If you only have five books to read on missional ministry, these are my top picks. Taken together they provide a good overview of the theoretical, the practical, and the stories. If you want a broader scope of missional ministry, as well as multiple voices, read the rest of the list. Although far from a comprehensive list of what’s out there on the subject, they will provide you with a good foundational understanding of missional ministry.

Bob’s top five 

  1. The Missional Church by Darryl Guder. Published in 1998, the ground-breaking seminal work that launched the current missional conversation.
  2. Shaping of Things to Come by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost. One of the early influential books in setting up a theological and philosophical framework for the missional paradigm.
  3. The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George Hunter III. A great example of how current missional thinking was applied over 1500 years ago, this engaging historical narrative of the Celtic movement of Christianity provides an historical model of evangelism for us to follow. Substantive and a pleasure to read, this book highlights holistic missional living as it was practiced in the context of a much earlier Christianity.
  4. A Community Called Atonement – Scot McKnight. Although you may not find this book under a word search for “missional,” it’s one of the fundamental theological works to provide a framework for the missional conversation. This book connects the dots between atonement—the core of much of our theology—and how it makes a difference in the world as we express and live out this reconciliation. A fresh perspective on how we live as church and carry out the mission in light of the atonement of Jesus.
  5. Organic Church by Neil Cole. An outstanding book that takes a focused look at the simple church and helps people rethink what church is all about, this book provides the reader with inspiring stories about engaging culture, evangelizing and multiplying simple churches in today’s context.

What are some of your favorites?