Over the past decade or so, there have been a litany of resources put out to promote a missional church and missional life. Many of these resources can help us move from a “country club” version of the church to a living, breathing, Spirit-fueled mobile body of believers reaching families, neighborhoods, cities and nations with the Gospel. As the Lord leads Old Powhatan Baptist Church to a major shift in our identity, as He leads us to fall on our knees, trusting Him to accomplish His purposes in and through us, and leads us to mighty things that only He can accomplish as we build Gospel relationships in our communities and risk everything for the advance of the Gospel, I wanted to point you to some of the most helpful resources I have read that will help us form a new identity as disciples of Christ… not just “Christians… as we reach our community and beyond.
Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission
by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis.
HOW DOES THE CHURCH REACH THE UNCHURCHED?
We live in an increasingly post-Christian culture. More and more we find ourselves on the margins as less and less people have any intention of ever attending church. What used to work doesn’t work anymore and we need to adapt. Helping us to see the way forward, this book offers practical ideas and personal stories for engaging with Western society. Find out how to effectively reach people in the context of everyday life and take hold of the opportunity to develop missional communities focused on Jesus
The Insanity of Obedience: Walking With Jesus in Tough Places
by Nik Ripken
All Christian disciples have one thing in common: as they carry the gospel across the ocean and across the street, persecution will become the norm for those who choose to follow Jesus. How believers respond in the face of persecution reveals everything about their level of faith and obedience. The Insanity of Obedience is a bold challenge to global discipleship. Nik Ripken exposes the danger of safe Christianity and calls readers to something greater. The Insanity of Obedience challenges Christians in the same, provocative way that Jesus did. This book dares you—and prepares you—to cross the street and the oceans with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Distinctives: Daring to Be Different in an Indifferent World
by Vaughan Roberts
In a fresh and readable style, Vaughan Roberts, issues a challenging call to Christians to live out their faith. We should be different from the world around us.
Targeting difficult but crucial areas such as our attitude to money and possessions, sexuality, contentment, relativism and service, this teaching is holiness in the tradition of J.C Ryle for the contemporary generation. Roberts helps us to consider how we are to respond biblically to the temptations and pitfalls surrounding us—giving what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.
Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God
by David Platt
Writing to everyone who desires to make an impact for God’s glory—whether you are an involved member, a leader, or a pastor—Dr. Platt shares six foundational ideas that fuel radical obedience among Christians in the church. With compelling Bible teaching and inspiring stories from around the world, he will help you apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to your community of faith in fresh, practical ways.
Servant Evangelism: Showing and Sharing the Good News
by Alvin Reid and David Wheeler
The good news of Jesus Christ is best proclaimed by both a verbal witness and a demonstration of its truth. Servant Evangelism shows and shares the Gospel by combining acts of kindness with telling the Gospel Story.
Nobodies for Jesus: 14 Days Toward a Great Commission Lifestyle
by Chuck Lawless
The concept of Nobodies for Jesus is simple but profound: take 14 days and develop a Great Commission lifestyle. The book weaves through numerous New Testament narratives to show how “regular” people, “nobodies,” became somebody for the sake of the gospel. This book, if taken seriously, has the ability to transform individuals, groups, and even entire churches. The 14-day study guide is excellent for use in multiple settings.
Questioning Evangelism: Engaging Peoples’ Hearts the Way Jesus Did
by Randy Newman
A revolutionary look at sharing Christ with unbelievers by using the probing, provocative, and penetrating method Jesus used to engage others in personal dialogue and caring interaction.
The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door
by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon
Once upon a time, people knew their neighbors. They talked to them, had cook-outs with them, and went to church with them. In our time of unprecedented mobility and increasing isolationism, it’s hard to make lasting connections with those who live right outside our front door. We have hundreds of "friends" through online social networking, but we often don’t even know the full name of the person who lives right next door.
This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building? Through compelling true stories of lives impacted, the authors show readers how to create genuine friendships with the people who live in closest proximity to them.
A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel
by Ben Connelly and Bill Roberts
Surprise – whoever you are, you’re a missionary! If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, God calls you his missionary. You may never go halfway around the world. You may not raise financial support. But because of God’s gospel work in you, you are on mission: to people in your work, school, neighborhood, and those in need. As everyday missionaries, God has sent us to live out his Great Commission in the ordinary, normal, all-too-busy, and even most mundane moments of our lives. But what exactly does an everyday missionary do? Where and when does everyday mission happen? And how can you possibly share the gospel, without killing your relationships? A Field Guide for Everyday Mission answers these questions and more for individuals, churches, small groups, and missional communities.
Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey
by Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper
Most of us emphasize one aspect of Christianity over another. Competing voices tell us that the Christian life is all about this or that: missions, discipleship, worship, the cross, or the kingdom. It’s as if we are navigating the Christian life with fragments of a map—bits and pieces of the good news—rather than the whole picture. If we put those map fragments together, we discover a beautiful, coherent picture.Faithmapping invites Christians to see that map, exploring a whole gospel that forms a whole church who carries that glorious news to the whole world.
What’s Best Next? How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
by Matt Perman
Do Work That Matters Productivity isn’t just about getting more things done. It’s about getting the rightthings done—the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward. In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity? When we take God’s purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first—to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what’s best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work.
This is by no means an exhaustive list… jut a list of some of the most helpful books that I have read that I thought some of you might want to read. What are some of your must-reads on missional living as individuals and as the Church… living with the Gospel as all of life?