Scott Hodge


Missional Renaissance

Feb 16, 2009

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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. 

9 Responses to “Missional Renaissance”

  1. terry timm says:

    hey scott, i started reading this book last night and couldn’t put it down. i would also highly recommend to you mcneil’s “a work of heart” as one of the best inside out books on leadership. it is a classic in my opinion. i have been using it as a a basic text in a leadership course i have been teaching for the past five years.

  2. Ted Egly says:

    Skimming it last night…wow! This is a must read!!!

  3. okay, I’m foaming at the mouth and absolutely can’t wait to read this book!!

  4. David says:

    You should check out his other book – the Present Future… it was a great read.

  5. Heard Reggie give a talk in 2007 on these exact points…it was an eye opening talk that has impacted how we do church here at BridgeWay. I definitely recommend it as well…Reggie is a great thinker and a strong communicator.

  6. Chad Payne says:

    Thanks, Scott! Sounds like just what I’ve been trying to communicate to our team. I just ordered copies for our staff!

  7. Johnny Laird says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Scott.
    Looks like a great read and a useful resource.

  8. Ken Bringas says:

    thanks for the tip on this book…the first one I read of his was a few years back, “the Present Future”, and that was enough to get me to almost quit conventional ministry. Now I’m more open and ready for whatever change is required.

  9. Ken Bringas says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Scott. It was great meeting you and hearing your story at Idea Camp. I look forward to more engaging conversations with you about church transitions.

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