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

Roger Helland , Leonard Hjalmarson , Alan Hirsch
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If all of the earth is God's domain, why are Christians so terribly provincial? We rarely leave our church buildings, and our spirituality rarely takes us beyond ourselves.

Veteran church leaders Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson observe that Jesus begins his mission in the temple, where he wows the religious elite and chides his parents by saying, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But Jesus doesn't stay in the temple; indeed, in Christ the temple of the Lord is on the move--even to the ends of the earth.

In this book the authors helpfully reconnect spirituality and mission, showing you how the spiritual life, when lived properly, follows a similar progression: we "come home" to Christ, loving him from our heart and soul and mind and strength. And then we set forth to love our neighbors as ourself. Discover how through this process you can reclaim the whole of God's kingdom for his glory and the fulfillment of your heart's longing.

Editorial Reviews


"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

Len Hjalmarson lives with his wife, Betty, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Between 2007 and 2010, they helped plant a missional community among their city's urban poor, then spent two years leading a church in transition in southern Ontario. The co-author of Missional Spirituality (IVP,  2011), Len is a member of the Parish Collective as well as the Missio Alliance, and is excited about an integrated spirituality of mission.

Len's passions are leadership, spiritual formation and culture, leading contemplative retreats, and experimenting with bread recipes. Len is an adjunct professor at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. He holds a doctorate from the ACTS Seminary of Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. He is currently working on his fourth book, a Christian theology of place.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2222 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (December 20, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book on the missional heart! July 16, 2013
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Entry Point for the Missional Conversation February 8, 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Roger Helland and Len Hjalmarson convincingly argue that authentic Christian spirituality is necessarily missional. In the process, they firmly bridge any gap between spiritual formation and missional identity that had thus far been evident in the rapidly growing body of missional church literature. The authors root their work in a rich soil of theological reflection which blends the careful study of scripture with a variety of relevant examples from Christian tradition, all the while remaining highly conversant with today's cultural trends and dynamics. To top it off, the authors relay many of their personal life experiences and offer a tremendous array of helpful practices, suggestions, and resources to help the reader, through the Spirit's forming grace, to "embody God's love from the inside out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missionaries Must Be Well in Spirit December 31, 2011
Helland and Hjalmarson remind us that to serve others, to be on mission for God, we must be whole ourselves. The chapters on heart, soul and mind are reminders that we are multi-part beings and that it's critical that we address each aspect of our beings in our self care. This books will be a great motivator to care for yourself so that you can better care for others while on mission for God, our Creator.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking December 21, 2011
By Deema
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many books state their theme in the first few chapters and the rest is pretty much repeat and repeat. Not so with this book. Every chapter was interesting on it's own and had valuable information on reaching out to our friends and community instead of huddling in the pew and hopeing someone will come and join me. Good writing style and never boring -it even kept me up nights to get it finished!
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