Missional Church Leadership Strategies

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Includes the APEPT / APEST model

Part of ministry resources on Missional Church


The Missional conversation reflects a unique understanding of church leadership, renewal, and development. It is not essentially an approach or method, but a theological and philosophical orientation that informs all one does.

Missional leadership begins with theology. It goes even deeper than ecclesiology, emphasizing the theology of mission in general. Alongside this is an attempt to exegete culture, not just culture at large, but the specific surroundings of a congregation, the missional context. This is often called “localized theology” or contextualization. Concurrent with this is creating spiritual readiness for God’s work. Out of the synergy of theology, culture, and spirituality comes a specific strategy for that setting. The strategies will look very different from place to place. Leading churches through this process is challenging.

Missional strategies are theoretically as numerous as the contexts in which they are implemented. Several strategic guides are listed below. Most are divided according to author so as to preserve the coherence of each approach. I also suggest looking at the strategies for developing established churches in the Ministry Resource Guide on Church Leadership and Renewal.

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First Read Overall

Strategies for Transitioning Established Churches to Missional

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Strategies by Alan Roxburgh

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Strategies by Alan Hirsch – Along with Michael Frost, one of the most quoted missional strategists today.

Strategies by Craig Van Gelder

Strategies by Eddie Gibbs

  • Eddie Gibbs, LeadershipNext: Changing Leaders in a Changing Culture– Veteran church growth expert Eddie Gibbs maps out how Christian leadership must change in light of new global realities. Looks at styles of leadership, leadership teams, healthy leadership traits, and how new leaders are identified and developed. A comprehensive resource for current and emerging leaders serving in churches, parachurch organizations, and beyond.

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Related Ministry Resources

Missional Perspectives for Christian Ministry:

Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry:

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