Missional Spirituality: Embodying God's Love from the Inside Out Paperback – Oct 1 2011
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"Missional Spirituality delivers on its title, reconnecting missional practice and the spirituality needed to sustain such practice. Written from the Pietist tradition but drawing on many sources, and set in the context of profound cultural transition, this book provides a theological foundation for a truly missional spirituality and a range of practices to earth this spirituality in daily life."--Stuart Murray Williams, founder of Urban Expression
"Somewhere between emergence and resurgence lies an insistent call to mission. Rather than choosing sides in the growing debate between whether the church should be more Word-centered or more culturally focused, Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson call us all to our mutual concern for gospel mission. The spiritual life is lived in relationship on earth as it is in heaven. Roger and Len help us greatly by showing us how. Full of examples and ideas, Missional Spirituality challenges us to a more faithful and more fruitful Christian life."--Kenton C. Anderson, president, Northwest Baptist Seminary, and author, Choosing to Preach
"After years of endless theoretical conversations about 'missional imagination, ' Roger and Len take us to where we need to begin: a missional spirituality that creates the practices necessary for imagination and mission to emerge."--Gary Nelson, author, Borderland Churches, and president, Tyndale Seminary
"Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson offer us a guide to a spirituality that is deep and yet practical, mystical (in the best sense of the word) and yet missional. They cite many authors, and yet can boil the information in each chapter down so as to end with a series of exercises and discussion questions that will lead the reader into the depth of spiritual life that they commend. I recommend this book to all who do not want to escape the world, but rather want to engage and subvert the world from a life rooted and grounded in the trinitarian life of God."--Peter H. Davids, Houston Baptist University
"Doesn't spirituality end up in navel-gazing Doesn't mission end up in spiritual burn out No and no.?Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson show us that the biblical vision of Christianity is indeed a missional spirituality."--Todd Hunter, author, Christianity Beyond Belief, bishop, Anglican Mission in the Americas
"Roger and Len have provided something that is urgently needed: a contemporary guide to Christian spirituality that is integrated with the missional identity and practice of the church. And what is so encouraging is that they provide theological foundations to their study, draw on the spiritual wisdom of earlier movements in the life of the church and outline distinctive practices that can mark the life of the Christian in community. Equally significant, they give particular attention to the spiritual yearnings of this generation. The result is an invaluable resource for those who shape congregational life and witness."--Gordon T. Smith, president of reSource Leadership International
"Until we deal with the question of spiritual formation, 'missional church' will remain a lot of talk. Missional Spirituality addresses this issue for the church in North America. It's an intense and lively study that covers lots of ground. Rooting their study in the Great Commandment, Scripture, history and the manifold literature of mission, Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson push us through theology and practice to real life. We learn how to become missionaries, not just talk about it. Highly compelling. I recommend it for all who want to explore what it means to embody God's love from the inside out."--David Fitch, Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, and author of The End of Evangelicalism?
"Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson have gifted us with a well-crafted, multidimensional, life-challenging volume in their Missional Spirituality. The excellent scholarship is matched equally with an inspirational voice. The resulting combination is compelling and convicting at the same time. Take time to let this book read you."--Reggie McNeal, author of Missional Renaissance
"I found myself saying, 'Yes, yes, yes, ' as I read Missional Spirituality. So many books on spirituality are focused on self-improvement and private pietistic devotion, and they often leave me cold and uninspired. Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson helpfully reconnect spirituality and mission, believing all truly Christian spiritual formation to be for the sake of the world. They take Jesus as their supreme example, the one who claimed that he was nourished by doing his Father's will and work. This book is a triumph."--Michael Frost, author, Exiles, ReJesus, and, with Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come and The Faith of Leap
"Doesn't spirituality end up in navel-gazing? Doesn't mission end up in spiritual burn out? No and no. Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson show us that the biblical vision of Christianity is indeed a missional spirituality."--Todd Hunter, author, Christianity Beyond Belief, bishop, Anglican Mission in the Americas
"Missional Spirituality grows on you. At first it might seem to be another pitch for spiritual formation, but it actually goes much deeper than that. It forces us to think about a 'spirituality that forms and feeds mission.' It doesn't allow us to be content with our 'Temple competencies' and our methods for doing church. It is a call for the church to be committed to its spirituality by emphasizing the motivation for spiritual formation and being missional. I found myself wishing for this kind of stimulation when I began ministry forty years ago."--Arnell Motz, president, Canadian Baptist Seminary
"There are many books about either missional living or spiritual disciplines, but few are as intentional about bringing the two together as Missional Spirituality. . . . [It] addresses that fundamental tension between personal piety and caring for neighbors."--Nathan McCorkindale, Mennonite Brethren Herald, February 2012
"All mission flows from a transformed life. With the turbulent cultural waves of liminality and change crashing upon us, a missional disciple must abide in Jesus as a loving, Spirit-empowered missionary. Roger and Len navigate a fresh perspective centered in Jesus, his creed for our lives, and the power that flows from his heart into ours and then out to the world. If you are tired of shallow outward techniques, and hungry for a deeper missional spirituality, then we highly recommend this book."--Steve Holt and Daniel Rolfe, Word Spirit Network
About the Author
Alan Hirsch is an award-winning author on various aspects of missional Christianity and co-founder of Future Travelers, an intentional learning journey for contemporary churches seeking to transition to becoming authentic movements
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
We are all the Priesthood of Believers and a living church in the Body of Christ. We gather to feed on the truth and Word of God and then scatter to reach out into our local communities to connect with those who need to see God incarnate through us and our actions.
It starts with you making a conscious decision that God in your life is 24/7/365 and accepting the responsibility to be a doer of the word. This book will provide direction and thought provoking insight to excite you in what it means to live Missional Spirituality reflecting and sharing the love of God and the greatest commandment that Jesus shared with us through The Word.