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The Road to Missional, Journey to the Center of the Church (Shapevine) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Frost
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Discover a whole new way of following Jesus

It has recently become acceptable, and even fashionable, to refer to one's church as "missional." But many churches misunderstand the concept, thinking of "going missional" as simply being a necessary add-on to church-as-usual. This domestication of what is actually a very bold paradigm shift makes missional nothing more than one more trick to see church growth.

With a light hand and a pastoral spirit, Michael Frost points out how most of us are not quite there yet. He reestablishes the ground rules, redefines the terms accurately, and insists that the true prophetic essence of "being missional" comes through undiluted. This clear corrective will take ministry leaders from "not missional yet" to well on their way.

"A prophetic call to examine all we do in light of the mission of God. I'm thankful to have Frost's provocative voice in the missional conversation."--Ed Stetzer, coauthor of Compelled by Love

"It's all here--divine origins, shifting evangelism, cross, resurrection, and holistic redemption--in accessible form. This is the first book to give someone who says 'What is missional?'"--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University; author of One.Life

"The Road to Missional practically helps everyone understand their place in God's mission, the pace to which God will ask them to move, and the possibilities of a life oriented away from self. This book is a must for church leaders but is dense with beautiful stories that will give every unpaid saint reasons to live a vigorous life after the King."--Hugh Halter, author of Sacrilege and coauthor of The Tangible Kingdom

Michael Frost is vice principal of Morling College and the founding director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study center at Morling College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Jesus the Fool, Seeing God in the Ordinary, and Exiles, and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come.

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About the Author

Michael Frost is vice principal of Morling College; founding director of the Tinsley Insitute at Morling college in Sydney, Australia; and a Baptist minister. He is the author of Jesus the Fool, Seeing God in the Ordinary, and Exiles, and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come. He lives in Australia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 666 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (1 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OYUHR8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #363,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Key introduction to missional church 16 Nov. 2011
The word missional has been around for a while and everyone assumes they know what you're talking about even if you're talking about very different things. It's an issue that is not lost on one of the architects of all things missional and the author of The road to missional: Journey to the center of the church, Michael Frost. So Frost writes,

"We now have missional conferences, missional church planting schemes, and all manner of missional programs. This is not to mention the fact that books on the missional paradigm are becoming a dime a dozen. So much so, in fact, that one author recently suggested to me me that the term missional is a bit old hat these days and that the shelves are sagging under the burden of missional church literature. Better, he advised, to use a different, more appealing title to engage potential readers. Ten years ago it never would have occurred to me that being missional would become hip, let alone that it would become passé."

I've read a few authors cited by Frost as missional; Martin Robinson, Stuart Murray & Dan Kimball and I was aware that Ed Stetzer is becoming increasingly widely read among Newfrontiers leaders but I'm not sure I'd read a book that directly addressed the idea of a missional church before. At least not one good enough to stick in my memory.

So I'm going to let Frost define the terms for us beginning with, `what is mission?'

"Mission is both the announcement and the demonstration of the reign of God through Christ. Mission is not primarily concerned with church growth. It is primarily concerned with the reign and rule of the Triune God. If the church grows as a result, so be it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and informative 18 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have found this book to be a breath of fresh air. I think it was what if let the church ought to be but didn't really understand why or what I wanted to say. Now I understand what it means to be Missional and incarnational.
Well written and easy to read even for those who are not theologians like myself
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5.0 out of 5 stars Missional challenges 10 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an incredible book, not an easy read but one that we should all complete to challenge our mindset!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missional What? 27 Mar. 2012
By Ricky Kirk - Published on
It seems every few years or so some term becomes a buzzword in contemporary Christianity complete with supporters and critics. It wasn't too long ago everyone was exploring what 'emergent' was or wasn't and the same is happening with the word 'missional.' While the idea/concept has been around for some time, it wasn't until the past month or two that I really began reading about this term. As I read Frost and Hirsch's book, The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage, I found words to describe many of the issues I was struggling with as a Christian in this post-modern, 21st Century world. While that book was at times a bit hard to chew on, Michael Frost's The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church provides a more clear and direct explanation of what is meant by 'missional.'

Frost asserts, as do many other leaders, thinkers, pastors, and authors, that being missional is more than adding 'things' to existing church structures. Whether it is additional evangelism events or coffee shop Bible studies, these added things miss the overarching call for a complete paradigm shift within the church. In fact, Frost explains his use of the word 'missional' is a way 'to describe the wholesale and thorough reorientation of the church around mission (p. 16).' It is at this point in the missional discussion that fear sets in and ears are shut off from hearing/listening to the discussion. Missional is not a style, a fad, an event, a program. It cannot simply be added along side of existing church structure. It is a process of reorienting one's mindset and church away from some of the traditional aspects of 'church' which is what scares the wits out of many existing church leaders!

I describe this reorientation as moving from a 'come and see' to a 'go and tell' perspective. Missional involves evangelism, discipleship, worship, fellowship and ministry but it is more than engaging in those areas at church. It is a radical call to live out the gospel each day. It is a way of life. It is a process of moving away from 'attractional', the idea of 'come and see', to 'incarnational' living, the 'go and tell' perspective.

Frost describes it as 'a lifelong calling to service, sacrifice, selflessness, and effort. It will be worked out in neighborhoods and people groups around the world, and fueled and led by the least likely saints (p. 21).'

As such, it moves beyond mere attractional church growth ideas and reorients oneself and the church to the missio dei, or mission of God. Frost clearly states 'mission is not primarily concerned with church growth. It is primarily concerned with the reign and rule of the Triune God. If the church grows as a result, so be it (p. 24).' Again, these are the types of statements that can scare church leaders tremendously. It seems to fly in the face of existing paradigms of ministry which tend to focus on attractional methods to increase church attendance. The missional church model seeks to move beyond buildings and increases in church attendance as the goal and focus on changed lives as the goal.

Frost presents in very clear terms how this reorientation is shaped through evangelism (Chapter 2), through church membership (Chapter 3), through holiness (Chapter 4), and through reconciliation and justice (Chapter 5). The final chapter describes how one lives an incarnational, missional life.

I could go on, but you would benefit more if you get a copy of the book and read it yourself. Be warned, you might not agree with every principle, thought, or component of shifting paradigms. However, I believe you will be challenged to examine your own life as you journey to the center of the church.

To close, I will leave you with these words from Frost as he describes why he has held onto the definition of missional:

"... the wholesale and thorough reorientation of the church around mission, a mission that includes evangelism, but more: a mission that is anchored in the task of alerting people to the rule of God through Christ and which can never be reduced to the recruitment of new attendees at our meetings; a mission that hopes in the ongoing work of God to redeem all things and set everything right in accordance with his will; a mission that by its very nature must be lived out incarnationally, in close proximity to those to whom we've been sent; a mission that is cross-shaped and calls its followers to the disciplines of sacrifice, service, love, and grace; and a mission that delights in beauty, flavor, joy, and friendship, that lifts us up and fills us with the same fullness of life we see in Jesus (p. 146)."

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift to those who are daring to follow Jesus 16 Nov. 2011
By N. Vandersee - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If this book is anything at all, it is a gift from Mike Frost to the church; to any who would dare to affirm that they are seeking to follow Jesus. It is more, but it is not less, than Mike's heart for the church in written form... a church that he loves deeply but is often frustrated by. These are not the words of an ivory tower commentator writing with detached ambivalence. These are the words of a man for whom "declaring and demonstrating the reign of God through Jesus Christ" is not a lofty ideal but is actually proclaimed and demonstrated (lived) in the lives of real people...his wife, his kids, his neighbor, his students...those whom God has called him to serve.

Scot McKnight rightly says on the back cover "This book has it all..." But, no offense to Scot, I don't think he quite says enough when he adds, "This is the first book to give someone who says 'What is missional?'" In my opinion, this book is for anyone who is concerned with 'what the church is meant to be/look like'; period. As Mike says, being truly 'missional' is not simply another way to do church, it is how we are meant to be as people seeking to follow Jesus.

So many of my friends (myself included) are getting tired of churches that don't seem to look beyond their own 4 walls...they are craving something more, something bigger than themselves...if that is you, and even if it isn't, then this book is for you. Let me encourage you to buy it, read it and then live accordingly...not just for your sake, but for the sake of those to whom we have been called to serve, in Jesus name and for His glory.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Answer to What is Missional 27 Nov. 2011
By Jim Bynum - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In a day when people are appropriating the term "missional" in so many different ways, Frost provides a clear and definitive work laying out for the reader what missional is and is not. Frost is a scholar in his own rite, but he engages all of the primary missional thinkers in building his case. He also interacts with the biblical text and proves himself to be a very good expositor of the scripture. I particularly liked the inclusion of the work of Kenneth Bailey.

If you are looking for that one book to help you understand what the missional movement is all about, this is your book. If you have already been participating in the missional conversation this is your book.

Frost writes with passion and clarity in a straightforward style. While Frost engages the reader with theology and scripture, he also includes, in typical Frost fashion, the telling of stories to illustrate his point.

Frost holds his own with contemporary scholars, however his strength is in the fact that he is a practitioner of the missional lifestyle at heart. I can only speak from a distance, but Frost puts into action and lives out what he writes. He is a storyteller who lives out the story he tells.

I give this book the highest of recommendations. It goes on the must read list.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro To Topic... But Still Scratching My Head 10 Sept. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I am intrigued by the missional emphasis in the church today. I find that much of what the movement argues for (authentic Christianity expressed in a holistic gospel "reign of God" context) is already very much in place in many traditional and contemporary evangelical churches. I read of a survey taken a number of years ago about the volunteerism of the American church. The results were surprising. The mainline churches (with a long history of social justice rhetoric and involvement) had much less time invested weekly in community involvement to the poor and needy than volunteers from traditional evangelical churches (where the caricature is that of people only concerned with getting people to heaven through confrontational evangelism).
To be fair, missional literature has reminded me, (for the good!) of the coming Kingdom and how King Jesus is now Lord, now reigning in all the universe. Yet, the evangelical churches I have been a part of have always taught and preached about the second coming of Christ who would come to right the ills of the earth and set up His Kingdom in a just and fair fashion. Though unaware of missional terminology, many traditional evangelical churches share the same eschatological compass and import which propels them to work outside their 4 walls and care for the poor, mariginalized, and destitute. Christian compassion is the motivation. Yet, these churches maintain that evangelism/discipleship has a higher priority than social action based on the Great Commission passages, though both aspects of church life are very important.
The author does have compelling insights. For example, the author wrote of "beauty rediscovered." He writes: "An encounter with the beauty of nature draws us to the Creator of all beauty in the knowledge that in the world to come the earth will be redeemed to its pristine form." And, "... beauty is a sing of the kingdom of God, and it draws from us a desire for more of its beauty, its order, its divinity." Well said!

The book is good in what it intends to do - introduce people to the subject of all things missional.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mike knows mission 3 Oct. 2011
By Cook - Published on
So much has been said, is being said, and will be said on the whole idea of 'missional'... but if you wnat to cut to the chase, and discover not only what missional means, but how it can actually be accomplished in your everyday life... Michael Frost has given us the book. His subtitle is "journey to the center of the church", and that is the strength of this book... Michael envisions mission within the Body, with each person playing a part in the symphony that is redemption and recovery of a lost and hurting world. Michael uses no pious platitudes, or lofty ivory academic shchemas... this real basic, real simple, real powerful. You and your church and everyone who is interested in what Christianity is really about needs to read this book.
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