Missional Resources for Church Leaders – Missional Philosophy

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Foundations of Church Leadership & Church Health – MISSIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Note: This guide discusses perspectives that were important to the first edition of the site, and is now part of the site archive that is not updated past 2012.


This is one of several Philosophies of Church Leadership, Church Health and Renewal, which include Missional (this essay), Church Growth, Emergent Church & Evaluating Emergent, and other Missionally Responsive Trajectories.

The Missional Movement reflects a unique understanding of Christian ministry and Christian leadership. It would be inaccurate to speak of “missional” as an approach or method. Missional is a theological and philosophical orientation that informs all one does. I have more completely described this in the article, Missional Perspectives 01 – Introduction to Missional, but here is a highlight of the main points:

  • Missional philosophy begins with theology, going even deeper than Ecclesiology, the theology of the church, into the theology of mission in general. Of special interest is the concept of Missio Dei, or mission of God.
  • Missional philosophy avoids seeing missions as one of several activities of the church. Instead it sees all of life, and therefore all of the church, as missionary in essence.
  • Missional philosophy underscores the increasingly marginalized status of Christianity in North America.
  • Missional philosophy also emphasizes the need for the church’s initiatives to arise out of prayerful attunement to God’s movement in the immediate surroundings, or “contextualization.”

These and other features are characteristic of the missional philosophy. To gain further understanding, the resources below address multiple areas of missional interest, including philosophy, theology and strategies. Yet their greatest contribution is in providing good exposure to the missional mindset. Follow the links for a more complete summary of each resource.

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Early Generative Works

Recent Guides on Missional Philosophy

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Recent Guides on Missional Trends

First Read:

  • Robert Webber, The Younger Evangelicals — An exhaustive comparison of the missional philosophy with the traditional evangelical (Billy Graham) and pragmatic evangelical/church growth (Bill Hybels) mindsets.

Other Helfpul volumes:

Related Ministry Resources

See Other Philosophies of Church Leadership and Church Health:

Missional Perspectives for Christian Ministry:

See Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry:

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