Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood

by Alan Roxburgh. Baker Books, 2011.

The Missional church movement has intrigued many congregational leaders as a way to grow their churches through neighborhood involvement. Alan Roxburgh, founder and lead consultant of The Missional Network, argues that this approach misses the point. He argues that God is already at work in our neighborhoods and persons of faith should join the work there. The book is divided into three parts. In the first, readers are invited to take a fresh (and perhaps a bit radical) look at what the relationships are between the Christian gospel and emerging issues of culture. The second section is an extensive study of the early church’s missional understanding using the New Testament book of Luke-Acts, particularly Luke, chapter 10. Roxburgh argues that modern readers read this text using our own language lens to the extent that we miss what is really going on. What emerges is a very different kind of missional formation. Part three presents a list of new possibilities for impacting neighborhoods with new missional strategies. Congregations seeking new directions for ministry in their surrounding neighborhoods or developing new strategic plans might find this work very helpful.