The Shaping of Things to Come, Revised and Updated Edition
Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church
If ever there was a time for an innovative missionary effort in the West, it is now.
The great paradox of our age is that while the need for the gospel has seldom been greater, the relevance of the church to the culture at large has seldom been less. With keen insight, The Shaping of Things to Come explores why the church needs to rebuild itself from the bottom up, presenting a clear understanding of how the church can change to face the unique challenges of the twenty-first century. Now thoroughly revised and updated with current case studies, this missional classic assesses the state of the church—and is still very much able to show us what lies ahead.
“The Shaping of Things to Come . . . calls us forward to a grander view of the church-in-mission than the one to which we have become all too accustomed. I am personally grateful for this new edition.”—Mark Batterson, lead pastor, National Community Church; author, The Circle Maker
“Not often does a title of a book prophesy itself. But The Shaping of Things to Come has shaped things to come in the global Christian world like perhaps no one book published in the past decade. It truly is a ‘classic,’ and this new edition promises to continue its tradition of shaking and shaping.”—Leonard Sweet, author; professor, Drew University and George Fox University
“One of those rare books that . . . gets deep into your psyche and alters your perspective on what it means to be the church today, what it means to follow Jesus on his adventurous mission.”—Dan Kimball, author, They Like Jesus but Not the Church
“As we look at the depth and breadth of the missional movement, I continually direct people back to The Shaping of Things to Come. Things have definitely shaped around the concepts of this book, and it continues to be a plumbline for missional thought leadership and practice.”—Hugh Halter, author, The Tangible Kingdom and Sacrilege
Michael Frost is the founding director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study center at Morling College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Exiles and The Road to Missional. He lives in Sydney.
Alan Hirsch is founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and leader of Future Travelers. He is the author of numerous books, including The Forgotten Ways and Untamed. Alan lives in Los Angeles.
"The Shaping of Things to Come is a theological splinter in the Western church's collective mind. But it is a holy splinter, because it calls us forward to a grander view of the church-in-mission than the one to which we have become all too accustomed. I am personally grateful for this new edition."
Mark Batterson, lead pastor, National Community Church; author, The Circle Maker
"Not often does a title of a book prophesy itself. But The Shaping of Things to Come has shaped things to come in the global Christian world like perhaps no one book published in the past decade. It truly is a 'classic,' and this new edition promises to continue its tradition of shaking and shaping."
Leonard Sweet, author; professor, Drew University and George Fox University
"The Shaping of Things to Come has been a window of hope and motivational boost for bringing change to the church for so many of us. Just when we were about to lose hope in today's organized church, Mike and Alan show us that perhaps we unintentionally developed a limited understanding of what the church is even supposed to be. But they don't stop at simply pointing out the problems of the church; they give us vision and ideas for joining in together and creating the future church. Not a future church based on trends or human strategies either, but one based on going back to the beginning to see what was the New Testament vision for the church on mission in the world. The Shaping of Things to Come is one of those rare books that you don't just read and place nicely back on your shelf. It gets deep into your psyche and alters your perspective on what it means to be the church today, what it means to follow Jesus on his adventurous mission."
Dan Kimball, author, They Like Jesus but Not the Church
"The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch was a pivotal book in 2003 for me and many others who take the mission of God seriously. This new and revised edition will play a monumental role in bringing even more leaders and readers into the missional conversation. I would encourage you to take a first or second look at this landmark text and discover your part in the Jesus mission."
Dave Ferguson, lead pastor, Community Christian Church; movement leader, NewThing
"The first edition of The Shaping of Things to Come helped reshape the missional thinking for many church planters and congregations around the globe. It challenged us to recognize the extent to which change was necessary in our approach to church and faith and helped us think about how this might be possible. This new edition of Frost and Hirsch's groundbreaking book does not disappoint. It reinforces the messages of the first edition with new insights and updated examples that speak well into our current context with messages of hope for revitalization within the church. I think that this new edition is particularly helpful for those within the established church who seek to reinvent their approach to the mission of the church."
Christine Sine, cofounder, Mustard Seed Associates
"As we look at the depth and breadth of the missional movement, I continually direct people back to The Shaping of Things to Come. Things have definitely shaped around the concepts of this book, and it continues to be a plumbline for missional thought leadership and practice."
Hugh Halter, author, The Tangible Kingdom and Sacrilege
"The Shaping of Things to Come has achieved landmark status in the missional church conversation. Ten years after its first printing, it remains the starting point for many of the concepts we are fleshing out to this day. So welcome to this revised edition. And I eagerly look forward to new insights!"
David Fitch, author, Prodigal Christianity; BR Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary
"The Shaping of Things to Come was one of the early warning cries to the Western church that the world we are responsible to engage with the love of Christ is radically changing. Though it caused discomfort, we had to face the truths expressed, and open our minds and hearts to what 'the Spirit is saying to the Church.' Though we still have much that needs shaping to become as effective as we need to be, the missional conversation has significantly transformed many of us."
Tammy Dunahoo, general supervisor, The Foursquare Church
"The Shaping of Things to Come is a seminal book that has profoundly influenced the missional conversation. To truly understand where the conversation is now, it is essential to retrace its roots and embrace anew the concepts that were introduced by Hirsch and Frost a decade ago."
Linda Bergquist, church planting catalyst and coach; coauthor, Church Turned Inside Out
"Passion, imagination, and clear analysis; organization theory and historical perspective; biblical depth and cultural sensitivity--the first time I read The Shaping of Things to Come, I was stunned. Where had these guys come from? They quoted my favorite authors and wove it together with a perspective on the captivity of the church that was both prophetic and pastoral. And they saw where it needed to go because they were on the ground working for change while participating in a global conversation. The astonishing thing is how current the book remains. This update celebrates the ongoing story of missional recovery as the world moves deeper into post-Christendom. If this is your first read, fasten your seatbelt and open your heart. Listen for the Spirit; you won't be disappointed."
Len Hjalmarson, adjunct professor of ministry, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Missional Spirituality