Thu, 04 Apr 2013 - 2:10 PM CST
The Road to Missional
MICHAEL FROST (Baker Publishing Group, 160 pp., paperback)
If you are a student of the church for any length of time, you quickly realize the church tends to see ministry happening in waves that it eagerly rides. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with surfing, but the flippancy with which the church seems to jump from one wave to the next is curious. We have seen church growth, seeker sensitive, purpose driven, simple church, organic, and missional. Often in our attempt to catch the wave of the Spirit, we grab a pinch of this and a dash of that. It’s common to hear of a church that is a seeker sensitive, purpose driven, missional community.
In The Road to Missional, international missiologist Michael Frost takes offense at this. He argues that the ubiquity of all things “missional” symbolizes that the church at large has failed to grasp what the word truly means. Instead of experiencing a paradigm shift, many have seen it as just another attempt to do church more effectively or worse yet, as an evangelistic buzzword. The way he describes it, “Most of us have had just enough exposure to being missional to become inoculated.”
Frost compellingly draws the reader back to the heart of the missional imperative, the missio Dei. Correctly understood and embodied, being missional is about living out the purposes of God in such a way that everything we do proclaims and demonstrates the reign and rule of Christ now and forever. We are missional because we serve a God who pursues humanity and sends us incarnated as Christ on a mission to bring the gospel to the nations. If you have ever thought that “missional” was just another wave, this book will make you reconsider that position and maybe even to wade out into the tide.
Reviewed by Ryan Fisher, M.Div., church planter, Lakewood, Ohio.