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Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One [Paperback]

Alan Roxburgh , M. Boren

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2009 Allelon Missional Series
Many pastors and church leaders have heard the term "missional" but have only a vague idea of what it means, let alone why it might be important to them. But what does it actually mean? What does a missional church look like and how does it function? Two leading voices in the missional movement here provide an accessible introduction, showing readers how the movement developed, why it's important, and how churches can become more missional.

Introducing the Missional Church demonstrates that ours is a post-Christian culture, making it necessary for church leaders to think like missionaries right here at home. Focusing on a process that allows a church to discern its unique way of being missional, it guides readers on a journey that will lead them to implement a new set of missional practices in their churches. The authors demonstrate that living missionally is about discerning and joining God's work in the world in order to be a witness to God's kingdom on earth.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 1 edition (Nov. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801072123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801072123
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

An Accessible Introduction to the Missional Church Movement

Ours is a post-Christian culture, making it necessary for church leaders to think like missionaries right here at home. In Introducing the Missional Church, 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 and Boren offer the clearest explication of missional thinking. I believe this book is the very best on the missional church. Highly recommended." --Ryan Bolger, associate professor, Church in Contemporary Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary; coauthor, Emerging Churches

"If you've ever wondered what 'missional' means and what real difference it makes in the life of the church, this is the place to start."--John R. Franke, Clemens Professor of Missional Theology, Biblical Seminary; author, Manifold Witness

"A wonderful, imaginative exploration into what it means for the church to be missional. Roxburgh and Boren navigate through the defining issues and then give us concrete means for leading our churches through the transition. It is the book we have sorely needed."--David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, Reclaimingthemission.com

"Introducing the Missional Church supplies one's journey with God into the uncharted waters of being God's people in a changing culture."--C. Gene Wilkes, PhD, senior pastor, Legacy Church, Plano, Texas; author, Jesus On Leadership


Alan J. Roxburgh is a teacher, trainer, and consultant who works with Allelon and framing resources for the missional church internationally. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Missional Church, The Missional Leader, and Reaching a New Generation.

M. Scott Boren is one of the pastors at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a trainer, a consultant, and the author of The Relational Way and How Do We Get There from Here? He works with Allelon in developing training materials on the missional church.

About the Author

Alan J. Roxburgh is a teacher, trainer and consultant who works with Allelon and internationally framing resources for the missional church. He coordinates an international project involving leaders from twelve nations who are examining leadership formation in a globalized world. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Missional Church, The Missional Leader and Leadership, Liminality and the Missionary Congregation, and Reaching a New Generation. He and his wife Jane live in Vancouver, Canada, and have three grown children. He can be reached at his website, www.roxburghmissionalnet.com.

M. Scott Boren is one of the pastors at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a trainer, consultant and the author of The Relational Way and How Do We Get There From Here? He works with Allelon in developing training materials on the missional church. He shares life with his wife Shawna and their four children. He can be reached at www.scottboren.com.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and readable Dec 2 2009
By G. Allan Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One wonders, with all that has been written over the past decade on the missional church through books, blogs, websites, and articles - can anything new truly be added to the missional conversation? After reading through, Introducing the Missional Church by Roxburgh and Boren, the answer is clearly yes. They resist the temptation to define the missional church with simplicity, precision and straightforwardness (and make a great case as to why), but rather paint of colorful portrait of what the missional church looks like. The metaphor they use to describe the missional church is that of a river with three powerful currents: mystery, memory and mission. After reading this section I found myself somewhat freed from my modernistic tendencies to define the missional journey logically and pragmatically. Furthermore, they clearly show in numerous ways what the missional church is not - such as, a missional church is not simply about becoming external. Those already engaged in the missional conversation will find familiar terrain such as: the attractional - missional contrast, reconsidering the nature of our context (that it is truly a mission field), rethinking the Gospel through the Missio Dei lens, and reimagining the church via a kingdom framework. I appreciated their discussion on space and place spirituality, and that the missional journey is to be concerned with place spirituality. Part 3 of the book is focused on the leadership piece of the missional journey - how do we translate the discussion into action. Those having read, The Missional Leader by Roxburgh and Romanuk will find repeated material, but material written in a much less technical, heady manner. Whether one is already well versed in the missional discussion, or just a newbie - Introduing the Missional Church is a must read, and does indeed move the discussion further ahead. Do get the book!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book's strength is what it isn't, not what you think it will be Dec 27 2009
By Randall G. Neighbour - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The authors of this book invest many pages of the text explaining why it's so hard to succinctly define the missional church. In fact, they take a whole chapter to explain what it isn't to help readers figure out what it is! I learned one thing with my first read: it's not attractional.

My takeaway from this book was that a missional church is filled with individuals who are passionate about being in and extending God's kingdom in unique ways. It's certainly not a program or a model one can hastily create in an existing church and expect instantaneous results. Many of the examples of missional living the authors cite surround individuals who discover ministry opportunities in their communities and start doing ministry, not about churches who started a new missions initiative. Nor can a pastor or church launch a program to make members or small groups of members "missional." It's all about empowering people to be missional and effectively supporting their efforts.

For some, this book will be a very frustrating read. They want a straightforward recipe for moving consumer Christians out of their comfy chairs and into missional activities...and it cannot be found in this book. Others will be pleased with the absence of "six ways to become missional" or a list of practical how-to's for small groups to move into missional living.

This is far more of a "how to be" than "what to do" kind of book. I will read it again soon because I want to be a missional believer and pastor a missional church. What Roxburgh and Boren offer concerning the missional church is somewhat elusive, but still very good--and very different from what you might have read from Ed Stetzer Or Reggie McNeil. Boren and Roxbourgh suggest experimenting in different ways to introduce it to your church to see if it emerges naturally.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to the Missional Church March 24 2010
By Matthew Morine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was excited about reading this book. I heard some good reports about it. The book is good in some ways. There is a good section on the nature of the missional church. Of course, there is no definition, but to the authors, this is an incorrect way of labeling the church. They do build a good case on how labels and terms can distort or change the nature of something. There is also an excellent chapter on what the missional church is not. In this chapter, the authors explore some of the misrepresentations that are being promoted as a missional church.

The next section provides the model for transformation to a missional church. The authors have a lot of experience working with churches during this time of change. This is a good model and in "Missional Leader" one of the authors provides this model with more of a leader's perspective in mind. The final section concerning the role of the board is excellent. Of course in the churches of Christ, we have elders, but this model will work with them just as well. You cannot move in this direction unless the leadership is on the team.

This was a good book to introduce the missional church, it was not as good for me because at this point I am writing my dissertation on this stuff, so the material was mostly a repeat. If you have little experience with the missional church, this is a good starting point, but there are even better books out there for deeper reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but... Dec 13 2010
By Jamie Arpin-Ricci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is, in many ways, one of the best introductions to what it means to be a missional church. It is highly readable, thorough without being overwhelming and accessible in every sense. I made a list of people I wanted to share the book with as I read, a sure sign of a good book.

My only criticism is that there is too much in the application of the book that seem reliant on programs offered by the authors. Not only did it leave me feeling like I hadn't got my moneys worth, the cost of the programs quickly made it clear that only certain kinds of churches (not mine) could afford such a next step.

Over all, though, it is a good book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good intro despite flaws Jan. 15 2013
By Corey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm academically studying the missional church, so I've read 101 books on the topic. This is probably one of the most accessible yet adequate introductions on the topic I have come across. The authors assume that the reader has little or not exposure to the topic aside from hearing about it. They also assume that the reader has sensed something has to change in the church but doesn't know what. They do not shy away from being clear, forceful, and convicting about how the culture has changed and why "church" as it has long been known isn't working anymore. It is clear that the authors have had extensive contact with what social research has started to call "the nones" and are blunt about the fact that they are not coming to church no matter what we do or how hip it is.

However, this book suffers some of the same flaws as other missional church books, and especially Alan Roxburgh's other works. First of all, the authors are very good at identifying what's wrong but do not know how to help church leadaers go about change. They tried very hard in this book to give very practical steps, but these steps are very modernistic (ironically, given the rest of the book) and assume that the church has done zero investigation so far, which is not true of most churches. Secondly, like most missional church books, it identifies a problem for which missional is not a solution. This book mentions the now well-known statistics about church decline, etc. But I continue to question why such books even bring up these facts when the missional church conversation holds no solutions.

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