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The Shaping of Missional Church

7 January, 2004 12:20 PM

I've have really been enjoying the opportunity for a bit more time to dedicate to reading a variety of books in the past few weeks. I'm sure that when I get the computer back at home (the update is that it is frustratingly not likely to happen this week) that I'll blog on some more of it.

One book that I've been slowly working through over the past month or so is The Shaping of Things to Come by a couple of friends - Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost. I've blogged about it previously but am continuing to be challenged and stimulated by it. Here are a couple of quotes from it regarding 'Missional Church' which is the central theme of the book.

'The Missional Church doesn't immediately think in terms of strategies, but in terms of people and places.' - I've been really challenged by this concept since starting Living Room. Previously church has always been so much about getting the program, service or strategy right. The idea behind this is that if we build the best possible program that people will come to us. This attractional methodology is something of a trap. Like Alan and Mike I don't completely write it off - there are times where it can be effective for some individuals, but I suspect we will be much more effective as the mission we've been left to make disciples if we take another approach and actually 'go' and build relationships.

'Too much existing bible teaching happens to passive groups of Christians, many of whom are not involved in any kind of risky missional activity.' - Again, this resonates with me. As I think back over the past years to the most invigorating times of bible study that I've had - they have always taken place in the context of mission. Conversely the times where I've found Scripture a struggle to find inspiring are times when I've withdrawn into myself or holy huddles and not been engaging with the world I live in.

You can buy the book here.



Happy New Year Mate. Likewise to "V". Like you I'm slowly working my way through "The Shaping of Things to Come." It's very good.

Paul » 7 January, 2004 2:39 PM

There's a reason why the word "cesspool" makes you crinkle your nose in disgust (at least that's what it does to me!) -- because cesspools smell and attract only filth. Sadly, I know the feeling all too well of ceasing to engage, ceasing to share, ceasing to give . . . the feeling of slowly becoming a cesspool as I continue to take in without ever overflowing into mission.

The "risky missional activity" quote alone is enough to make me want to read this book! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Jed » 7 January, 2004 7:32 PM

I do need to get that book. I like that quote a lot about strategies vs. people and places - that says tons. It speaks about the relational ethos of the "missional community" vs. programatic event-centered churches. Good stuff.

+ Alan » 8 January, 2004 2:48 AM

darren this book is slated to be read in march but it may be moved up, because this is exactly what i'm dealing with at my church. our new worship service "the bridge" was conceived more as a mission than just a new worship service. we're just now beginning to understand what that means and explore how we go forward from here. good stuff man... keep it coming.

lucas » 8 January, 2004 4:56 AM

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