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The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World Hardcover – April 7, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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)

Review

"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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078798325X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787983253
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Sheffield on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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This book offers a much needed "third way" perspective on the often felt tension between "organic church leadership" and the top-down corporate management style now found in many churches. The authors contend that, as a result of societal and demographic chances, churches evolve in three distinct stages, and that each stage makes unique demands on leadership. These changes, stages, and unique demands are clearly presented, explained, and illustrated. Strategies for intentional transitions and leadership development are also clearly outlined.

I particularly appreciated the theological underpinnings of the emerging stage emphasis on energy, vision and commitment for community engagement arising from the membership (below) as opposed to projected down from the leadership (above): The Spirit permeates the entire body, and not just the few at the top. But helping the members of the congregation find their passion and voice is a task given to leadership, and the book clearly outlines the steps by which such empowerment can happen.

If anything could be improved in this book it would be the figures and graphics used to summarize various ideas. They seemed simplistic, and some even confusing.

But other than that, well done! Many people will be blessed when church leaders review their options after reading this book. And God will smile!
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