"This is the most courageous book I have ever read on church life. McNeal nails the problem on the head. Be prepared to be turned upside down and shaken loose of all your old notions of what church is and should be in today's world."
— George Cladis, senior pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City and author, Leading the Team-Based Church
"With humor and rare honesty Reggie McNeal challenges church leaders to take authentic Christianity back into the real world. He's asking the right questions to help us get back on track."
— Tommy Coomes, contemporary Christian music pioneer and record producer, artist with Franklin Graham Ministries
"Reggie McNeal throws a lifeline to church leaders who are struggling with consumer-oriented congregations wanting church for themselves. The Present Future will recharge you passion."
— Rev. Robert R. Cushman, senior pastor, Princeton Alliance Church, Plainsboro, New Jersey
"Christian leaders will find great questions being answered in this compelling and motivating work that unwraps what he calls 'the realities of the present future' in the church today."
— Kelvin Gardiner, district superintendent, Christian and Missionary Alliance.
"The momentum of God that allows visionary ministries to experience exponential growth stalls for the lack of great management (having the right systems and people in place to move to the next level). This is a must read for the young entrepreneur at the beginning of ministry or the seasoned pioneer!"
— Mike Slaughter, senior pastor, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City Ohio
"I would highly recommend this book to any person interested in the current state of the Church in North America and the future of that Church. It is time that we pay attention to the realities of our ministry context and like David's 'Men of Issachar' discern the right path into the future."
— Rick E. Morrow, pastoral care coordinator, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
"This book is a rare find in which McNeal lovingly challenges the church with a spirit of adventure and rediscovery."
— The Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
From the Inside Flap
Many of the old beliefs held by church leaders and congregations read as if they are self-evident, irrefutable truths If you build the perfect church they will come . . . Growing your church automatically makes a difference in the community . . . Developing better church members will mean better evangelism . . . Time has failed to produce the evidence of these claims.
In this provocative book, author, consultant, and church leadership developer Reggie McNeal debunks these and other old assumptions and provides an overall strategy to help church leaders move forward in an entirely different and much more effective way. In The Present Future, McNeal identifies the six most important realities that church leaders must address including: recapturing the spirit of Christianity and replacing "church growth" with a wider vision of kingdom growth; developing disciples instead of church members; fostering the rise of a new apostolic leadership; focusing on spiritual formation rather than church programs; and shifting from prediction and planning to preparation for the challenges of an uncertain world. McNeal contends that by changing the questions church leaders ask themselves about their congregations and their plans, they can frame the core issues and approach the future with new eyes, new purpose, and new ideas.
Written for congregational leaders, pastors, and staff leaders, The Present Future captures the urgency of a future that is literally now upon us, in a thoughtful, vigorous way. It is filled with examples of leaders and churches who are emerging into a new identity and purpose, and rediscovering the focus of their mission within new spiritual dimensions.