Missional – the current buzz word of the American church. In sermons, in books, in articles, in tweets, and yes in blogs much is being spoken/written to define what is meant by “missional”. If you’re trying to wrap your arms around the concept of “missional”, then the reading of Reggie McNeal’s book, Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church, is a worthy investment of your time. In the volume, McNeal challenges the reader to consider three shifts needed in the church today. To be missional in today’s American culture the church must: #1, shift from an internal to an external focus – ministry is not about those in the church community rather it’s about those outside of the community of faith called the church; #2, shift from program development to people development – our resources of time, money and energy need to be focused on developing people not maintaining traditional church programs; #3, shift from church-based to Kingdom-based leadership – church leaders must focus on advancing the Kingdom not on preserving their local ministry often referred to as the church.
Here’s a taste of McNeal’s thinking. “In the program-driven church, we track participation. Who comes to church? How often? Do they participate in small groups or fellowship functions? Do they participate in funding drives and regular offerings? These participation items tell us how “involved” they are in the “life” of the church – meaning its programs. In a people development culture, the key issue is maturation. Are people growing in every aspect of their life? Are they becoming more like Jesus? Are they blessing the world as the people of God?” (p. 100)
I told you – Missional Renaissance is a worthy read!