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Missional Spirituality: Embodying God's Love from the Inside Out Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There are many books about either missional living or spiritual disciplines, but few are as intentional about bringing the two together as Missional Spirituality. . . . [It] addresses that fundamental tension between personal piety and caring for neighbors." (Nathan McCorkindale, Mennonite Brethren Herald, February 2012)

"After years of endless theoretical conversations about 'missional imagination,' Roger and Len take us to where we need to begin: a missional spirituality that creates the practices necessary for imagination and mission to emerge." (Gary Nelson, author, Borderland Churches, and president, Tyndale Seminary)

"Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson offer us a guide to a spirituality that is deep and yet practical, mystical (in the best sense of the word) and yet missional. They cite many authors, and yet can boil the information in each chapter down so as to end with a series of exercises and discussion questions that will lead the reader into the depth of spiritual life that they commend. I recommend this book to all who do not want to escape the world, but rather want to engage and subvert the world from a life rooted and grounded in the trinitarian life of God." (Peter H. Davids, Houston Baptist University)

"Roger and Len have provided something that is urgently needed: a contemporary guide to Christian spirituality that is integrated with the missional identity and practice of the church. And what is so encouraging is that they provide theological foundations to their study, draw on the spiritual wisdom of earlier movements in the life of the church and outline distinctive practices that can mark the life of the Christian in community. Equally significant, they give particular attention to the spiritual yearnings of this generation. The result is an invaluable resource for those who shape congregational life and witness." (Gordon T. Smith, president of reSource Leadership International)

"Doesn't spirituality end up in navel-gazing? Doesn't mission end up in spiritual burn out? No and no. Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson show us that the biblical vision of Christianity is indeed a missional spirituality." (Todd Hunter, author, Christianity Beyond Belief, bishop, Anglican Mission in the Americas)

"Missional Spirituality grows on you. At first it might seem to be another pitch for spiritual formation, but it actually goes much deeper than that. It forces us to think about a 'spirituality that forms and feeds mission.' It doesn't allow us to be content with our 'Temple competencies' and our methods for doing church. It is a call for the church to be committed to its spirituality by emphasizing the motivation for spiritual formation and being missional. I found myself wishing for this kind of stimulation when I began ministry forty years ago." (Arnell Motz, president, Canadian Baptist Seminary)

"Missional Spirituality delivers on its title, reconnecting missional practice and the spirituality needed to sustain such practice. Written from the Pietist tradition but drawing on many sources, and set in the context of profound cultural transition, this book provides a theological foundation for a truly missional spirituality and a range of practices to earth this spirituality in daily life." (Stuart Murray Williams, founder of Urban Expression)

"Somewhere between emergence and resurgence lies an insistent call to mission. Rather than choosing sides in the growing debate between whether the church should be more Word-centered or more culturally focused, Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson call us all to our mutual concern for gospel mission. The spiritual life is lived in relationship on earth as it is in heaven. Roger and Len help us greatly by showing us how. Full of examples and ideas, Missional Spirituality challenges us to a more faithful and more fruitful Christian life." (Kenton C. Anderson, president, Northwest Baptist Seminary, and author, Choosing to Preach)

"All mission flows from a transformed life. With the turbulent cultural waves of liminality and change crashing upon us, a missional disciple must abide in Jesus as a loving, Spirit-empowered missionary. Roger and Len navigate a fresh perspective centered in Jesus, his creed for our lives, and the power that flows from his heart into ours and then out to the world. If you are tired of shallow outward techniques, and hungry for a deeper missional spirituality, then we highly recommend this book." (Steve Holt and Daniel Rolfe, Word & Spirit Network)

"Until we deal with the question of spiritual formation, 'missional church' will remain a lot of talk. Missional Spirituality addresses this issue for the church in North America. It's an intense and lively study that covers lots of ground. Rooting their study in the Great Commandment, Scripture, history and the manifold literature of mission, Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson push us through theology and practice to real life. We learn how to become missionaries, not just talk about it. Highly compelling. I recommend it for all who want to explore what it means to embody God's love from the inside out." (David Fitch, Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, and author of The End of Evangelicalism?)

"I found myself saying, 'Yes, yes, yes,' as I read Missional Spirituality. So many books on spirituality are focused on self-improvement and private pietistic devotion, and they often leave me cold and uninspired. Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson helpfully reconnect spirituality and mission, believing all truly Christian spiritual formation to be for the sake of the world. They take Jesus as their supreme example, the one who claimed that he was nourished by doing his Father's will and work. This book is a triumph." (Michael Frost, author, Exiles, ReJesus, and, with Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come and The Faith of Leap)

"Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson have gifted us with a well-crafted, multidimensional, life-challenging volume in their Missional Spirituality. The excellent scholarship is matched equally with an inspirational voice. The resulting combination is compelling and convicting at the same time. Take time to let this book read you." (Reggie McNeal, author of Missional Renaissance)

About the Author

D.Min. Roger Helland (Trinity Western Unversity, Langley, B.C.) is district executive coach for the Baptist General Conference in Alberta, Canada. His other books include The Journey, The Revived Church and Let the River Flow.

Len Hjalmarson (D.Min.) is lead pastor at Aylmer Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada, and serves as missional navigator for the Ontario region of the EMMC. Len is a founding member of the Resonate network and sits on the board of Cultivate in Ontario. He is also part of the adjuct faculty at Northern Seminary in Chicago. His other books include An Emerging Dictionary for the Gospel and Culture, The Missional Church Fieldbook, and contributing editor of Fresh and Refresh and Voices of the Virtual World.

Alan Hirsch is the founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network. He is the co-founder of shapevine.com, an international forum for engaging with world transforming ideas. He leads Future Travelers, a learning journey applying missional-incarnational approaches to established churches and is an active participant in The Tribe of LA, a Jesus community among artists and creatives in Los Angeles. Known for his innovative approach to mission, Hirsch is a teacher and key mission strategist for churches across the western world. His popular book The Shaping of Things to Come (with Michael Frost) is widely considered to be a seminal text on mission. Alan's recent book The Forgotten Ways, has quickly become a key reference for missional thinking, particularly as it relates to movements. His book ReJesus is a radical restatement about the role that Jesus plays in defining missional movements. Untamed, his latest book (with his wife Debra) is about missional discipleship for a missional church. His experience in leadership includes leading a local church movement among the marginalized as well as heading up the Mission and Revitalization work of his denomination. Hirsch is an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary and lectures frequently throughout Australia, Europe, and the U.S.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darren Cronshaw on April 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are two writing areas that have mushroomed in the last twenty years - spiritual formation and missional church. They are not just latest fads, but two significant frameworks for renewing the church. How can we foster genuine spirituality with proven practices? And how can we revitalise the church around mission? A unique contribution of Missional Spirituality is its integration of both streams. They demonstrate that the church needs both contemplation and action together. Just as effective mission is resourced from spirituality, genuine spirituality always includes outward missional implications. Inspired by Dallas Willard, NT Wight and Robert Webber, the writers propose a missional spirituality that is framed in the Great Commandment: `A missional spirituality is an attractive and active engagement of embodied love for God and neighbour expressed from the inside out'.

The writers are Canadian church leaders passionate about walking intimately with God and communicating the love of God relevantly with their communities. Roger Helland coaches pastors of the Baptist General Conference in Alberta in missional leadership and church planting. Leonard Hjalmarson is Adjunct professor of Ministry at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago. Both have both sought to calibrate their neighbourhood involvement and spirituality around mission and reflect on their experience.

Helland and Hjalmarson explore missional spirituality from a number of key directions. They outline the disenchantment of the Enlightenment and its secularism and dualism. They tackle challenges of missional spirituality including consumerism, entitlement, church programism, extraction from the world, and navel-gazing tendencies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clint Walker VINE VOICE on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
There have been hundreds of books written about the missional church movement. I might have at least a quarter of them in my personal library. This is because I think the one thing of central importance for churches is making the "missional turn" from attempting to attract people to their church to sending out their church members as missionaries and evangelist to "do church" outside the four walls of the local church. Too many churches put a heavy emphasis on gathering, but scatter with very little purpose.

At the same time, it is possible to be focused on being "evangelists", being "missional", and going out into one's community equipped to serve and reach them, and yet have very little spiritual depth as a congregation. The key as a church is to have spiritual depth, and yet at the same time have missional purpose and missional fervor. It is a challenge.

In Missional Spirituality Helland and Hjalmarson attempt to explain what a church with spiritual depth and missional energy might look like. At the beginning of the book, the authors attempt to identify the church within the world it exists in. Then, Helland and Hjalmarson strive to establish a theological foundation for a church that is externally focused. Following this, they seek to identify spiritual practices that equip believers to live their faith in the world, and to allow those believers to grow deeper and more united as a congregation. They base these practices on the Shema, or the Great Commandment. Every practice that they identify helps believers grow to love God and neighbor more powerfully and more holistically.

Missional Spirituality is both inspirational, and instructional. I was inspired page after page. And, I felt the teaching of the authors both comforted and challenged me as a Christian leader. This book just isn't a game changer, it is a life changer. I will return to it often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Deuman on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Missional is a buzzword in the North American Church. It's a buzzword with a lot of ambiguity. What does it mean to be missional? What is a missional church? What is a missional follower of Jesus? These are all questions that church leaders are asking. And there are many resources that are trying to provide some clarity to these questions.

Missional Spirituality by Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson is one of these many books. Unlike many of the other texts that I've been reading on the subject. Missional Spirituality builds its foundation on Jesus response to the question, "What is the greatest commandment?" Jesus' reply to this question is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself."

From this response Helland and Hjalmarson begin to investigate what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. They focus on practices that help believers grow in their love for the Lord in all four of these arenas. This is important as it helps people build faith and knowledge about God and move them into living the mission of God. The authors then go into examining what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

Missional Spirituality is by no means a ground breaking revolutionary text on what the church should be doing to be more "missional". However, it is a helpful text for church leaders and non-church leaders to begin to figure out what it means to live in God's mission of grace and saving the world.
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