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The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World

Jossey-Bass, 2006
RRP $32.95

Reviewed by Karyl Davison, Rural Ministry Coordinator for the Central Queensland and Mary Burnett Presbyteries.

For too many people, their congregation is little more than a haven from the big bad world, a dispenser of religious goods and services, the ministry agent primarily a caregiver who looks after the private, personal needs of individuals. Congregations that meet the needs of these people become insular and distant from the communities in which they reside, and irrelevant in the 21st century.

Roxburgh and Romanuk in this book are offering an alternative model of church. In this model, the missional church, congregations seek to engage the wider community in new and relevant ways and in doing so, are discovering that God’s spirit is alive and well in the community.

This book asserts that in order for congregations to become missional, a different kind of leader is required. The Missional Leader not only sets out clearly the reasons for a change to a missional focus, but also outlines the character and skills required in the missional leader. It includes a process for leaders seeking to innovate towards missionally engaged congregations and practical ways of engaging others in the process. It provides both a framework for, and examples of, the leader as cultivator for the missional imagination. Their strategies are theologically sound, socially relevant, and ecclesiologically prudent.

Although the primary audience of the book are leaders of existing congregations, it is also helpful for those at the margins of the church seeking to start something new. An excellent book that will help guide the church into much needed missional thinking and action.

There is also a more recent book from Roxburgh & Boren, 2009, Introducing the Missional Church: What it is, Why it matters, How to become one, that is also very good.