Over the past two decades, the missional church conversation has become a very “big tent” conversation here in North America, with more than 1,000 books written that explore the topic, the history of the movement and its implications. There are dozens of conferences now being held annually that are exclusively “missional” or that have a “missional” learning track of some kind. There are various missional church networks that have formed to promote missional living and church planting. (Full disclosure: I helped start one of those networks.)
The missional shift seems to have really taken hold in the past 21 years since David Bosch’s monumental book Transforming Mission (1991) documented the changing landscape of global missiological thinking, and in the past 14 years since Darrell Guder compiled the Missional Church book (1998), which explored applying these missiological ideas to the North American context.
As I did for several years around the emergent church conversation, I’m excited to bring my journalistic approach to curating the missional church conversation here on the Missional Shift blog.
Because it’s important in any discussion of missional to understand one’s context, I want you to know the perspectives and biases I bring to this endeavor:
I was raised as an evangelical, and I’ve spent more than a decade of my adult life in evangelical ministries of one sort or another. (I spent six years working for Billy Graham, for example.)
But in the past several years, I’ve found myself on the outside of evangelicalism looking in, for various reasons. I’ve since found a new home as a progressive (some would definitely call me a liberal) in a mainline Protestant denomination. And that’s why you’re finding this missional blog listed under the “Progressive Christianity” portal on Patheos.
I want to explore the full spectrum of the missional church conversation, which includes both the conservative evangelical as well as the missional mainline, with perhaps a special emphasis or nod to the more progressive end of the spectrum — because that’s just how I roll.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
What are your hopes for this new Missional Shift blog? Please leave me a comment and let me know what you’d like to see!