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Missional Spirituality: Embodying God's Love from the Inside Out Paperback – Oct 13 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (Oct. 13 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838073
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #316,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Shaw on Jan. 8 2012
Format: Paperback
Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson convincingly argue that authentic Christian spirituality is necessarily missional. In the process, they firmly bridge any gap between spiritual formation and missional identity that had thus far been evident in the rapidly growing body of missional church literature. The authors root their work in a rich soil of theological reflection which blends the careful study of scripture with a variety of relevant examples from Christian tradition, all the while remaining highly conversant with today's cultural trends and dynamics. To top it off, the authors relay many of their personal life experiences and offer a tremendous array of helpful practices, suggestions, and resources to help the reader, through the Spirit's forming grace, to "embody God's love from the inside out."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Allan Love on Nov. 15 2011
Format: Paperback
Roger and Len have provided us with a rich resource that is rooted in Scripture, informed by church history and born from the school of hard knocks - no ivory tower academics here! They have done a great service to the church by beautifully weaving together spirituality and missionality. Through the matrix of the Jesus Creed/Shema, they provide a clear pathway forward for Christ-followers to take - a pathway that will continually fuel and form the church to be a people on the move.
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Format: Paperback
MISSIONAL SPIRITUALITY
By Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson

'Missional Spirituality' places the onus directly on every Christian individual and gives a step by step process toward achieving the goal of having a heart filled with God's love. This love will then overflow to those around us around us mushrooming out to neighbors, community, church and ultimately the whole world.

Because the world is constantly changing, we need God and His Word to give us stability and enable us to move forward. We are challenged by the world's effect of the spiritual tension between good and evil as well as the separation of the sacred realm from society as a whole.

Life itself is a gift from God; a gift to be celebrated. Institutional religion can be that of living more in the head and brain than in the body. It can be used to control others producing a missional church but not a missional people.

Modern technology has taken away the knowledge of The Word, which was face to face then in print. Technology has now created individuals who have distanced themselves from the original and left the door open for perversion to creep in. While we need to learn, reflect and obey, we need to engage the culture. All believers are called to be priests empowered by the Spirit to flood the whole world with God's glory, presence and love.

'Missional Spirituality' calls us to action bringing Christ into community and communities to Christ, consistent with many of the early church that practiced religion based on baptism, communion, Scripture, prayer, Spirit and relationships, hospitality and service, community and worship.
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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wisdom for missional practice AND spiritual formation April 25 2013
By Darren Cronshaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are two writing areas that have mushroomed in the last twenty years - spiritual formation and missional church. They are not just latest fads, but two significant frameworks for renewing the church. How can we foster genuine spirituality with proven practices? And how can we revitalise the church around mission? A unique contribution of Missional Spirituality is its integration of both streams. They demonstrate that the church needs both contemplation and action together. Just as effective mission is resourced from spirituality, genuine spirituality always includes outward missional implications. Inspired by Dallas Willard, NT Wight and Robert Webber, the writers propose a missional spirituality that is framed in the Great Commandment: `A missional spirituality is an attractive and active engagement of embodied love for God and neighbour expressed from the inside out'.

The writers are Canadian church leaders passionate about walking intimately with God and communicating the love of God relevantly with their communities. Roger Helland coaches pastors of the Baptist General Conference in Alberta in missional leadership and church planting. Leonard Hjalmarson is Adjunct professor of Ministry at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago. Both have both sought to calibrate their neighbourhood involvement and spirituality around mission and reflect on their experience.

Helland and Hjalmarson explore missional spirituality from a number of key directions. They outline the disenchantment of the Enlightenment and its secularism and dualism. They tackle challenges of missional spirituality including consumerism, entitlement, church programism, extraction from the world, and navel-gazing tendencies. They unpack theological foundations for missional spirituality in the Trinity, incarnation, priesthood of all believers and the Jesus Creed or shema of the Great Commandment. They offer inspiring case studies of missional spirituality in the early church, Moravians and Methodists. And they intersperse all their chapters with stories of engaging missionally with their neighbourhoods.

The central chapters of the book outline various contemplative and missional practices. Inner devotional practices include prayer, worship, Sabbath, gratitude and humility. They appeals for openness to reenchantment and attentiveness to wonder, to "pay absolute unmixed attention" to God and the world around (p.124, quoting Simone Weil). And they urge `faith thinking' or theological reflection, especially about suffering: `Where is Jesus in this situation? How does Scripture address [it]? ... How do I let Jesus live through me to touch the lives of others around me who are hurt?' (p.152). The freshest contemplative framework is `missio reading and prayer', drawing heavily on Wesley's frameworks for biblical meditation and application. They declare some inspiration also from lectio divina, although disappointingly they say they do not know anyone who does lectio divina much.

The main strength is in its explanation of outer and missional practices, notably service, generosity, hospitality, neighbourliness and incarnational presence. The encouragement to be a good neighbour is to be a stakeholder rather than service provider in local communities, to adopt a missional interest in networks and to be present in recreational `third places'. Moreover, there is strong encouragement to seriously exegete culture as well as Scripture. Missional spirituality has to engage with the everyday life and challenges of our society and its fixations. Watching movies and understanding what lies behind reality TV is as important as church history.

The book points in helpful directions for leading local churches in missional spirituality and reshaping college curriculum to prepare spiritual missionaries . I plan to use it as an ideal textbook for a missional spirituality course. With its discussion questions and relevance for local mission and everyday spirituality, it is a valuable small group discussion guide for churches. It inspires creative ideas for modelling, mentoring and teaching missional spirituality in church and classroom.

This review originally appeared in Mission Studies, Fall 2012.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Must have book on the missional heart! July 16 2013
By Clint Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There have been hundreds of books written about the missional church movement. I might have at least a quarter of them in my personal library. This is because I think the one thing of central importance for churches is making the "missional turn" from attempting to attract people to their church to sending out their church members as missionaries and evangelist to "do church" outside the four walls of the local church. Too many churches put a heavy emphasis on gathering, but scatter with very little purpose.

At the same time, it is possible to be focused on being "evangelists", being "missional", and going out into one's community equipped to serve and reach them, and yet have very little spiritual depth as a congregation. The key as a church is to have spiritual depth, and yet at the same time have missional purpose and missional fervor. It is a challenge.

In Missional Spirituality Helland and Hjalmarson attempt to explain what a church with spiritual depth and missional energy might look like. At the beginning of the book, the authors attempt to identify the church within the world it exists in. Then, Helland and Hjalmarson strive to establish a theological foundation for a church that is externally focused. Following this, they seek to identify spiritual practices that equip believers to live their faith in the world, and to allow those believers to grow deeper and more united as a congregation. They base these practices on the Shema, or the Great Commandment. Every practice that they identify helps believers grow to love God and neighbor more powerfully and more holistically.

Missional Spirituality is both inspirational, and instructional. I was inspired page after page. And, I felt the teaching of the authors both comforted and challenged me as a Christian leader. This book just isn't a game changer, it is a life changer. I will return to it often.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good Entry Point for the Missional Conversation Feb. 8 2012
By Jason Deuman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Missional is a buzzword in the North American Church. It's a buzzword with a lot of ambiguity. What does it mean to be missional? What is a missional church? What is a missional follower of Jesus? These are all questions that church leaders are asking. And there are many resources that are trying to provide some clarity to these questions.

Missional Spirituality by Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson is one of these many books. Unlike many of the other texts that I've been reading on the subject. Missional Spirituality builds its foundation on Jesus response to the question, "What is the greatest commandment?" Jesus' reply to this question is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself."

From this response Helland and Hjalmarson begin to investigate what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. They focus on practices that help believers grow in their love for the Lord in all four of these arenas. This is important as it helps people build faith and knowledge about God and move them into living the mission of God. The authors then go into examining what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

Missional Spirituality is by no means a ground breaking revolutionary text on what the church should be doing to be more "missional". However, it is a helpful text for church leaders and non-church leaders to begin to figure out what it means to live in God's mission of grace and saving the world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Authentic Christian Spirituality is Necessarily Missional Jan. 8 2012
By Steven Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson convincingly argue that authentic Christian spirituality is necessarily missional. In the process, they firmly bridge any gap between spiritual formation and missional identity that had thus far been evident in the rapidly growing body of missional church literature. The authors root their work in a rich soil of theological reflection which blends the careful study of scripture with a variety of relevant examples from Christian tradition, all the while remaining highly conversant with today's cultural trends and dynamics. To top it off, the authors relay many of their personal life experiences and offer a tremendous array of helpful practices, suggestions, and resources to help the reader, through the Spirit's forming grace, to "embody God's love from the inside out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Missionaries Must Be Well in Spirit Dec 31 2011
By Dale Fletcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Helland and Hjalmarson remind us that to serve others, to be on mission for God, we must be whole ourselves. The chapters on heart, soul and mind are reminders that we are multi-part beings and that it's critical that we address each aspect of our beings in our self care. This books will be a great motivator to care for yourself so that you can better care for others while on mission for God, our Creator.

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