books missional missional community

Helpful Books on Missional Communities – Missional Theology

As you begin to explore the world of missional church and missional communities, you can encounter an overwhelming number of resources. I have spent a good deal of time reading through much of the literature available, and I thought it would be beneficial to provide some short commentary on many of the works available. I’ll cover a few different categories:


Missional Theology

Missional Theology can be a broad based term. For my purposes, I am going to focus on works that primarily focus on biblical foundations for the mission of the church.


The Mission of God by Christopher Wright

This book provides a framework for considering the narrative of Scripture through God’s redemptive plan throughout history – a missional perspective on the Scripture. I was first exposed to Wright’s ideas through Perspectives, and have found his work to be very helpful and thought-provoking. This book expanded my vision for God’s redemptive work, and forced me to think globally and holistically.


What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

If Wright’s book focuses on God’s grand redemptive plan, this book laser-focuses on the mission of the church, specifically to make disciples and fulfill the Great Commission. I highly encourage you to read this in tandem with other works, as it a response to some helpful and some unhelpful discussion regarding the gospel of the kingdom in theological circles.

This book was incredibly helpful to define the primary purpose of the missional church as disciple-making, and more specifically a robust theological framework for the church’s role in making disciples.


The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman

Perhaps no other book has so profoundly affected my ministry as this one. This is a biblical overview of the ministry of Jesus, and his methodology of making disciples. In my personal discipleship, I follow this method as closely as I can, and it has yielded great fruit in making disciples and developing leaders for the mission.


What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

I love the simple framework that Greg provides for understanding the historical gospel of Jesus Christ:

  • God as creator and perfect in all His attributes
  • Man as created in God’s image, yet has rebelled against the sovereign God
  • Christ as the God-Man, who obeyed perfectly the law of God, died a substitutionary death on the cross, and was resurrected in victory over sin, Satan and death
  • Response as repentance from sin and faith in the message of the gospel

This book provides a simple theology and framework for the gospel of Christ, and it belongs squarely in the theology of mission!


Some people would probably balk at the choices I put in this category, but I would say that much of the popular works that people would consider theology belong more in a category I would call philosophy – how biblical truth is applied in context. I’ll hit that category up next!

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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