Faith Today - Archival Site

May/June 2006 Issue

Where Does This “Missional Church” Talk Come From?

Alan Roxburgh (uncle of Cam Roxburgh interviewed above) offers some historical context in an article available on christianity.ca.

In 1998 Eerdmans published Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. It was written in the most unlikely manner by a team of missiologists, theologians and practitioners who met for three years to compose it. The book’s genesis lay... inside a new network called the Gospel and Our Culture Network (GOCN). Comprised of people from a variety of church backgrounds (Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist and Anabaptist), GOCN coalesced around the writings of Lesslie Newbigin, a missionary in India for over 30 years.

Newbigin, upon his retirement in the late 1960s, returned to his native England to discover that the Christian culture he had left some 30 years earlier had all but disappeared. He recognized that . . . the challenge facing western churches was the re-conversion of their own people. Newbigin wrote voluminously on this subject . . . and came to America on numerous occasions to lecture and teach. . . .

[Eventually the GOCN formed, and participants began to realize] there was a significant amount of work to be done in addressing issues of gospel faithfulness in North American culture. It was against this background that the Pew Charitable Trust provided generous funding to form the team that wrote Missional Church.

Alan J. Roxburgh of Vancouver, B.C., is president of the Missional Leadership Institute, helps direct the GOCN, and is co-author of Missional Church. He is also involved in a network known as Emergent. “Missional” language is common among various “emergent” or “emerging” church networks as well.


How Does “Missional Church” Relate to Evangelism?

National Evangelism Partnerships, a roundtable of ministries facilitated by The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, currently working on a draft statement about the missional church. At press time the incomplete text breaks down the concept into six parts: “Being missional means being incarnational, passionate about neighbourhood, intentional about community, passionate about spirituality, radical about stewardship, and committed to transformational discipleship.” Watch for more on this in the future.

Other Articles
May/June 2006 Issue

Cover Story
God, Glory, Gold: Athletes Who Believe

Featured Articles
The Missional Church: Getting Back to the Core of Our Identity

Helping Congregations Be More Missional

Where Does This "Missional Church" Talk Come From?

Being Neighbourly, Being Missional

From the Editor
Our Cover and More

The Gathering Place
The Ottawa Manifesto

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