“You are holding a hard-won treasure. This is not some fluffy, shallow, exploration of the topic – those caricatures abound already. This book is well written, theologically well-considered, and peppered with the kind of missiological insights that only an apostolically inclined leader can bring. As a long time practioner of these ideas, JR brings a distinctive practical edge to the equation, and the reader is given real life possibilities to impliment.” - Alan Hirsch, author, The Permanent Revolution
“JR Woodward’s remarkable book defies categorization. To ‘create a missional culture’ requires disciplined biblical and theological formation, discerning engagement with contemporary cultures, appreciative interaction with diverse resources, and the courage to experiment and to innovate. Woodward does all that and more.” - Darrell Guder, professor, Princeton Theological Seminary
Download a Sample Chapter, compliments of InterVarsity Press.Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World was developed in the crucible of ministry over the last 20 years. Here is a list of more endorsements, and here are some reviews of the book. Below is a brief overview as well a button to download a free sample chapter.
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 a 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.
In this book you will:
- understand what missional culture is and why it is important
- discover the five environments that unleash the missional imagination of God’s people
- learn how to assess the culture of the congregation you serve through the culture web
- understand how the culture of the congregation you serve will help or hinder the maturity of the church
- learn how to identify, cultivate and multiply the five equippers in the congregation you serve
- learn why polycentric leadership makes more sense than hierarchical leadership or flat leadership
- get practical tools that will enhance your ability to lead as a team of cultural architects, cultivating environments where good things run wild
- and more…
You can order the book here. Here’s a free sample of the book. You can read the endorsements here, and here is a page dedicated to frequently asked questions. If you would like me to come and speak on Creating a Missional Culture or other topics, just click the green button below.