MISSIONAL CHURCH LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES
Includes the APEPT / APEST model
Part of ministry resources on Missional Church
- First Read Overall
- Strategies for Transitioning Established Churches to Missional
- Strategies by Alan Roxburgh
- Strategies by Alan Hirsch, J. R. Woodward – APEPT/APEST
- Strategies by Craig Van Gelder
- Strategies by Eddie Gibbs
- Related Areas
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.
First Read Overall
- Erwin Raphael McManus, An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind — McManus’ proposals resonate strongly with the missional mindset. He presents a model of leadership and ministry that is biblically attuned, culturally aware, missionally engaging, organizationally adept, and spiritually inspiring.
Strategies for Transitioning Established Churches to Missional
- Linda Berquist and Allan Karr, Church Turned Inside Out: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners— A theoretically rich and practically useful approach to taking any church, any form, any background, and moving it from internally-focused to missionally engaged.
- Richard Hamm, Recreating The Church: Leadership for the Postmodern Age (TCP Leadership Series) — Uses Ron Heifetz’ adaptive leadership model to argue that one of the fundamental changes churches must make is shifting from devotion to the ways and needs of the pre-1968 “modern” (or “establishment”) era rather than the current post-1968 “postmodern” (or “post-establishment”) era.
- Rick Morse, From Our Doorsteps: Developing a Ministry Plan that Makes Sense – An excellent guide to contextual ministry for established churches that have plateaued and want to reconnect with their communities.
- Gary V. Nelson, Borderland Churches: A Congregation’s Introduction to Missional Living (TCP Leadership Series)– Discusses how to prepare a congregation and lead with a gentle but resolute challenge to missional living.
- Wes Roberts and Glenn Marshall, Reclaiming God’s Original Intent for the Church — A pastoral-but-prophetic prod to move missionally amid the post-Christendom context. It is not as practical as one may want, but it is a helpful philosophical expression of the missional mindset.
- Matthew Lee Smith, Growing Missional Leaders: Biblical Strategies to Reach Your World For Christ – Smith offers twenty-four principles on leadership development.
Strategies by Alan Roxburgh
- Alan Roxburgh, The Sky is Falling: Leaders Lost in Transition, A Proposal for Leadership Communities to Take New Risks for the Reign of God — Roxburgh’s first work. Functions well as a manifesto on the missional ethos. Most of the information is repeated or expanded in his other volumes.
- Alan Roxburgh and M. Scott Boren, Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One (Allelon Missional Series) – Describes the essence of missional and introduces one to all the central characteristics of the missional philosophy, including several suggestions on leadership strategy.
- Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World – Tells one “how” to guide established churches through the missional journey.
- Alan Roxburgh, Missional Map-Making: Skills for Leading in times of Transition – Offers guidance through the special complexities and challenges faced by leaders who begin the journey described in the previous volumes.
- Alan J. Roxburgh, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood (Allelon Missional Series) Describes the ineffectiveness of the techniques of modernity (better marketing, coffee bars, hip worship, strategic planning, multisite ministry, etc.) and the idealism of postmodernity. Argues for a return to the patterns of Jesus’ earliest disciples who were sent into the towns and villages. Lays out a nine-step method for engaging one’s neighborhood.
Strategies by Alan Hirsch – Along with Michael Frost, one of the most quoted missional strategists today.
- Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church — Describes the six essential components of the “Apostolic Genius” and “mDNA” (m = missional) and the A.P.E.S.T. model.
- Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass, The Forgotten Ways Handbook: A Practical Guide for Developing Missional Churches — A guide to leading churches through the deep change described in The Forgotten Ways.
- Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim, The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) – Builds upon the previous two volumes by expanding on the concept of apostleship, or missional entrepreneurship.
- J. R. Woodward, Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World – A practical guide on how to create a missional culture through polycentric leadership based on the A.P.E.S.T. model.
Strategies by Craig Van Gelder
- Craig Van Gelder, The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit – The first of a series designed for missional church development. Stresses the importance of defining the nature of the church before proceeding to define is ministry and organization.
- Craig Van Gelder, The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the SpiritDraws from theology, organizational systems, and change theory to present a coherent missional strategy.
- – Rick Rouse and Craig Van Gelder, A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation: Embarking on a Journey of Transformation — Designed to go along with Describes seven transformational keys that seem fairly universal to God’s work within congregations as they seek to become more missional.Ministry of the Missional Church.
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.
Related Ministry Resources
Missional Perspectives for Christian Ministry:
- Missional Perspectives for Christian Ministry 01, Introduction
- Missional Church Resources, Introduction and Index
Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry: