The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World – A Review
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alan Roxburgh has depth and breadth of experience as a practioner, author, consultant, professor and speaker. He resides in Vancouver and is an expert on the Missional Church and Missional leadership. He does work in North America, Australia and the UK. He currently works with Allelon Missional Leadership Network. Fred Romanuk is an organizational and change management guru who has experience in both the church and international firms. He is a psychologist who develops ways of assessing and developing leaders.
Roxburgh and Romanuk’s contend that in light of our context in the West where we are experiencing discontinuous change, we need to develop missional leaders with new capacities and frameworks to form missional environments and congregations which are a sign, witness and foretaste of God’s kingdom.
In part one, Roxburgh and Romanuk take a look at the context and challenge of missional leadership. They examine six critical issues for missional leadership to be aware of and look at how to cultivate the imagination of the missional leader. They outline a three-zone model for missional leadership as well as a five-stage missional change model followed by a list of skills needed for leading a congregation through missional transformation. In part two they look at the shape and the work of the missional leader. The shape of the missional leader is one of maturity, trust and integrity. The work of the missional leader is to cultivate a people with a missional imagination as well as nurture a missional environment in which the faith community knows how to engage in the mission contextually.
THOUGHTS ON BOOK
I found this book theologically grounded and practically oriented. Roxburgh and Romanuk give us practical models and tools which enable us to grow in our personal leadership as well learn to be adaptive leaders in a discontinuous context. They give specific advice on how to nurture and navigate missional communities toward God’s eschaton.
I found a rich assortment of tools in this book for the journey of forming missional communities. The three-zone model of missional leadership (41) is a great way by which to understand where a congregation is at in regard to her life and context as well as the skills and competencies that are needed to navigate a community in the different zones. I appreciated the five-stage missional change model (104, 105), which serves as a good guide in cultivating an environment of missional imagination.
I deeply appreciate the emphases they put on the personal development of the missional leader. I plan to use the 360-degree personal assessment tool in order to determine the specific areas of leadership capacity that I need to grow in so that I might develop an intentional learning plan. I think it will be extremely helpful to get fifteen to twenty-five leaders and peers in order to get a photograph of how others perceive me in relation to the readiness factors.
I found figure 6.2, the interaction and personal attributes and congregational readiness factor diagram to be a great summary chart to put to memory. I really jive with the four factors that they identify as personal foundational attributes: personal maturity, conflict management, personal courage and trustworthiness. I have found these factors to be foundational as well. This book has not only been rich with ideas about missional leadership, but it supplies many helpful tools that I can apply immediately.