Helpful Books on Missional Communities – Practices

June 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

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:

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Missional Practices

Missional practices focus primarily on what missional churches and communities do, rather than ideas that drive them. There aren’t a ton of resources available, but I’ve found the following to be quite helpful.

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Launching Missional Communities by Mike Breen and Alex Absalom

Mike and Alex do a good job of providing a tangible plan for implementing missional communities and answering a host of practical questions. My particular definition of missional community would differ from theirs, as they tend to focus on the group size of 30 to 50, but there are still a number of helpful practicals within this resource. It occasionally tends toward being overly prescriptive, but then again they are as convinced about their methodology as I am, so I guess I can cut them some slack!

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Search and Rescue by Neil Cole

In this book, Neil highlights the ideas of Life Transformation Groups, and how they play a role in cultivating disciples who make disciples. We adapted his methodology to form our own version of LTGs, but this is a great introduction that is thoroughly practical.

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Church Planting Movements by David Garrison

My friend Stew gave me this book before I ever knew what a missional community was, and it really opened my eyes to how Christianity was spreading throughout the world. More specifically, this book looks at church planting and disciple making movements, and distills the fundamental practices that are universal to each movement. The two most important takeaways for me from this book were the centrality of prayer and the abundance of evangelism that is present in every movement of the gospel.

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There are plenty more resources that I could mention in this series, but I’m sure you’ve got plenty to read by now. I always love recommendations for books, so feel free to put your favorites in the comments!

Todd Engstrom

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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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