Saturday, July 19, 2008

Minatrea, Shaped by God's Heart

Milfred Minatrea, Shaped by God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004)
The imagination that shapes this book is built around a list of nine characteristics of churches that are viewed as missional. While there is nothing wrong necessarily with these nine characteristics, the book implies that if a church develops their ability to do these nine things that they will also become missional. This approach is based upon some assumptions about how churches work and how leadership works in our culture. These assumptions are founded on a modernistic point of view of "analyze, plan, control, and produce." This is a mechanistic view of how churches are developed. But that is not the way things work in the church or in leadership. One cannot attain a list of the top ten characteristics of the most effective companies in America, copy them and then expect to become like those companies. 

In addition, I can imagine an attractional church adopting these nine practices and becoming a better attractional church. Part of the reason is that none of these characteristics are necessarily unique to the missional conversation. Attractional churches have been talking this way for a long time. Basically, a church can use this to create a more improved version of evangelicalism based on the insight of the large "effective" churches cited in this book. 

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