Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Creating a Missional Culture – A Synopsis

You can now pre-order  – Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World (both Amazon and B&N have it for a great discount). The new scheduled release date is August 20th.  It will be part of a new imprint with InterVarsity Press called Praxis, which is a series of books focused on equipping leaders for ministry.  It is also a part of the newly developed  Forge America line which I’m excited about.  Here is a look at the cover and a short synopsis of the book.

Synopsis of Book
If we are going to have churches where the community more fully reflects the character and ministry of Christ, we must understand the hidden power of culture.  Like gravity, the culture of a congregation can either pull people down to their base instincts or lift people up to their sacred potential.  We create culture and culture recreates us.

If we want to create a missional culture in the congregations we serve, we need to understand how the different elements of culture work.  Because the language we live in, the artifacts that we make use of, the rituals we engage in, our approach to ethics, the institutions we are a part of and the narratives we inhabit have the power to shape our lives profoundly.

In addition we need to cultivate learning, healing, welcoming, liberating and thriving environments.  We do this by yielding to the work of the Spirit in our lives by developing communal rhythms of life – grace-filled spiritual practices which engage our senses, grab our hearts, form our identities and reshape our desires toward God and his kingdom.

While managers operate within culture, leaders create culture. In fact, our very approach to leadership shapes culture in profound ways.  Hierarchical leadership tends to breed an individualistic approach to spiritual formation, while polycentric leadership lends itself to a more communal approach. If we desire to connect with the digital generation, we need to learn to live as a community of leaders within the community.

The apostle Paul makes a direct link between the spiritual maturity of the church and the five kinds of equippers operating in the church.  Thus we must recognize, nourish and release the five equippers  – apostles (dream awakeners), prophets (heart revealers), evangelists (story tellers), pastors (soul healers) and teachers (light givers) – Christ has given the church.  For as the equippers incarnate their lives and ministries within the body, the whole body will be aroused and awakened to live in the world, for the sake of the world, in the way of Christ.

I’m really excited about the book. I trust it will be a contribution to helping churches live out their calling for the sake of the world well. Here is the table of contents.  Here are what some people are saying about the book.  If you want to keep up with the latest news about the book, then go to this facebook page and “like it”.


25 Responses to Creating a Missional Culture – A Synopsis

  1. Arlene says:

    Yes!!! I have been praying for you on this…and then wondering …for the cover alone…it looks very clean and very sharp looking…the book I just finished had a brown background that made the book look old so none of my friends were interested though it was written in the last 5 years….so I am liking the white…sounds silly I know!!…back to the rest of your post 🙂

  2. Arlene says:

    JR, I just remembered for the cover you wanted to use words from the title in a creative way….though it looks like you didn’t go that way(so far) I just want to say this clean cover seems to set the pace for the inside…If the “Synopsis of Book” is the actual wording you are using then I have to say “well done,JR”…I was praying that you would write for the audience of average Joes….and as an average Jane… I think whats written above is a good read…just like in Acts when Peter & Paul went about and people recognized them as spending time with Jesus….I was hoping that this would just speak from your heart and being close to God reflect the heart of God…and written for the Average Joe because you are saying God is using the average Joe (and Jane)…I hope this makes sense 🙂

  3. JR Woodward says:

    Glad you like it and that the synopsis makes good sense.

  4. Arlene says:

    ok now I feel dumb…it was Pete and John(Acts 4:13)…see what I mean? Average Jane here…at least I didn’t say Peter, Paul & Mary…LOL…that’s what I get for wanting to zip out a quick response to you before going out & about…enjoy your day!!

  5. Jason says:

    Aloha JR. I’m stoked to see a cover in the works. I like it. It has that modern look: clean, minimalist, and the font on a white background. The colored icons are cool; it creates some kind of curiosity about what they actually represent and invites you to read the book to find out. Maybe the back cover will say something about it. Since its a book on leadership, though it may be on the leadership shelves, I would like to see the word “leadership” or short phrase on leadership on the cover. Or maybe just a short quote by Alan Hirsch (at the risk of compromising the simplistic look).

  6. JR Woodward says:


    Thanks bro for your feedback. Due to the fact that IVP has to send the cover for some publications for the fall series of books they will have out, the cover is likely to stay as it is, at least on the front. I do think that the back will have something that would peek people’s interest and let them know it is a book on leadership. Thanks for your continued input on this book. I’m going to have to let you look at what it looks like after my last edit. The order of the book has changed and I think the flow is better than my 1.0 version.

  7. JR Woodward says:


    By the way, I’m glad you enjoy the clean, minimalist approach. It was what I was asking for. And I was hoping the icons would have the effect of intrigue.

  8. Brad Brisco says:

    JR, love it! Title, cover and synopsis!

  9. JR Woodward says:

    Thanks Brad. Glad you like it. Love to connect sometime. Hope all is well.

  10. Brad Brisco says:

    Missed you at the Forge deal in Chicago. I look forward to helping get the word out on the book when its ready. Yes we should try to connect by phone sometime in the next couple of weeks. I am tied up all next week but afterwards lets find a time.

  11. Arlene says:

    JR…not sure which equipper the last icon represents(except by elimination) BUT is the icon upside down…thinking it might be a gate…you always speak of them in the same order so it is easy to guess what & which ones they represent

  12. JR Woodward says:

    Brad, I was really hoping to be in Chicago, but I had made a commitment to go to Sundance which happen to be at the same time. I’ll let you know about the book as it gets a little closer. And a couple weeks to talk sounds good. Peace.

  13. sonja says:

    Hi Jr, I’ve been so out of touch.Not sure what i think about the cover.Not what i expected to find..but very clear and colourful.Congrats !

  14. JR Woodward says:


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The cover design had a unique road that is a story in itself. But I’m really happy with the end product, especially when considering the journey.

  15. Arlene says:

    One thing I have seen in your writings and talks is that you are humble. So if you were a coach I know you would want to make sure every game every one of your players was reaching their potential and involved in bringing your team to victory.I KNOW you are a great team player and probably played well in the sandbox with other kids as a kid 🙂 It is with this thinking that I encourage you to keep things simple and make knowledge acceptable. I think you will be much more happier to have your books able to be read by many and not be sitting on the shelf or used as a text book…I could be wrong…and yes I said books…just remember this is just the first…I will always encourage you to rest well and remember to play often(enjoy life) because it will help us when we “hit the wall” to keep on keeping on & pace ourselves …enjoy your next travels..praying for you and learning to use my YoYo again …so playing as well too!!

  16. April says:

    Judging by the synopsis, you’ve packed a lot into this book. Looking forward to it.

  17. JR Woodward says:

    April, I did, but i think it will hold the readers attention throughout. Sometimes the mistake for first time authors is putting too much in, but some of my early editors/readers felt it was thick but good. So hopefully I will hit the sweet spot.

  18. sonja says:

    jr, I hope to read more of the story behind the scenes sometime on your journey how it came to pass.

  19. JR Woodward says:

    I will have to think about how to share that.

  20. Nancy says:

    Will we be able to purchase this book for Ipad after Sept?

  21. JR Woodward says:


    You should be able to get it on the kindle app for the ipad (hopefully in September), I’m not sure yet if it will be an ibook. I’ll try to give you an update.

  22. nancy says:

    Great. Looking forward to it!

  23. Arlene says:

    Pre ordered book(I get it on my birthday) and posted on my FB wall about your book…glad to support you!!….JR’s to do list 1. Write my first book (check) 2. Rest (check) 3.Live a life worthy of the Gospel(check) 4.Remind Arlene that she’s crazy and it must be the Michigan water 5.Remember that God uses crazy people(check) 6. World peace and keep lovin’ people to Jesus 7. ____________(fill in)
    Your sweeeet cover has so many things that I think are representative of the things to come BUT also the artist in you besides writer…lookin’ forward to your first viewing of JR art

  24. Arlene says:

    JR, just a forewarning…read a quick read of the quick read on your book…..AWESOME!!!!…but know you are going to be forever harassed by a certain N. H for misspelling his last name in your beginning thank yous….I am sure it happens alot with his last name

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