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Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  151 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Once upon a time, Moses had had enough. Exhausted by the challenge of leading the Israelites from slavery to the Promised Land, Moses cried out to God, "What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? . . . If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me" (Exodus 11:11, 15). If that sounds hauntingly familiar to yo ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by InterVarsity Press (first published June 28th 2012)
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Jonathan Gouthier
Jun 06, 2014 Jonathan Gouthier added it
Recommends it for: Church Leaders
“Go into all the world and make disciples” it an agreeable statement that resounds through the highways and byways of the church and yet before stepping outside the door to the mission field, we hesitate—why? We don’t move because we’re unprepared to go out into our neighborhoods because we do not know our neighbors. Becoming a missional church starts with asking questions and J.R. Woodward does just that in “Creating a Missional Culture.” He attempts to show us where the church aligns the sacre ...more
May 28, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
This is a great resource for anyone thinking about planting or building churches or other missional movements. Several things distinguish this book: 1) The focus on culture, and the understanding that leaders (as opposed to administrators) are culture-shapers, 2) the focus on polycentric leadership around the equipping gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher, and 3) the thinking about how neigborhood churches grow through discipleship communities that lead missional space mini ...more
May 24, 2013 Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All things "missional" are pretty hot right now. J.R. Woodward helps to explain why in Creating a Missional Culture Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World. Starting with a concise and cohesive explication of how postmodern philosophy, consumerism, and globalization figure into Western culture, Woodward helps the reader imagine a church that is equipped to lean into change, rather than shrink back from it.

For me, the "meat" of the book was in Parts 3 and 4. In Part 3, Woodward explains hi
Joe Watkins
Jan 24, 2013 Joe Watkins rated it it was amazing
Creating a Missional Culture is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the church’s place and mission in the coming years and the shape the church might take to fulfill that mission. Creating a Missional Culture offers a fresh perspective on being the church in an ever-changing culture while remaining faithful to, and even calling the church to remember, the earliest teachings on the church from Ephesians. As someone in ministry who is moving out to a broader ministry context, I recommend ...more
Ed Choy
Feb 04, 2014 Ed Choy rated it it was amazing
JR writes with the authority of one who has lived out missional life, has equipped others to do the same, and is multiplying leaders in the missional movement. This was my introduction to the term/concept of polycentric leadership and it's a home run! It's more than just team leadership and he gives many examples and applications. I had the privilege to meet JR and he lives out what he writes about. If you're interested in the missional movement and culture, pick this up.
Rod White
Feb 27, 2013 Rod White rated it really liked it
This is a good, careful book. A lot of it is like a well-written description of Circle of Hope that we could have written 15 years ago. Our ethos is more "speak the poetry and let the music happen." This is much more "write the music and teach people to sing the words." There is room for everyone. I have to admit, we are just figuring out that we could use more of the latter flavor. Woodward has a good idea for making churches that fit the needs of the postmodern urban world. It was a stimulatin ...more
Chris Lenshyn
Dec 13, 2012 Chris Lenshyn rated it it was amazing
This book is well done. JR has given his life to this work and you can tell. It is not merely a book JR has pumped out, but something that he has embodied. As a result, the book benefits greatly. This is a work that challenges, inspires and pushes the reader to understand and ultimately facilitate a missional culture. Creating a Missional Culture is not merely a one and done read. It is a resource. JR has been doing this for more than a decade and has saturated these pages with content that give ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
This leadership model protects us from the limits and shortcomings of a personality-dominated church culture -- no matter how gifted -- while still honoring the importance of leadership itself, sensitized to particular cultures and giftings. JR understands our post-Christendom situation and hopefully points to a way forward that is neither naive nor merely pragmatic. There is boldness, humility and andpromise in this proposal.
Feb 18, 2013 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This is a great book. Woodward speaks clearly and directly to church planters and leaders regarding how to create a culture that equips them to lead a movement. Polycentric leadership among five equippers (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) from Ephesians 4 is the central thesis. At times, it is too categorical and modernistic, he is still compelling and innovative.
Jan 10, 2013 joshua rated it it was amazing
I was inspired by this book. It goes beyond poly-centric leadership paradigms in the church and into theology of mission. I feel motivated.
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Jan 28, 2015 Jamie Arpin-Ricci rated it it was amazing
With the term "missional" thrown around like a marketing buzzword, finding a book that treats the topic with the depth and practicality that this book does is a much needed gift. Woodward brings together the rare quality of integrating theology, biblical studies, spiritual formation and mission in ways that complement each. This book is not just for pastors or ministry leaders, but for all Christians who desire to understand their place in the mission of God. A great book for personal study and ...more
Jake Owens
Mar 24, 2016 Jake Owens rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Not a bad book necessarily, way too overloaded with examinations of what culture is, different philosophers' approaches to culture, etc. Very few church leaders need this sort of complexity, something that the book itself seems to realize. Shorter and more concise and this could've been a real winner.
Jul 26, 2012 Arlene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: will-re-read
The 'Salt & Pepper' needed to equip the Church Is what I said on Amazon in my review. "Just finished JR Woodward's book "Creating a Missional Culture..." on my kindle. A good book or movie makes you thirsty for more... I am more than thirsty!! A good mix of solid theology from various resources and impeccable insight on people & the world we live in. An easy read that will inspire you personally yet provide valuable resources, ideas and framework for a more healthy, vibrant church family ...more
Doug Dale
Jul 30, 2015 Doug Dale rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, leadership
I feel like this book has a lot of potentially valuable ideas in it about what the church needs to look like in today's world, but I had a hard time getting to it because of some of the terminology and what felt like a lack of practical application. It's a little ironic to me that those speaking of the need for the church to be 'missional' will sometimes criticize the 'old' terminology of the church as being a barrier to those not familiar with it, but then go on to create a whole new set of ter ...more
Delroy Brooks
Sep 14, 2015 Delroy Brooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, missiology
Enjoyed reading through this book and will probable read again as I take my church through some of the ideas promoted here.
Matt Taylor
Jun 28, 2016 Matt Taylor rated it it was amazing
The chapters that lay out who of each leader in Ephesians 4 are made this book awesome for me.
Zach  Hoag
Jan 19, 2013 Zach Hoag rated it it was amazing
Excellent book describing a way forward for the Missional church. Hugely encouraging to me personally, as I find myself in the midst of ministry transition. With an emphasis on polycentric leadership and a church culture based in the five-fold gifts, JR gets to the deeper source of the church's Missional identity and just may be preparing the way for the next decade of this conversation.
James Kim
Jan 28, 2014 James Kim rated it it was amazing
One of the better books I've read on missional theology. Its insightful, practical, helpful description of creating a culture where Christ's mission can thrive is very helpful. Besides, in what other book can you read a citation from the PCUSA Book of Order and be pumped up? Well worth the read.
Oct 15, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
While some editing errors distract from the text at times, this book is insightful and thought provoking. It took a little while to wrap my brain around the concepts, and I don't know that I agree with all of them, but there is a lot of really helpful information in here.
Aug 04, 2015 April rated it liked it
Some good, practical insights into working in teams. Leaders are called "equippers" who train/disciple others who then will also disciple, leading to a multiplication movement of the gospel. My favorite chapters were on "polycentric leadership." Worth reading.
Luke Evans
Oct 30, 2012 Luke Evans rated it it was ok
Not very good.

Many shallow parts. So many cliches and buzz words that I lost count.

Not much on gospel-centered ministry.

Not enough praxis on what "polycentric" leadership looks like.
Edward Bryant
Nov 13, 2012 Edward Bryant rated it really liked it
I decent perspective on creating a Missional Culture within a congregation. The author's categories are very useful and perspective is rather pastoral.
Justin Woodall
Dec 29, 2012 Justin Woodall rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Pretty good, overall. He puts a little too much emphasis on decentralization of leadership. But chock full if interesting ideas and architecture.
Ryan Bell
Aug 27, 2012 Ryan Bell rated it really liked it
Read our review of this book at The Hillhurst Review:
Noah Stepro Stepro
Oct 08, 2012 Noah Stepro Stepro rated it it was amazing
Excellent treatise on church leadership in a postmodern world...change the way we do things at Kairos Community
Jason Wright
Jason Wright marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
J. marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2016
Nancy Barton
Nancy Barton rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2016
Josh rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2016
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JR Woodward is a church planter, activist, consultant, missiologist, speaker and writer. Graduating with a master of arts in global leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary, Woodward went on to co-found Kairos Los Angeles, a network of neighborhood churches in the Los Angeles area.

He also cofounded and is now director of the Solis Foundation, a faith-based foundation that partners with churche
More about J.R. Woodward...

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“The prescription for spiritual transformation has often been too individualistically oriented. We are encouraged to engage in spiritual disciplines so that we might have the power to do what we can’t do by will power alone. But what happens when people don’t have the “will power” to engage spiritual disciples on a consistent basis? Our character is left untended. “In a wild world like ours, your character, left untended, will become a stale room, an obnoxious child, a vacant lot filled with thorns, weeds, broken bottles, raggedy grocery bags, and dog droppings. Your deepest channels will silt in, and you will feel yourself shallowing. You’ll become a presence neither you nor others will enjoy, and you and they will spend more and more time and energy trying to be anywhere else.”[1] So what are we to do?” 2 likes
“Culture is like gravity. We never talk about it, except in physics classes. We don’t include gravity in our weekly planning processes. No one gets up thinking about how gravity will affect their day. However, gravity impacts us in everything we do, every day. Like gravity, the culture of a congregation can either pull people down to their base instincts or lift people up to their sacred potential. We create culture, and culture re-creates us.” 2 likes
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