Understanding and Practising ‘Missional Church’


Course Introduction

The aim of this six part course is to explore both the theory and the practice of ‘missional church’. It is primarily suitable for church leaders and members who are beginning to ask some hard questions about how their churches relate to a changing society. What doors are closing? What new doors are opening?

The word “missional” has become rather fashionable in some contexts, but does it really mean anything new or original or useful? Communitas International thinks that it does. They think that it helps us to grasp a significant shift in the way the church understands its relationship to society and its God-given purpose, especially in the increasingly post-Christian, increasingly “secular” West.

The first two sessions explore the theoretical background to the concept of missional church: how and why “missional” approaches have come about, an overview of patterns of mission in scripture, and a consideration of the challenges that the church faces as we approach the task of mission today. Session three looks at how leadership models are evolving and diversifying under these circumstances.

The second part of the course looks at what’s involved in the practice of missional church, using a simple six-stage process developed by Communitas International for starting and sustaining missional communities, called Dynamic Adventure: embed, initiate, practise, mature, hub and extend. 

The course has a good level of teaching content, but it is also very interactive, with plenty of opportunity to work through exercises, engage in conversation, and get to know your fellow participants.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course you will

  • have a good understanding of “missional church” and its relation to scripture;
  • have a deeper appreciation of the challenges that churches in the West face as our culture reinvents itself for a post-Christian age;
  • have begun to wrestle with the implications for Christian leadership;
  • have thought through what is practically involved in establishing effective missional communities in your own context—and what steps you might take next.

Click here for a more detailed course outline.

Course Details

Course duration: 6 sessions
Course dates: Dates for this course are yet to be confirmed. Please use the booking form to register your interest.
Time: 19:30 – 21:00 GMT
Location: Online, Zoom
Cost: £80 [reduced rate*], including access to interactive participant-only website

* Reduced rate. You will need to buy a copy ‘Dynamic Adventure: A Guide to Starting and Shaping Missional Churches’ – available for c £10 online. The course has been discounted to allow for this.

Group Discount

This course is particularly impacting where a church leadership team studies together. So we are pleased to offer a special offer for teams:

  • Book for two people get 10% off each – £72 each
  • Book for three people get 20% off – £64 each
  • Book for four people get 30% off – £56 each

Participants must be from the same leadership team. All names of those in the group must be provided at time of booking.

Detailed course outline

  1. Introduction to the concept of “missional church”
    1. Approaches to local mission after Christendom
      1. Evangelism
      2. Enhanced attraction: charismatic movement, church growth, Hillsong, etc.
      3. Transplantation
      4. The “incarnational” paradigm
    2. Biblical models of mission
      1. New creation and shalom
      2. The people of God as priestly community
      3. The people of God as prophetic community
      4. Gospel proclamation and the God of history
    3. Why missional church?
      1. A context for rethinking values, methods, purpose
      2. Community level mission
      3. Rebuilding trust with secular society
  1. The contexts of mission in the secular West
    1. Deepening alienation from a Christian past
    2. Globalisation and migration
    3. Cultural dominance of justice agendas: decolonialism, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+
    4. Emergence of a new anthropology: sexual ethics, euthanasia, technology
    5. Global crises: from Covid to climate change
    6. Again, why missional church?
  1. Patterns of missional leadership
    1. Pioneers, entrepreneurs
    2. Hybrid, blended, bi-vocational leadership
    3. Pioneering communities
    4. Artists, creatives, influencers
    5. Networked leadership
  1. Dynamics of mission: embed and initiate
    1. Biblical reflection: the church in Philippi as an outpost of the kingdom of God (Acts 16:11-15; Phil. 3:20-21)
    2. Embed: getting inside the soul of the place
    3. Initiate: showing and sharing good news
  1. Dynamics of mission: practise and mature
    1. Biblical reflection: maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:11-16)
    2. Practise: expressing our unique identity
    3. Mature: growing up as a sustainable faith community
  1. Dynamics of mission: hub and extend
    1. Biblical reflection: the seven churches of Revelation 2-3
    2. Hub and extend: multiplying life near and far
    3. What next?

© Communitas International 2021

About the Tutors

This module will be taught by Dr Andrew Perriman and staff from Communitas International. Andrew is a theologian who has helped teach the Life of Jesus module for KST for some years now. He has been involved with Communitas, a church-planting organisation, for the last twenty years. The module will draw on the organisation’s considerable experience in starting and developing “missional” communities in Europe and around the world, and on the approach set out in the Dynamic Adventure book.

Payment References

When making an online payment for this course, please use the following code with the attendee’s surname: SC21MC_surname

Terms and Conditions

Click here for KST Short Course Terms & Conditions

[Title image by Anna Earl at Unsplash]