Liturgical Mission: The Work of the People for the Life of the World, By Winfield Bevins
Liturgical Mission
  • Length: 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: September 20, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0154
  • ISBN: 9781514001547

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Modern missional movements have often viewed the historic Christian traditions with suspicion. The old traditions may be beautiful, the thinking goes, but they’re too insular, focused primarily on worship and on the interior life of the church, and not looking outward to evangelism and good works.

In Liturgical Mission, Winfield Bevins argues that the church's liturgy and sacramental life are in fact deeply missional. He explores the historic practices of the Christian church, demonstrating how they offer a holistic framework for everyday Christian discipleship and mission in the twenty-first century. The result is a book that not only invites all Christians back to the historic liturgy of the church, but also invites those already in liturgical churches to rediscover the missional life that has too often remained latent in their own traditions.

"Winfield Bevins shows that it is possible to worship God without tech, apps, rock concerts, and worship leaders dressed like lumberjacks. Instead of shallow consumerist worship, he offers ancient and missional liturgy, not rooted in gimmicks or fads but part of the unbroken chain of two thousand years of Christian tradition. Bevins draws on ancient and global liturgical traditions to draw us into a deep and mysterious worship of the triune God."

Michael F. Bird, academic dean and lecturer in theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia

"At a time when almost every institution seems to be in crisis, this book shows a better way forward for the church: the way of worship and mission. This book will help you better enjoy and serve the God who sends."

Russell Moore, Christianity Today

"If it is indeed true that a biblical understanding of worship involves offering our world back to God, then what we need are liturgies that take us out of the confined experience of Sunday gatherings to a worship that engages the whole of life. Winfield Bevins does precisely this, and in following his guidance, disciples get to live genuinely sacramental lives."

Alan Hirsch, author and founder of Movement Leaders Collective and Forge Missional Training Network

"How do we work moving forward? There is not a more poignant question being asked within the church today. Among pandemic fatigue, economic uncertainty, and ecclesiological divisions, the church craves to recover Christian foundations that will propel it into future renewal. In Liturgical Mission Dr. Bevins, as a skilled archer, reaches into the quiver of the Great Tradition, pulls from it missional and liturgical treasures old and new, reaches back to show their origins and foundations, and releases them into the future with prophetic aim, precision, and brilliance. Whether you're interested in justice as a fourth stream alongside Scripture, Spirit, and Table, or liturgy as fiesta, this book has something for everyone."

Emilio Alvarez, primate/archbishop of the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches and author of Pentecostal Orthodoxy: Toward an Ecumenism of the Spirit

"This is a hope-filled and helpful exploration of the rich connections between a robust practice of liturgy and a kingdom vision of mission. Rejecting common bifurcations of sacraments and justice, ancient creeds and current relevance, and worship and mission, Bevins argues persuasively for a fresh integration of them in contemporary church life."

Christine D. Pohl, author of Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition

"The well-known Latin phrase Ite, missa est can be translated as 'Go! You are sent!' This simple yet profound phrase was proclaimed at the end of Christian worship at least as far back as the third century. The whole dynamic of Christian worship is to form the church (the 'called out' ones) morally, theologically, and spiritually into Christlikeness, in order to be sent on mission to draw the broken world back into the life of the triune God. We gather for worship to be sent, and we are sent to be gathered for worship. Winfield Bevins does a spectacular job of bringing together all the essential elements and implications of such a posture. This understanding of the mutually implicative relationship between liturgy and mission is essential to our common call to be poured out for the life of the world."

James R. Hart, president of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

"Bevins brings together some of the best works by liturgiologists and missiologists to make two claims: mission is essentially liturgical and the liturgy is essentially missional. For liturgiologists, Bevins's work traverses familiar territory, but it brings out the familiar in surprisingly fresh ways. For evangelicals still unsure of what to make of the liturgy, Bevins's claims are not only convincing, their readable and concise presentation also make this an excellent introductory text."

Simon Chan, formerly lecturer in systemic theology at Trinity Theological College, Singapore, and currently editor of Asia Journal of Theology

"Winfield Bevins is the perfect author for this important book, bringing together worship and mission. His practical wisdom and thoughtful experience, drawing on ancient and modern stories and sources, give both depth and energy to explore and mine the opportunities that these two vital movements bring to each other for the greater good of the church."

Ric Thorpe, bishop of Islington, Church of England

"I applaud Winfield Bevins's urgent and timely call to connect historic liturgies to the mission of God. Exploring liturgy (the work of the people) and mission (for the life of the world), this thoughtful volume discusses missional concerns such as hospitality, creation care, justice, unity, and reconciliation in our liturgies. As an ethnodoxologist concerned with worship and cultural expressions, I have watched with interest the growth of liturgical renewal in America and around the world. This remarkable book argues that with God's mission in mind, liturgical traditions can be contextualized, creating a fiesta of worship for our increasingly diverse communities."

Robin Harris, president of the Evangelical Missiological Society and president of the Global Ethnodoxology Network

"For some years now, Winfield Bevins has worked at the intersection of the liturgical, evangelical, and missional, building bridges and blending streams. Now he turns his attention to the specific connective tissue between the church's worship and the church's mission. He contends that by recovering the power of a robust liturgy, we reclaim the purpose of the church's liturgy: to form us as one people who God uses in His mission in the world. An accessible and hospitable guide, Bevins paints a beautiful and broad picture of both worship and mission."

Glenn Packiam, pastor and author of Worship and the World to Come

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by Justo L. González


Part One: The Work of the People
1. Liturgical Renewal
2. Story-Formed Worship
3. The Symphony of Liturgy
4. The Sacramental Life

Interlude: The Kingdom Prayer

Part Two: For the Life of the World

5. Trinitarian Mission
6. Unity and Mission
7. Word and Deed
8. Join the Fiesta

Afterword: My Journey
Appendix: A Liturgy for Mission


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Winfield Bevins

Winfield Bevins is director of church planting at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including Ever Ancient Ever New and Marks of a Movement.