I get a ton of books sent to me on a regular basis for free from publishers and authors who are hoping I'll take time to read their books and write a review or recommend them to other leaders or our church community.
But I have to be honest… I end up reading very few of them. It's not to say they're not good books, but I just don't have time to read every book that shows up on my desk. I have to be selective.
With that said, a couple weeks ago, a book showed up on my desk that, on the surface, didn't necessarily excite me all that much. The book is called Missional Renaissance. The author is Reggie McNeal.
Now I don't know Reggie…..I've read a lot of books on "missional" church…It's obviously becoming quite a buzz word in the churchianity…. So I wasn't sure this was one I wanted to pour my time into. But I decided to give it a chance. So I opened it up, started reading….and within two or three pages, I could hardly put it down!
Bottom line? This is a GREAT book.
The overall idea is that the church today needs a new scorecard when it comes to defining its "success" or effectiveness – especially if it's desire is to make a missional impact in our world.
Reggie talks about three major shifts that need to occur if this is going to happen. They are these:
Missional Shift 1: From an Internal to an External Focus
- Shifting from a "member culture" to a "missionary culture."
- Refocusing & reallocating resources (prayer, people, calendar/time, finances, facilities, and technology) for missional impact.
Missional Shift 2: From Program Development to People Development
- "God is not more interested in developing people inside the church than those outside it."
- "Loving God and loving our neighbors cannot be fulfilled at church. Being salt and light can not be experienced in a faith huddle."
- "The missional church assumes that service to others is the first step, not some latter expression of spirituality."
- A GREAT chapter on how we develop missional followers of Jesus.
Missional Shift 3: From Church-Based to Kingdom-Based Leadership
- Super practical…dealing with the leader's paradigm issues (how the leader sees the world), microskill development (compentencies the leaders needs), resource management (what the leader has to work with), and personal growth (the leader as a person.)
Most of the ideas in the book are not necessarily NEW ideas to me in theory. But Reggie does an outstanding job of bringing them down to a level that's easy to digest (although very convicting…) and apply. It's the kind of book that I would like to see end up in the hands of every pastor who senses the need for a change and shift into becoming a missional movement.
I'm ordering it today for our lead team. You should too.