Creating a Missional Culture – A Year Later
It was about a year ago that IVP released Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World. Upon the anniversary of its release, I thought I would give some reflections on what has happened this past year, and how the book has influenced people and churches in positive ways. There is much to say, but I want to say it in as a succinct way as possible, sometimes using the words that others have written about the book.
First of all, I am extremely thankful for all the people who formerly endorsed the book. They lead full lives, so for them to take time to read and give their thoughts on the book was a very honoring thing. Thanks to Alan Hirsch, Jon Tyson, Darrell Guder, Linda Bergquist, David Fitch, Michael Frost, Amos Yong, Wil Hernandez, MaryKate Morse, and Dwight J. Friesen. You can read what they said about the book here.
I’m also thankful for the many reviews, articles and interviews related to Creating a Missional Culture. Some of my favorite interviews were with Ed Stetzer at his blog with Christianity Today, as well as my video interview with Chris Yaw. Some of the recent articles that you may not have seen include Training for Everyday Evangelism in the Digital Age by Ron Clark (The Christian Chronicle) and Breaking Old Habits: Mission Leaders Advocate Change, Adaptability by Suanne Camfield.
Here are some of my favorite quotes pulled from various reviews or tweets.
“This may be the best book of congregational life I’ve read all year!” – Byron Borger (Hearts and Minds Books) found in 10 New Books for Church Leaders on Congregational Life, Pastoring, Ministry. I was thrilled about this review, as Byron is considered as one of the most ferocious readers in our time.
“It’s like the Starfish and the Spider for missional leaders.” – J.R. Briggs (Author, Church Planter from the Philadelphia area)
“If I were to recommend one book as a starting place and overview of the missional movement, I would point to Creating a Missional Culture” – Patrick Oden (A top reviewer at Amazon)
“This is the best offering of anything associated with missional that I have encountered” – Kevin Sweeney, (Church Planter, Honolulu, HI)
“This is not just another book with a trendy title. Creating a Missional Culture is a gold mine for anyone desiring to see Christians flourish in their giftings. If you are new to the missional conversation (or skeptical of its veracity) here is an outstanding primer on the local church’s role in God’s redemptive purposes.” – Dan Stringer (Kailua, HI) Excerpt from Not Just Another Missional Book, Review
“Get this book if you are in the trenches, it’s an accessible text book on the missional frontier that is written with urgency, soaked in genuine experience.” – Dan White Jr (Syracuse, NY), Excerpt from his review on the book.
I’ve been extremely encouraged by the positive reviews on Amazon. Forty three different people have posted a review to date, with a 4.8 out of 5 average rating for the book. Go check out some of the reviews and take a minute to “like” those that you like. There are reviews from just about all fifty states. It has been reviewed by Anglican Priests and church planters alike. If you have read the book, and haven’t yet reviewed it, please do so. 50 people have rated it at Good Reads as well.
Last month, the kindle version went on sale, and Creating a Missional Culture HIT #1 for books on ministry for a full week. Within the first year, the book has sold 20% more than my highest goal for the book. It is already on its 3rd reprint, which means it has outsold my publishers expectations a couple of times already. In this past falls IVP catalog, the book was listed in the 50 core books for InterVarsity Press, and in the Winter of 2014 catalog, it is listed #30 in core inventory.
As people have started to put the ideas of the book into practice, they are seeing some incredible results. Listen to how one church pastor in Sacramento, California put it:
“Here is where I got the most out of this book. I realized as the primary leader, I was trying to fulfill ALL the roles and be a one man show over my ministry. My main gift is teaching. No wonder we were not impacting our community and those around us. Instead, I realized to impact our church community and the community around us, I needed to get out of the way and start allowing all the other giftings and roles of our body become known and used. We adopted the polycentric leadership approach from the book in our ministry and now our community is exploding. We have seen a tremendous outbreak of people discovering that they were not meant to sit in a pew and consume, but are supposed to be equipped and participate together. Our attendance has doubled and we are seeing people get involved, take ownership, find their place and start being used. This book has helped us get rid of the pyramid approach to leadership structure…” – Eric Knopf, Sacramento, CA (See the full review here.)
Eric was so excited about the book, that he designed a free-five fold equipping test, that has already been taken by over 10,000 people. I’m still planning on developing my own five-fold test in the near future.
A number of seminaries have Creating a Missional Culture as an assigned reading for their classes, including Fuller Theological Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary, Biblical Seminary and a half dozen others. I’ve started to do some Q & A over skype for some of these classes. If you were assigned it as reading at your college or seminary, let me know.
In addition, the book is being read in a number of countries like England, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Australia, Switzerland, China, The Netherlands and others. A publishing company in India recently bought the rights to publish it in India. So it should be available there in about 6 months.
Finally, here are some of the cities I’ve been able to speak about Creating a Missional Cuture over the last year, at various churches and pastors conferences:
Los Angeles, CA
Cliff College, England
There is a lot more that could be said, but let’s just say that I’m totally thrilled about how God is using Creating a Missional Culture to see his kingdom become a greater reality on earth. Thanks for all the encouragement that you have given me about this book. If you want to keep up with the latest news on Creating a Missional Culture, “like” this author facebook page that IVP set up. God is good.