Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood

Baker, 2011
ISBN: 9780801072314


The missional church movement is a sign that we increasingly feel the call to impact our communities, which is a good thing. But, says Alan J. Roxburgh, these conversations still prioritize church success over mission—i.e., how can being missional grow my church? But to focus on such questions misses the point.

Missional calls you to reenter your neighborhood and community to discover what the Spirit is doing there—to start with God’s mission—and join in, shaping your local church around that mission. With inspiring true stories and a solid biblical base, this is a book that will change lives and communities as its message is lived out.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Encourages readers to discover what the Spirit is doing in their communities
  • Offers several stories of successful missional churches
  • Articulates what might be involved in rethinking Christian life in an unthinkable world


  • Part I: The Cul-de-sac of Old Questions: Why We Have to Stop Thinking about the Church
    • Coral Reefs, Garage Sales, and Other Mind-Blowing Disturbances: Grappling with a New World
    • A Parable of Three Friends: Coming to a Right Understanding of Newbigin
    • How It All Came to Be: A Brief History of the Missional Conversation
  • The Language House
  • Part II: The Language House of Luke-Acts: A Narrative for Shaping Our Time of Missional Formation
    • Finding God in the Concrete: Locating Our Stories in the Here and Now
    • Texts That Propose a World: Discovering a Different Way to Enter Scripture
    • Shifting Worlds: The Need for a New Text
    • The Context and Crisis: The Shattered Hopes of Luke’s Readers
    • The Boundary-Breaking Spirit: Seeing Luke-Acts through a Language House Lens
    • The Strange New Ways of God: Sending the Seventy—a Guide for Our Times
    • A New Set of Practices: Themes of Luke 10
    • Peace, Healing, and the Kingdom of God: Living Out a Subversive Proclamation
  • Part III: A New Language House
    • Rules for Radicals: The Contours of a Method
    • Beginning the Journey: Some Practical Steps

Praise for the Print Edition

The term ‘missional’ is in serious danger of becoming all things to all people and thereby signifying nothing. In this book, Alan Roxburgh offers an important corrective to this situation by providing a concrete, practical, and theologically sophisticated conception of the term in conjunction with a fresh imagination around the idea of joining God in the neighborhood for the sake of the world. This is the best book yet from one of the leading voices in the missional conversation.

John R. Franke, theologian in residence, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA

I’ve read Al Roxburgh over the years and, taking nothing away from his previous work, this is Roxburgh’s finest to date. His take on Luke 10 is compelling. Filled with stories and theological precision, this book takes us to new places for the future of Christ’s church in North America. It is sure to be a tour de force for the missional conversation. I am not being excessive when I say this book is brilliant.

David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary

Missional may well be the best yet from author Alan Roxburgh as he prophetically reclaims the Newbigin engagement of Gospel and culture as the key to rediscovering what it really means to be church. This engagement is compellingly framed in theological terms from the Luke-Acts texts as readers are deeply challenged and creatively invited to ‘join God in their neighborhoods.’ A must-read for anyone who takes seriously the challenge and opportunity facing the church in the West in light of it having lost home field advantage.

Craig Van Gelder, professor of congregational mission, Luther Seminary

Many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of things called ‘missional,’ but Roxburgh deconstructs our modern strategic orderliness, claims we often ask the wrong questions, and lures us into Luke’s narratives. Roxburgh posits that our ‘language house,’ our whole imagination about what God is up to and how we might participate, needs to be upended through some rather odd activities like listening to neighbors and rehearing some biblical narratives.

—Mark Lau Branson, Homer Goddard Associate Professor of Ministry of the Laity, Fuller Theological Seminary

Roxburgh daringly puts the church in its place . . . literally. Missional invites us to relocate the center of missional life from churches to our places and neighborhoods. Drawing on a lifetime of missional practice and study, Roxburgh brings together missional theology with real world stories of missional practitioners. A must-read for any community seeking to live even more missionally.

—Dwight J. Friesen, associate professor of practical theology, Mars Hill Graduate School, Seattle

Product Details

About Alan J. Roxburgh

Alan J. Roxburgh is a teacher, trainer, and consultant who works with Allelon and framing resources for the missional church internationally. He coordinates an international project involving leaders from 12 nations who are examining leadership formation in a globalized world. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Missional Church, The Missional Leader and Leadership, Liminality and the Missionary Congregation, and Reaching a New Generation.


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