I’ve been hired to write a piece on missional churches in North America and I’d like to pick your brain.
I’ve got plenty of info and connections for interviews with churches doing missional activity now, but I want to contextualize current activity within the history of the church in North America.
Realizing that “missional” is a relatively late term, the activity it represents is something the church has more or less been doing its whole life. But what has varied significantly in North America within the last 200 years has been the degree to which churches have been intentionally missional. Some churches today and in the past have been more focused on eternalities apart from their temporal, service, here-and-now implications and some have been more focused on how eternal truths should translate in contemporary practical service.
So I’m trolling for books, articles, online talks, etc that treat this topic from a historical perspective.
I’ve gotten snippets of insight from D. Michael Lindsay‘s fascinating Faith in the Halls of Power. And this morning as I was reading my Washington Post over my bagel, I was intrigued by Frank Lambert‘s book Religion in American Politics mentioned in a Daniel Burke overview of a number of recent books exploring the intersection of faith and politics called A Crash Course on God and Politics. (While searching for the url for Lambert’s book in Amazon, I also stumbled upon Religion and American Politics, edited by Mark Noll and Luke Harlow which looks promising).
But – let me be clear – my primary interest is not in the intersection of local churches and politics per se, but in the degree of missionality within local churches themselves which sometimes – of course – might express itself variously in political activity or in local practical activity.
So can you recommend any materials in comments to this post that might bring insight?
Thank you in advance to anyone who might know of something relevant.