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The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church (Shapevine) Paperback – October 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Discover a whole new way of following Jesus

It has recently become acceptable, and even fashionable, to refer to one's church as "missional." But many churches misunderstand the concept, thinking of "going missional" as simply being a necessary add-on to church-as-usual. This domestication of what is actually a very bold paradigm shift makes missional nothing more than one more trick to see church growth.

With a light hand and a pastoral spirit, Michael Frost points out how most of us are not quite there yet. He reestablishes the ground rules, redefines the terms accurately, and insists that the true prophetic essence of "being missional" comes through undiluted. This clear corrective will take ministry leaders from "not missional yet" to well on their way.


"A prophetic call to examine all we do in light of the mission of God. I'm thankful to have Frost's provocative voice in the missional conversation."--Ed Stetzer, coauthor of Compelled by Love

"It's all here--divine origins, shifting evangelism, cross, resurrection, and holistic redemption--in accessible form. This is the first book to give someone who says 'What is missional?'"--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University; author of One.Life

"The Road to Missional practically helps everyone understand their place in God's mission, the pace to which God will ask them to move, and the possibilities of a life oriented away from self. This book is a must for church leaders but is dense with beautiful stories that will give every unpaid saint reasons to live a vigorous life after the King."--Hugh Halter, author of Sacrilege and coauthor of The Tangible Kingdom


Michael Frost is vice principal of Morling College and the founding director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study center at Morling College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Jesus the Fool, Seeing God in the Ordinary, and Exiles, and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come.

About the Author

Michael Frost is vice principal of Morling College; founding director of the Tinsley Insitute at Morling college in Sydney, Australia; and a Baptist minister. He is the author of Jesus the Fool, Seeing God in the Ordinary, and Exiles, and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come. He lives in Australia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Shapevine
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801014077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801014079
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It seems every few years or so some term becomes a buzzword in contemporary Christianity complete with supporters and critics. It wasn't too long ago everyone was exploring what 'emergent' was or wasn't and the same is happening with the word 'missional.' While the idea/concept has been around for some time, it wasn't until the past month or two that I really began reading about this term. As I read Frost and Hirsch's book, The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage, I found words to describe many of the issues I was struggling with as a Christian in this post-modern, 21st Century world. While that book was at times a bit hard to chew on, Michael Frost's The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church provides a more clear and direct explanation of what is meant by 'missional.'

Frost asserts, as do many other leaders, thinkers, pastors, and authors, that being missional is more than adding 'things' to existing church structures. Whether it is additional evangelism events or coffee shop Bible studies, these added things miss the overarching call for a complete paradigm shift within the church. In fact, Frost explains his use of the word 'missional' is a way 'to describe the wholesale and thorough reorientation of the church around mission (p. 16).' It is at this point in the missional discussion that fear sets in and ears are shut off from hearing/listening to the discussion. Missional is not a style, a fad, an event, a program. It cannot simply be added along side of existing church structure. It is a process of reorienting one's mindset and church away from some of the traditional aspects of 'church' which is what scares the wits out of many existing church leaders!
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If this book is anything at all, it is a gift from Mike Frost to the church; to any who would dare to affirm that they are seeking to follow Jesus. It is more, but it is not less, than Mike's heart for the church in written form... a church that he loves deeply but is often frustrated by. These are not the words of an ivory tower commentator writing with detached ambivalence. These are the words of a man for whom "declaring and demonstrating the reign of God through Jesus Christ" is not a lofty ideal but is actually proclaimed and demonstrated (lived) in the lives of real people...his wife, his kids, his neighbor, his students...those whom God has called him to serve.

Scot McKnight rightly says on the back cover "This book has it all..." But, no offense to Scot, I don't think he quite says enough when he adds, "This is the first book to give someone who says 'What is missional?'" In my opinion, this book is for anyone who is concerned with 'what the church is meant to be/look like'; period. As Mike says, being truly 'missional' is not simply another way to do church, it is how we are meant to be as people seeking to follow Jesus.

So many of my friends (myself included) are getting tired of churches that don't seem to look beyond their own 4 walls...they are craving something more, something bigger than themselves...if that is you, and even if it isn't, then this book is for you. Let me encourage you to buy it, read it and then live accordingly...not just for your sake, but for the sake of those to whom we have been called to serve, in Jesus name and for His glory.
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In a day when people are appropriating the term "missional" in so many different ways, Frost provides a clear and definitive work laying out for the reader what missional is and is not. Frost is a scholar in his own rite, but he engages all of the primary missional thinkers in building his case. He also interacts with the biblical text and proves himself to be a very good expositor of the scripture. I particularly liked the inclusion of the work of Kenneth Bailey.

If you are looking for that one book to help you understand what the missional movement is all about, this is your book. If you have already been participating in the missional conversation this is your book.

Frost writes with passion and clarity in a straightforward style. While Frost engages the reader with theology and scripture, he also includes, in typical Frost fashion, the telling of stories to illustrate his point.

Frost holds his own with contemporary scholars, however his strength is in the fact that he is a practitioner of the missional lifestyle at heart. I can only speak from a distance, but Frost puts into action and lives out what he writes. He is a storyteller who lives out the story he tells.

I give this book the highest of recommendations. It goes on the must read list.
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Michael Frost has a passion for The Lord that is contagious. I thought I was on fire for the Lord until I read this book. He splashed gas on my fire. When Christ is centered in our life, others see a demonstration of the kingdom come. That demostration shows that He Reigns!!!!
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I continue to stay informed concerning the missional dialogue in Christian culture. This is one of the newer books that has been produced with a missional agenda. It was written by Michael Frost who is at the forefront of this conversation. What is interesting about this work is that it is a defense of the missional agenda. Shocking, after about ten years of missional material being produced, it is starting to be outdated. People are becoming tired of the missional conversation already. So the author provides a apologetic of the theology. He really needs to because lately everything is missional. Missional is such a buzzword that all ministry in the church is missional. Sadly, this should be the case and at the some time is not the case. All ministry should have a missional dynamic, but mostly everything is given a missional name without a missional ministry. For an example, small groups materials are being produced with a missional perspective, the problem is that those who have studied the dynamics of small groups realizes that these forms of ministry do not produce outreach into the community, there can be serve but typically are not that welcoming to newcomers. The ministry is good for spiritual formation, but not good for accepting new people into the fold. Of course this is not to say it cannot happen, it is just that it rarely happens. Bruce Bates wrote an excellent dissertation on this process some years ago. But back to the book. The book is good, and seems to restore some of the purity within the missional movement. The author is disturbed that missional has become so big that it essentially means nothing today. It finds it odd that he was at the forefront of this wave of thought but his now considered outdated.Read more ›
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