Best Books on Emerging-Missional Church


Kevin Cawley has a Readers Guide for Missional Church. Good list and great books. Anyone who writes a blog series on the emerging church who does not read a few of these good books on the missional church should be slapped silly with their keyboard. Shaping of Things to Come by Hirsch and Frost (blogged it here) is a good start . . wait . . that one is not on Kevin’s Readers Guide . . but it should be.

I was asked by someone recently for a list of essential books written recently on the emerging church. I still think the best stuff is online in blog form, articles and PDF’s but for the book reading population, here are is my choice:

From Australia – Shaping of Things to Come, Alan Hirsch and Mike Frost

From New Zealand – Out of Bounds Church, Steve Taylor

From UK – The Complex Christ, by Kester Brewin

From USA – Emerging Churches, by Ryan Bolger and Eddie Gibbs

From Germany – Houses That Change the World, by Wolfgang Simson

From Canada ? . . . You tell me.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Anything on what is happening in African contexts? Be it in blog, book, or article form? I’ve been hunting around for a while and haven’t come up with much which led me to wonder if its off the radar, not considered “emerging,” or ignored for more historically nefarious reasons? I’d be curious to hear your take?

  • Great suggestion, Charlie. I think there are some books brewing up here, but none out that I know of. My book isn’t about emerging church, so it doesn’t qualify.

  • CTiE Blogosphere Status Report

    And just for the record, Church that is Emerging would be the church that is emerging the new term for the emerging church.
    Jonny Baker has posted some Advent resources, including a version of the nativity that has…

  • maybe EVERYONE should be pointed to web resources – they are more current, more plentiful, free or usually free, instantly acceessible, able to be aggregated, searched, datamined, commented on, talked back to, they are linked contextually with their author, they remain editable, they form part of the seminary resource library of the future, and so on
    BUT . . . you cannot take them into the toilet.
    Well . . you can actually, but who wants to drop their notebook accidently?

  • Jon – regarding Africa – lots of great theologians (Lamin Sanneh) and reflective practitioners but not many books.
    i will be in south africa in a few months and will be asking around to see what people are reading there.

  • I think the whole blog/book relationship is a great reason to be more intentional about the use of categories and tags. For instance, if you read my blog to get info on the emerging church, you’ll have to wade through a lot of unrelated stuff, unless you use the appropriate category.
    Also, there is an increasing number of online services offering hardcopies of blogs, such as qoop (dot com, still in beta, but will print directly from your blog engine) and Lulu (dot com, which requires a PDF). Anyone know of others?

  • You wrote: From Canada ? . . . You tell me.
    Here is a Canadian webpage with a start at the definition of church which all who emerge should aspire to:
    For a book not quite along the same lines you may find this entry from Canada also interesting:
    The Global House Church Movement by Rad Zdero PHD
    It seems to me many who emerge simply want to excercise their authority in church instead of having it exercised on them. I prefer getting rid of all human powered authority and reaching out in prayer to Jesus Christ as the one true boss.

  • Believe it or not I am a Canadian and I write books. Guess one is invisible in one’s country or maybe Vancouver just doesn’t count when it comes to being ‘from Canada’. Who can tell!

  • Al Roxburgh’s book Reaching a New Generation is (IMHO) still one of the best books on emerging church – the way it blends missiology with real life practices among a church community.

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