Shaped By God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches
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More About This Title Shaped By God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches


Discover the tools to create a new kind of church and move from merely surviving to thriving.
Drawing on an extensive two-year field study of 200 churches from a variety of denominations and geographic regions, Milfred Minatrea--a missiologist, urban strategist and practioner in minister--presents the best practices for re-energizing Christian spirituality in a congregational setting. He provides readers with the tools for assessing their congregation’s position on the continuum between maintenance and mission and for determining the actions that will move them toward becoming a missional community. He also outlines key strategies that successful churches have used to become relevant in a postmodern society without losing what is distinctly Christian in their spiritual practices.

Milfred Minatrea (Irving, TX) is Director of the Missional Church Center for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.


Milfred Minatrea is the director of the Missional Church Center for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He served as pastor of several churches before becoming a highly sought-after church consultant. Minatrea desires to be an authentic disciple of Jesus and enjoys walking with others on that spiritual journey.


Preface: A Personal Letter to the Reader.


Introduction: Sending the Church into the World.

PART ONE:The Church in a New and Changing World.

1. From Maintenance to Missional: The Church in a World of Change.

2. Be Church and Be Changed: How Missional Churches Live Their Passion.

PART TWO:The Nine Essential Practices of Missional Churches.

3. Missional Practice Number One: Have a High Threshold for Membership.

4. Missional Practice Number Two: Be Real, Not Real Religious.

5. Missional Practice Number Three: Teach to Obey Rather Than to Know.

6. Missional Practice Number Four: Rewrite Worship Every Week.

7. Missional Practice Number Five: Live Apostolically.

8. Missional Practice Number Six: Expect to Change the World.

9. Missional Practice Number Seven: Order Actions According to Purpose.

10. Missional Practice Number Eight: Measure Growth by Capacity to Release, Not Retain.

11. Missional Practice Number Nine: Place Kingdom Concerns First

PART THREE:Structures and Strategies for Becoming Missional.

12. They Run Rapids in Rubber Rafts: Church Structures That Can Survive the Rapids of Cultural Change.

13. Seeing Beyond the Horizon: The Nature and Task of Missional Leadership.

14. Moving to Missional: Becoming a New Kind of Church.

Appendix: Missional Church Cultural Assessment.


About Leadership Network.

The Author.


Shaped by God’s Heart is a stimulating contribution to the growing and increasingly diverse engagement in the vision of the missional church. Mifred Minatrea has drawn together insights from a remarkable spectrum of resources, which he synthesizes in strategies for missional transformation and which reward careful reading and provoke further exploration. His carefully thought-out proposals invite experimentation and innovation. This constructive work is encouraging to anyone concerned about the missional faithfulness of the Christian church in North America.”--Darrell L. Guder, Henry Winters Luce Professor of Missional and Ecumenical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Milfred Minatrea is a pilgrim not a conquistador. His book is not a map drawn by someone who’s conquered the land. It is a compass with a true north, that points to survival in the secular wilderness where Christ himself is waiting on vitality to knock. Read and the compass is yours. Knock and the door will open. This book does not point the way to church growth. It calls the reader to honest pilgrimage—to find the way to meaningful faith. Milfred Minatrea knows that where meaning is married to hope, vitality is born.”--Calvin Miller, professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“Mifred Minatrea has distilled the essence of what it means to be a missional church. The insightful summarization and articulation of distinctive practices can be the launch pad for every courageous church leader who wants to bring Kingdom impact to their world both locally and globally.”--Carol Davis, executive director, Global Spectrum; and consultant to mission leaders around the world

“Milfred Minatrea is missional! This book will be invaluable to churches who want to join the missional journey in the twenty-first century.”--William Tinsley, WorldconneX; author, The Jesus Encounter