Alan Roxburgh and M. Scott Boren are onto something: in their new book called Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One (Allelon Missional Series) , contend there are three central issues and questions and topics at the center of the missional theology of the Church:
First, understanding that the West is now the mission field.
Second, rethinking the gospel itself in terms of what God’s dream is and what God is doing in this world instead of the gospel that satisfies my needs and meets my issues.
Third, recasting the church itself as sign, witness and foretaste of God’s dream for this world. The church must become a contrast society if it is to become missional.
I would add a fourth: this is all home-brewed, that is, it all occurs in the crucible of the local. Missional people have to develop one major gift: the gift of listening to the culture and to the place — in your specific neighborhood.
Perhaps one of the most important elements of this missional vision is the place that is given to the Spirit of God to reshape and reframe what the local church is.
Finally, this book then focuses on elements involved in shifting to a missional church:
Would you like examples of missional churches? I don’t recall that Roxburgh and Boren mentioned this book, and I don’t have it in front of me right now — I’m writing this last paragraph in a different setting a few days after I wrote the post above — but I really like Ronald Sider’s book; it influenced my perception of the meaning of “missional” a few years back and it helped me see the central question was about listening to the community and shaping ministry by the community: Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works