CrossroadsAn Exploration of the Emerging-Missional Conversation with a Special Focus on ‘Missional Leadership’ and its Challenges for Theological Education Robert Doornenbal


Churches in many Western countries are faced with an adaptive challenge. Adaptive challenges arise when deeply held beliefs are challenged, when the solutions that once worked well become less appropriate, and when legitimate, yet competing, perspectives emerge. Adaptive problems will not go away by ignoring them, or by making technical adjustments. Many churches in the West need to change their vision and practices thoroughly, in order not to become contextually obsolete and irrelevant. Since this has to do with innovation and change, it will require leadership.

This ground-breaking book is essential reading for anyone wanting to reflect on the identity and calling of the church in the twenty-first century, and be involved in working this out in reality. This includes ministers and other leaders in the church, particularly those working in theological education.

Change seems to be especially necessary in the areas of theological envisioning; worship, spirituality and (local) church culture; and organizational structures. These areas have a direct impact on leadership, while also having consequences for leader education. This study aims to describe and analyze views on these topics in the so-called ‘Emerging-Missional Conversation’ that is currently under way in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among other countries. Based on an exploration of this ‘conversation’ and views therein on missional leadership and leader education, challenges are formulated for protestant institutes that aim to educate future leaders of the church.

Robert J.A. Doornenbal (1966) is senior lecturer in Theology & Culture and certified supervisor in the Academy of Theology at Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences (Christelijke Hogeschool Ede). He lives in Ede, the Netherlands, close to the crossroads that is pictured on the cover of this book. Crossroads is his practical theological PhD dissertation, defended at the VU University Amsterdam.