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Developing Vision Bookshelf: An Annotated Bibliography


Developing Vision Bookshelf: An Annotated Bibliography


(FASTEN, 2007)


Resource Type: brief annotated bibliography


Audience: Church and ministry leaders wanting an introduction to some key books regarding developing vision for church-based transformational community ministry




·  Breaking the Missional Code:  Your Church Can Become a Missionary in your Community, Ed Stetzer and David Putman.  (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006).  $17.99


Authors Stetzer and Putman encourage pastors to understand their own church role in a new way.  They argue that to follow the commands of Jesus, even North American churches must see themselves as missional – a mindset that requires a deep understanding of the cultural context of your church.  Rather than giving “foolproof” steps to leading a successful church, Stetzer and Putman teach pastors how to better understand their communities, discover valuable and eternal truths, and choose and apply strategies for ministry that best fit their unique church and community. 


·  Culture Shift:  Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out, Robert Lewis (Jossey-Bass, 2005)


This book is designed to help church leadership make changes in their church that are deep, meaningful, lasting, and Biblical.  Too often, churches rely on mimicking what other churches are doing, or try to make changes through programming or other superficial methods.  This book helps churches identify their unique culture, assess it, and make real changes that bring them closer to what God planned for them.  Readers are led away from cookie-cutter, program-driven church structure through practical recommendations, illuminating stories, and Scripture.  The authors provide encouragement, inspiration, motivation, and a compelling challenge for pastors everywhere. 


·  If Jesus Were Mayor by Bob Moffitt (Harvest, 2006)


Long-term Christian community developer Bob Moffitt, who has worked with indigenous churches in the developing world for decades, asks a fundamental question in this book: What would your community look like if Jesus were mayor? The book offers principles, strategies, and tools to help local church leaders equip their churches for transformational service. Moffitt describes God’s heart for shalom, true peace and wholeness, and helps readers reflect on the manifold practical implications of God’s intentions for the world.  The book will help any church leader develop a Kingdom-centered vision for community transformation.


·  Shaped by God’s Heart:  The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches, Milfred Minatrea.  (Jossey-Bass, 2004).  $23.95.


Milfred Minatrea shares with church leaders how to become a missional church, following God’s commands with passion and integrity.  From his study of two hundred diverse churches, Minatrea has discovered nine essential practices of the missional church.  This book explains those practices, giving churches the Scriptural and theological background, examples from Minatrea’s studies, and practical steps to put them into effect.  Pastors and lay leaders who want to do more than simply maintain the status quo will find this an encouraging and helpful resource.



·  The Church of Irresistible Influence by Robert Lewis (Zondervan, 2001)


Lewis, pastor of FellowshipBibleChurch in Little Rock, wrote this book to chronicle his church’s shift from an internal to external focus. He tells their experiences and offers lessons learned concerning how to reconnect the church with the community; the how-to’s of “incarnational bridge building;” and how to expand the efforts through new partnerships. Packed with true stories, this is an engaging and uplifting book that will offer fodder for other churches’ brainstorming about how to more effectively serve their communities.

·  The Missional Leader:  Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World, Alan Roxburgh.  (Jossey-Bass, 2006).  $23.95.


Roxburgh brings together much of his teachings and writings in this volume. A leader in the Gospel and Culture movement, he is grounded in theologian Lesslie Newbegin’s approach to mission. In this book, Roxburgh highlights the character, skills, and process required of pastors seeking to create truly missionally engaged congregations.


·  The Present Future:  Six Tough Questions for the Church, Reggie McNeal.  (Jossey-Bass, 2003).  $23.95


Reggie McNeal makes a compelling case for a radical transformation in the North American church.  With humility and humor, he takes a fresh look at Christianity and the Scriptural commands so often neglected in today’s church.  He encourages church leaders to move away from ideas of church growth, retreat from culture, and program-driven agendas.  Instead, he urges Christians and churches to take an honest look at their own obedience to God’s commands and to have the courage to follow these commands, though it may take them away from the safe ground of tradition and habit. 


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