Reclaiming the Great Commission by Bishop Claude E. Payne and Hamilton Beazley
Review: This is a truly important book. Those who want to transform their mainline congregations and denominations from maintenance to mission will find a game plan concrete enough to implement. Passionately argued, solidly grounded, battle-tested in real life-here's real cause for hope!" (Bob Buford, founding chairman, Leadership Network) http://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-Great-Commission-Denominations-Congregations/dp/0787952680
How Not To Christian Cold Call! by Alex Absalom
Do you like being cold-called by a telemarketer? I didn’t think so! But if that’s the case, why do so many Christians do evangelism the same way – non-relational, intrusive, only interested in winning the scalp and not the person?
By contrast, if for Jesus discipleship starts with ‘Hello!’, then He was opposite of a cold-caller. … More: http://www.alexabsalom.com/how-not-to-christian-cold-call/
The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church. by Diana Butler Bass.
The conventional wisdom about mainline Protestantism maintains that it is a dying tradition, irrelevant to a postmodern society, unresponsive to change, and increasingly disconnected from its core faith tenets. In her provocative book, historian and researcher Diana Butler Bass argues that there are signs that mainline Protestant churches are indeed changing, finding a new vitality intentionally grounded in Christian practices and laying the groundwork for a new type of congregation. The Practicing Congregation tracks these changes by looking at the overall history of American congregations, noting theby cultural trends that have sparked change, and providing evidence of how mainline churches are reappropriating traditional Christian practices. The signs of life that Bass identifies lead the reader beyond the crumbling "liberal vs. conservative" dualities to a more nuanced and fluid understanding of the shape of contemporary ecclesiology and faithfulness. In so doing, she helps readers understand tradition in new ways and creates an alternative path through the culture wars that today arrest the energies of most denominations. Invigorated by stories from Bass’s own experience, The Practicing Congregation provides a hopeful and exciting vision for the church. The imaginative "retraditioning" she identifies and celebrates will guide pastors and other leaders on this "pilgrimage of creating church" and convincingly counter the naysayers that long ago gave up on the viability of the mainline church. http://www.amazon.com/The-Practicing-Congregation-Imagining-Church/dp/1566993059
The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk
In The Missional Leader, consultants Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk give church and denominational leaders, pastors, and clergy a clear model for leading the change necessary to create and foster a missional church focused outward to spread the message of the Gospel into the surrounding community. The Missional Leader emphasizes principles rather than institutional forms, shows readers how to move away from “church as usual,” and demonstrates what capacities, environments, and mindsets are required to lead a missional church. Much time dedicated to helping leaders “cultivate missional imaginations” needed to be effective missional leaders. http://www.amazon.com/The-Missional-Leader-Equipping-Changing/dp/078798325X
The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation by Craig Van Gelder and Dwight J. Zscheile
In this book, two leading ministry experts place the missional church conversation in historical perspective and offer fresh insights for its further development. They begin by providing a helpful review of the genesis of the missional church and offering an insightful critique of the Gospel and Our Culture Network's seminal book Missional Church, which set the conversation in motion. They map the diverse paths this discussion has taken over the past decade, identifying four primary branches and ten sub-branches of the conversation and placing over one hundred published titles and websites into this framework. The authors then utilize recent developments in biblical and theological perspectives to strengthen and extend the conversation about missional theology, the church's interaction with culture and cultures, and church organization and leadership in relation to the formation of believers as disciples. Professors, students, and church leaders will value this comprehensive overview of the missional movement. It includes a foreword by Alan J. Roxburgh. http://www.amazon.com/Missional-Church-Perspective-The-Conversation/dp/0801039134
“A missional imagination is not about the church; it’s not about how to make the church better, how to get more people to come to church, or how to turn a dying church around. It’s not about getting the church back to cultural respectability in a time when it has been marginalized…. This [missional] imagination turns most of our church practices on their head. It invites us to turn towards our neighborhoods and communities, listening first to what is happening among people and learning to ask different questions about what God is up to in the neighborhood. Rather than the primary question being, ‘How do we attract people to what we are doing?’ it becomes, ‘What is God up to in this neighborhood?’ and “What are the ways we need to change in order to engage the people in our community who no longer consider church a part of their lives?’ This is what a missional imagination is about.” Alan J. Roxburgh and M. Scott Boren, “Introducing the Missional Church,” Baker Books, 2009, page 20.