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The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)

The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Roxburgh , Fred Romanuk , Eddie Gibbs
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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" The Missional Leader paints a realistic picture ... of what life could look like among churches willing to enter the chaos [of the world] and make lasting change little by little." ( Christianity Today , Fall 2006)


"Alan J. Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk are two of the few people in the world today who understand how we can create an environment for the missional transformation of the church for the postmodern world. Every church leader should read this book!" —Rev. Dr. Clark D. Cowden, evangelist presbyter, Presbytery of San Joaquin, Presbyterian Church "Discontinuous change wreaks havoc among congregations and pastors who aren’t familiar with the new terrain.  When it comes to navigating this new land, Roxburgh and Romanuk have my ear and gratitude.  Effective, dependable, useful . . .  their wisdom is helping retool our congregation for daring and robust witness.  And among my students—who feel change deep in their bones, both its threats and opportunities—this book is a vital companion as they begin their ministries." —Chris William Erdman, senior pastor, University Presbyterian Church; adjunct faculty, MB Biblical Seminary Biblical Seminary

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 798 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (7 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D56DZJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,248 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By D
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book. The things that spoilt it for me were the large amounts of technical-speak, especially at the beginning and the bias towards "emergent church" theology.

Wading through the first part of the book was tough due to the specialist language. I understand this is required sometimes to accurately talk about group related trends. However, it can take the joy out of reading it as someone on the ground who just wants practical approaches I can put in place.

I felt disappointed that for the writers (and as I found out later, others also) "Missional" seems to be synonymous with "emergent". Neither of these things were defined or explained at the beginning of the book, so the book is largely about the need to change your church into an emergent church without explaining this directly, why we should or dealing with any of the issues involved. If they wanted to write about becoming and emergent church, that is fine and the prerogative. However, I would like the choice of deciding whether I agree with some sign posting at the beginning before I am placed in the water.

Whilst I can go along with some of the ideas, such as having discussions with the congregation about the quality of our Christian experience, the past, how to meet the needs of the community and the need for helping congregations change towards a mission orientated mindset, I cannot go along with emergent church theology. If you research it, there are various teachings which are a problem for me and will no doubt be for others. I reject the idea that to be mission orientated, you must be "emergent" in your theology but this book may lead to that for those who follow through with the change the book initiates towards it without first making this clear.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the average minister. 27 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am one of the 36% of the population who describe themselves as Christian but are totally disenchanted with the institutional church. This book is about ministers learning to recognise the needs, desires, abilities of church members and changing their approach to ministry. The usual culture is one where the minister rules the roost and does his own thing expecting the congregation to jump to his command and then getting upset when they don't want to follow. This is the failing approach that we see commonly throughout Britain. Fortunately some have seen the light and have joined the trend of emerging church. All ministers should rush to read this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyment 2 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It has some great ideas on how to do Christian leadership in a changing word. It has helped to want to listen to people's stories before I start wanting to bring about change.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the real deal 1 Nov 2006
By Daniel Sheffield - Published on
Alan Roxburgh has finally pulled together all the pieces that he has been writing about and teaching for a number of years. Some of this stuff he taught in a course I took with him 14 years ago at McMaster. He highlights the character required, the skills required, and the processes required, of pastors seeking to innovate toward the missionally-engaged congregation. There are far too many people using the term "missional" to signify whatever they want. Alan and the others in the Gospel and Culture Network are giving us principles, practice and definitions that do justice to what Newbigin meant when he started some of us using the term long before it became vogue.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parts very good 13 May 2007
By Michael H. Montgomery - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'll be usng this book for a class that I am teaching. It covers the basics of "missional church" all right, but the strength of the book is chapters 3-5, where a change strategy for adopting missional church paradigm is lifted up. The last chapters, on leadership, I found less helpful in part because it is grounded not to the experience of a church becoming "missional" but to the author's evaluation instrument. The authors acknowledge but underestimate the membership loss that comes from adopting the missional paradigm: they estimate 10 to 15%, without systemmatic research I have found closer to 50% loss in several cases in the UCC.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missional Church Leadership 23 Dec 2007
By David R. Bess - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read many books on leadership, and having read a few on the missional church, I was very pleased to find this volume with a missional approach to leadership. The author asserts that this approach can be used in any church setting to give the congregation more of a missional church direction. Although the entire book is well-worth reading, the most intensive section is chapters 3-5. I recommend this one highly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating community 2 Aug 2009
By Dion - Published on
This book resonates with me, so much of what I read on church style talks about how to improve worship, your discipleship programme, your homegroups programme, or what ever... This books does not talk about programmes, it talks about the style of leadership that is required in today's church. And it stand in stark contrast to the likes of Leonard Sweet. Rather than promoting the idea that the church needs a captain of a ship, as we are going into a storm, it talks of ploughing the soil, of working the land, which is much closer to the biblical narrative than the winner-takes-all/captain-of-the-boat-follow-me approach. It is a book that believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and working within us today, it gives hope. It is comprehensive. It is the best book on church leadership I've read in the past 5 years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for chic charismatic fluff ball leaders 28 May 2012
By Daniel Im - Published on
The following is an analytical book review of The Missional Leader.

Roxburgh is one of the foremost leading thinkers in everything missional, yet he is a pastor at heart with over thirty years of experience in church leadership, consulting, and seminary education. He is also leads The Missional Network, which is an organization that is committed to resourcing missional leaders. On the other hand, Romanuk is an experienced psychologist with years of organizational consulting experience. He brings expertise in assessing and developing the potential of people in leadership roles.

The thesis of this book is that every church needs to move from a consumeristic model to a missional model, since the very nature of the church is to be God's missionary people. Roxburgh and Romanuk explain how leaders need to make this transition first personally before being able to lead his/her church through this transition.

In part one, the authors explore the context and challenge of missional leadership. They begin by outlining six critical issues for missional leadership, which then leads them to describing a three zone model for missional leadership. This three zone model outlines the different ways that leaders need to lead based on the stage of their organization. The authors then close this part by presenting their five stage missional change model, which "offers leaders a way to cultivate an environment in which missional imagination can thrive" (141). In part two, the authors look at the preparation, ongoing training, character, and cultivation that a missional leader needs to go through to be effective. They explore practical areas, such as ways to form missional environments and cultures, and the authors also present information on their leadership development pathway and model.

Our culture longs for that silver bullet.

Every organization wants a quick fix, without necessarily being willing to put in the long-term effort needed for change.

That is why our culture loves charismatic celebrity leaders who are confident and have the answer for positive change.

Unfortunately, this is the case for churches as well, to the point that most pastors, including myself, who transition into a new role are always expected to have the answers and bring the church to a greater level of depth, engagement, and size than their predecessors. I am never as arrogant to come in and bring about a change plan, without first investing a lot of time understanding the context and developing a wide net of relationships.

However, soon enough, after that one year grace period, one is always expected to come up with a magical plan that will solve the ministry's problem. This does not always happen, nor does it work, since that sort of thinking puts plans ahead of people, and my plans ahead of God's plans.The fact is, God has been working in that ministry before I ever thought of it, and he will continue to work in that ministry long after I leave.

Let's stop being so self-centred and arrogant.
To combat this madness, the authors propose an alternative leadership method - "the key to innovating new life and mission in a congregation is not so much a strategy for growth as it is cultivation of people themselves. It is from among the people that the energy and vision for missional life emerge" (186). The fact is, it is impossible to clearly define what the future is going to be and the method needed to get there since "God's future is not a plan or strategy that you introduce; it is among the people of God. God brings the future toward us. God's future is already being cultivated in the church among the ordinariness of one another" (187). Thus, this means that the primary responsibility of a leader is to help their people grow in their awareness of the presence of God and develop a deeper trust in God.

In other words, a missional leader needs to foremost be a disciple who develops other disciples who then also develops other disciples, rather than be a chic and charismatic fluff ball of a leader who only influences one generation.
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