canadian context. Please let us know about any resources you have found helpful. firstname.lastname@example.org All sales using Amazon.ca support the ministry of the EFC.
Bibby, Reginald W. Restless Churches: How Canada’s Churches Can Contribute to the Emerging Religious Renaissance. © 2004 Wood Lake Books, Kelowna BC. ISBN 2-89507-518-2 According to the author, religion is making a comeback in Canada. Amidst media reports of the demise of organized religion, Bibby shows that increasing numbers of Canadian adults and youth not only are in touch with God but also are open to greater involvement in the church. Canadians are open to churches that have significance; they are drawn to churches that touch their lives spiritually, personally, and relationally. The solution lies with effective ministry, ministry that meets peoples needs. Growth [of the church] was an outcome, not a goal, of Jesus' ministry to people.
Boren, M. Scott Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community that Makes a Difference in the World. Publication date July 2010 Baker Books, Grand Rapids MI. ISBN 978-0-8010-7230-7 Small groups are a great place to connect with other churchgoers, but many wonder, is this all there is? Scott Boren thinks there is more, giving leaders and members of small groups the tools they need to make an impact on their communities. The final section of the book offers over twenty practices that groups can do to become more missional.
Camp, Bruce K. & Livingood, Ellen Design Your Impact workshop © 2002 by DualReach, Dana Point CA. Too often the 'glocal' outreach of a church is limited because the people understand it to be the responsibility of the missions team. But when God calls a congregation to adopt a strategic focus, such as a people group in their neighbourhood or across the world, the vision belongs to the second grade Sunday School class, the choir and the softball team as much as to the outreach department. Everybody's gifts and passions are needed in some way at some time; the challenge is to identify each person's role.
Cavey, Bruxy. The End of Religion: An Introduction to the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus. © 2005 Agora Imprints, Oakville ON. ISBN 0-9738843-0-4 Jesus is calling us out of religion and into spirituality. Through His death, Jesus brought about the end of religion and the beginning of relationship. Bruxy Cavey tells us to "break the exclusivity and focus on others!" "Take my yoke on you" describes two 'animals' working together in rhythmic cooperation. A yoke is a symbol of purposeful work and cooperative labour. Perhaps there are ways in which we can partner together with others in accomplishing God's mission to touch the lives of those around us.
Christianity Today International. Missional Evangelism: All Places Are Mission Fields. ã 2007 'Missional' is a popular word today; at the heart of the modern redefinition of missionality lies a focus on the mission of God. It implies that in our evangelism, we look at our culture as if we are on the mission field and ask what we can do to connect with that culture and reach those around us. This six-session study will challenge you to reach out to different cultures, ages, and those with broken lives; it will encourage you to start at the beginning—by getting to know unbelievers.
Church Planting Canada has developed a coach training program with a bias toward missional ministry. Don't miss their upcoming training events.
Cole, Neil. Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens. © 2005 Jossey Bass, San Francisco, CA ISBN-13: 978-0-7879-8129-7 ISBN-10: 0-7879-8129-X Churches have tried all kinds of ways to attract new and younger members. But there are still so many people who aren't being reached, who don't want to come to church. Leaders and laypeople everywhere are realizing that they need new and more powerful ways to help them spread God's Word. According to international church starter and pastor, Neil Cole, if we want to connect with young people and those who are not coming to church, we must go where people congregate. Cole shows readers how to plant the seeds of the Kingdom of God in the places where life happens and where culture is formed - restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, parks, locker rooms, and neighbourhoods. Organic Church offers a hands on guide for demystifying this new model of church and shows the practical steps of implementing it.
Fitch, David E. The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies. © 2005 (second printing 2007) Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. ISBN 978-0-8010-6483-8 Has the contemporary evangelical church given away much of what it means to be the body of Christ? The North American church has largely conceded its unique calling by relinquishing traditional church functions and adopting modern methods. As a result, the church's role in spiritual formation, leadership, worship, and other essential functions has become barely distinguishable from other societal institutions. Fitch offers suggestions for how the church might recover these practices in a biblically faithful manner.
Frost, Michael. Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture. © 2006 Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA ISBN: 10:1565636708 ISBN: 13:9781565636705 This book represents a biblical, Christian worldview for the emergent church. Exiles seeks to integrate all aspects of life and decision-making and to develop the characteristics of a Christian life lived intentionally within emerging postmodern culture. It presents a plea for a dynamic, life-affirming, robust Christian faith that can be lived successfully in the post-Christian world of 21st century Western society, taking such things as ecology and politics seriously and developing a framework to integrate their Christian values with every aspect of life.
Frost, Michael & Hirsch, Alan. The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church. © 2004 (fourth printing) Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA. ISBN: 1-56563-659-7 In the view of the authors, the church should be missional rather than institutional. The church should define itself in terms of its mission - to take the gospel to and incarnate the gospel within a specific cultural context. Frost and Hirsch build their case around real-life stories gathered from churches in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Canada. For Canadian readers, this is a book whose time has come! Examples point out just how varied a genuinely incarnational approach to mission can, and needs to become.
Gibbs, Eddie. LeadershipNext: Changing Leaders in a Changing Culture. © 2005 InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. ISBN: 0-8308-3283-1 Christian leaders struggle not only to acquire new skills and insights but also to unlearn what they already know. As both the church and the world change, so too must Christian leaders and their very notions of leadership must change as well. Veteran church growth expert Eddie Gibbs maps out how Christian leadership must change in light of new global realities. This incisive analysis is a comprehensive resource for current and emerging leaders serving in churches, parachurch organizations and beyond.
Hirsch, Alan. The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church. © 2006 Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids MI. ISBN 987-1-58743-164-7 "Hirsch has discovered the formula that unlocks the secrets of the ecclesial universe like Einstein's simple . . . formula [E=mc2] unlocked the secrets of the physical universe. There are some books good enough to read to the end. There are only a few books good enough to read to the end of time. The Forgotten Ways is one of them." -Leonard Sweet [from the foreword]
Hirsch, Alan and Debra. Untamed: reactivating a missional form of discipleship. © 2010 Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids MI. ISBN 978-0-8010-1343-0 In this provocative and compelling book, internationally known missiologists Alan and Debra Hirsch cast a dynamic vision of mission-shaped discipleship. Untamed exposes the idolatrous clutter that fills our lives and seeks to recapture what it means to be authentic followers of Jesus. Each chapter ends with suggested practices to help you start living out the book's principles, as well as questions for group discussion.
Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 39 The Local Church in Mission: Becoming a Missional Congregation in the Twenty-First Century Global Context © 2004 Forum for World Evangelization in Pattaya, Thailand "A New Vision, a New Heart, a Renewed Call"
Lundy, David. Borderless Church: Shaping the church for the 21st century © 2005 Authentic Media, Waynesboro GA. ISBN: 1-85078-646-1 Pastor, missionary and church leader David Lundy explores the changing face of 'doing mission' today. He offers answers to key questions such as 'How can the church better interact with the global and local community?' and 'What's a borderless church and how do we become one?' His case studies of churches around the world, engaging with the final mission frontiers, help answer these questions.
MakeYouThink® (15 minute video). Misplaced, by Shauna Simmonds, interviews young adults and informs us of their viewpoint on the church today. Watch on-line with Adobe Flash or purchase your own copy.
McLaren, Brian D. Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope. © 2007 Thomas Nelson Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee. ISBN: 978-0-7852-8936-4 (IE) How is the will of God to be done on earth, as it is in heaven? God's justice and peace replacing earth's injustice and disharmony. McLaren poses the question, "Rather than reading the Bible to extract information about how to get to heaven, what might we discover if we test an alternative hypothesis: that the Bible instead is the story of the partnership between God and humanity to save and transform all of human society and avert global self-destruction. . ." Read how Jesus' core message can infuse us with purpose and passion to address the economic, environmental, military, political, and social dysfunctions that have overtaken our world.
Moerman, Murray (Editor). Discipling Our Nation: Equipping the Canadian Church for its Mission. © 2005 Outreach Canada Ministries; Church Leadership Library, Delta, BC. ISBN 0-9694564-4-1 Moerman states, "Canada might be considered 'discipled' when each people group within each city, town and community of each province has come to be composed of a majority of fully devoted disciples of Christ." This involves the discipling of the church and the discipling of the nation. Canada is predominantly a post-Christian nation; spirituality is on the rise but not Biblical spirituality. Not only does Canada have one of the most complex ministry contexts in the world, but also the Canadian church is uniquely poised to go and minister to all nations of the world!
Nelson, Gary V. Borderland Churches: A Congregation's Introduction to Missional Living. © 2008 Chalice Press, St. Louis, Missouri. ISBN 978-0-8272-0238-2 "Nelson's great gift in this book is taking the rich theological and conceptual frameworks of the missional church and bringing them into the everyday world of ordinary congregations, daring them to embrace the precarious but exhilarating borderlands of culture 'where faith, and other faiths, and no faiths meet.'" Janet Clark, Tyndale Seminary
Newbigin, Lesslie. Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture. © 1986 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI ISBN-10: 0-8028-0176-5/ ISBN-13: 978-0-8028-0176-0 Writing from four decades of experience in Christian mission, Newbigin challenges our thinking with his insightful comment, "Neither at the beginning, nor at any subsequent time, is there or can there be a gospel that is not embodied in a culturally conditioned form of words. For the gospel is about the Word made flesh." The church is not meant to call men and women out of the world to a safe religious enclave but to call them out in order to send them back as agents of God's kingship! [John 20:20-21] Seven essentials for the recovery by the church of its proper distinction from the responsibility for this secular culture will challenge your thinking - and your response.
Posterski, Don & Nelson, Gary. Future Faith Churches: Reconnecting with the Power of the Gospel for the 21st Century. © 1997 Wood Lake Books, Winfield, BC. ISBN 1-55145-098-4 On the basis of in-depth interviews and focus groups with clergy and church members from churches representing evangelicals and mainline Protestants and Catholic churches, Posterski & Nelson share their findings from a Canadian perspective. Future Faith churches match words with deeds; they practice soul care and social care; they love God and they have compassion for people. The fourteen Canadian churches studied practice a holistic Christian faith that is biblical, relevant, and attractive both to their communities and to the wider world.
Roxburgh, Alan J. The Sky is Falling: Leaders Lost in Transition. A Proposal for Leadership Communities to take New Risks for the Reign of God. © 2005 ACI Publishing, Eagle, ID. ISBN 0-9777184-0-9 For ten years, as a pastor and teacher, Alan Roxburgh has been involved in a discussion about changes in the Western church that has slowly become known as the 'missional' conversation. As culture transforms, so must our language to engage it. The missional conversation might have died and disappeared like so many other concepts and movements of the church had there not been such a strong underlying sense at the time that something was indeed amiss about Christian life and identity in our society. The values that were central to our churches in years past had drastically changed. We are in a period of massive change and upheaval. In this context, the missional conversation has given us useful language to discuss and address the challenges facing what it means to be a 'Christian' in our time.
Roxburgh, Alan & Boren, M. Scott Introducing the Missional Church: What it is, Why it matters, How to become one. ©2009 Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. ISBN 978-0-8010-7212-3 Ours is a post-Christian culture, making it necessary for church leaderrs to think like missionaries right here at home. Two leading voices in the missional movement provide an accessible introduction, explaining how the movement developed, why it's important, and how churches can become more missional.
Roxburgh, Alan J. & Romanuk, Fred. The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World. ©2006 Jossey-Bass, San Francisco CA. ISBN 13:978-0-7879-8325-3 ISBN 10: 0-7879-8325-X The question is familiar: "What do you mean by missional church?" Roxburgh & Romanuk clearly state that "A missional church is a community of God's people who live into the imagination that they are, by their very nature, God's missionary people as a demonstration of what God plans to do in and for all of creation in Jesus Christ. Leadership is about cultivating the kind of environment that frees God's people to feel again the winds of the Spirit and to sail the holy gusts of the Spirit's direction in waters where we no longer have good, clear, definitive maps. At the core of this process is the leader's readiness to risk engagement in dialogue, listening and experimentation." To help put feet to this vision, the book ends with a valuable Pastor/Leader Survey - a 360o feedback tool to evaluate self-readiness, and the readiness of the board/staff, congregation, and community.
Sider, Ronald J.; Olson, Philip N.; Unrau, Sheidi Rolland. Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching your Community with Good News and Good Works. © 2002 Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. ISBN: 0-8010-9133-0 Is your church meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of your community? Churches That Make a Difference explores the biblical mandate and how-tos of developing and maintaining an effective holistic ministry that combines evangelism and social outreach. This comprehensive, practical resource will help your congregation embrace change, resolve conflict, overcome social barriers, and move into a life-changing outreach of holistic ministry.
Sine, Tom. The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time. ã 2008 InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. ISBN: 978-0-8308-3384-9 Tom Sine is the master of connecting the dots, those little places where God's conspiracy is alive in the shadows of empires. His motivation for writing is to see a church that is one as God is one, a people that mirror the peculiar and countercultural politics of God's kingdom, a body that looks more like Jesus than the ole time religion of the past. It is books like this one that revive our imaginations to the things that are turning God on in the world. This book is a gift to the church.
Sinclair, Daniel. A Vision of the Possible: Pioneer Church Planting in Teams. © 2006 Authentic, Waynesboro, GA. ISBN: 13: 978-1-932805-56-7 Daniel Sinclair thoroughly covers practical whys and how-to's concerning pioneer church planting among unreached people groups, with applicable discussions from Scripture. Its emphases include resistant environments and church planting in teams. It also includes the newly revised seven "Pioneer Church Planting Phases." Those on the field and those in preparation will find this book immensely practical.
Stetzer, Ed & Putnam, David.Breaking The Missional Code: When Churches Become Missionaries in their Communities. © 2006 B&H Publishing Group. ISBN: 0805443592, 9780805443592 One size does not fit all, but there is a code that must be broken for all churches to grow and remain effective. Breaking the Missional Code provides expert insight on church culture and church vision casting, plus case studies of successful missional churches. "We have to recognize that there are cultural barriers (in addition to spiritual ones) that blind people from understanding the gospel," the authors write. "Our task is to find the right way to break through those cultural barriers without removing the spiritual and theological ones."
Van Gelder, Craig. The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit. © 2000 Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. ISBN: 0-8010-9096-2 In his foreword, Richard J. Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, describes North America as "a mission field where effective ministry requires cross-cultural communication." Van Gelder leads us to rediscover the church with a missiological understanding, to learn afresh that God's intent is for this redeemed people to be agents of the ministry of reconciliation being offered to the world, linking the missionary nature of the church with an understanding of the mission of the Triune God.The church is missionary by nature, created by the Spirit to participate fully in the redemptive reign of God. To be true to its nature, the church's practice of ministry must contribute to the formation and building of community. Leadership in the church is 'gift-shaped' [Ephesians 4]; the focus is not on position but on ministry.
Walsh, Brian J. & Middleton, Richard. The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview © 1984 Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. ISBN: 0-87784-973-0 Science, technology and economic growth motivate our society. Each is carried on with little regard for Christian concerns. Where is Christianity? Walsh and Middleton yearn for change. They long to see Christianity penetrate the structures of society, reforming and remolding our culture. From scholarship in the universities to politics, business and family life, the Christian vision can transform our world. This book is a passionate call to Christians ...