Friday, November 25, 2011

The Road to Missional

Just finished reading a review copy of "The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church" by Michael Frost. I really enjoyed this book. As a pastor I have read more "missional" material than you can shake a stick at. Our leadership team is currently working through one of those books right now. Some love it, some hate it, some think it's just restating the obvious in new words. Frost's book does the church a great service as he works to help us understand "missional", the new buzz word, as more than a program or component that you add into "church". Frost works to describe what missional looks like as an ethos. It's a way of thinking that permeates everything you do in life...not just the way you run church. He does this by writing what he calls "...a small guidebook - a list of indicators which will highlight when the missional paradigm hasn't been fully adopted."

He then proceeds to look at how missonal thinking looks impacts areas and ideas like evangelism, membership, the pursuit of holiness, living incarnationally in the world today, and bringing peace to those around us. Frost tells great stories and gives clear examples of what "missional" looks and thinks like, as well as many of the ways this type of living and thinking challenge the ways we currently "do" church.

For me, the most powerful chapter was the one called, "Triumphant Humiliation: The Cross as a missional paradigm for holiness." Far too often we have seen the cross as the message of God's forgiveness and missed the point that it is the method of discipleship. Jesus calls us to follow Him, to take up our cross. In the process of embracing the pain and humiliation that entails, the Spirit's strips away all that keeps us from growing in Christ-likeness.

This is a great book. One that moves beyond the ideology of "missional" and the attempt to program it into what we are already doing to help paint a picture of the missional ethos.

Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.

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