Off-Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders, by Earl Creps. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006.
Church statistics tell us that overall, but with some exceptions, western churches are declining in membership. Certainly one factor for this decline is that much of western Christianity has lost part of its identity as a missional community, a community which prophetically partners with the Holy Spirit in His mission. As a result, church leaders are seeking the heart of God for both vision and empowerment for continuing in Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation in the contexts in which they are called. Slowly but surely, the community of Christ is recognizing its missional weakness when it comes to both the lifestyles of the individual followers of Christ, and the structure of the community itself.
Reacting to these shortcomings, the emerging church movement has arisen to fill the missional gaps by applying a relevant, contextualized gospel to those whom the traditional or even “contemporary” churches would not ordinarily reach. Off-Road Disciplines is a timely book that speaks to both the emerging church movement, and the traditional or denominational churches.
Earl Creps, is a professor of leadership and spiritual renewal at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He has penned Off-Road Disciplines, a book that appeals to a wide range of church leaders. With this book’s broader influence, Creps provides needed reflection on missional leadership.
This book is written directly from the lessons of the author’s diverse experiences in both pastoral and educational ministry. Part one covers essential personal disciplines of the missional leader such as crucified leadership, ascribing to sacred realism, interpreting culture, reverse mentoring, developing spiritual friendships, and walking in humility. After describing personal disciplines of a missional leader, part two identifies organizational disciplines for the missional church. Here, Creps addresses topics such as missional efficiency, intergenerational harmony, applying discernment and reflection in mission, creating missional space, surrendering preferences, and passing the baton to the next generation. To put it simply, Off-Road Disciplines is a must read for all leaders concerned with the Mission of God, and is an excellent resource for training leaders to be missional.
Book reviewed by William Molenaar.
Promotional site: Leadership Network
Hardcover, 211 pages, illustrated. $23.95 retail. Order from: Gospel Publishing House