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Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470243442
ISBN-10: 0470243449
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Let me say this outright: This book is a must-read for Jesus-Creeders." (Beliefnet.com)

From the Inside Flap

MISSIONAL RENAISSANCE

When Reggie McNeal's best-selling book The Present Future was published, it quickly became one of the definitive works on the "missional church movement." McNeal helped to define the widespread movement among churches that wanted to become more oriented toward the culture and community around them. In that book, McNeal asked the tough questions that churches needed to wrestle with to begin to think about who they are and what they are doing.

In Missional Renaissance, the much-anticipated follow-up to his groundbreaking book, Reggie McNeal shows the three significant shifts in the church leaders' thinking and behavior that will allow their congregations to chart a course toward becoming truly a missional congregation.

To embrace the missional model, church leaders and members must shift

  • From an internal to an external focus, ending the church as exclusive social club model
  • From running programs and ministries to developing people as its core activity
  • From church-based leadership to community-engaged leadership

The book is filled with in-depth discussions of what it means to become a missional congregation and important information on how to make the transition. With an understanding of the nature of the missional church and the practical suggestions outlined in this book, church leaders and members will be equipped to move into what McNeal sees as the most viable future for Christianity.

Missional Renaissance offers a clear path for any leader or congregation that wants to breathe new life into the church and to become revitalized as true followers of Jesus.

To learn more go to www.missionalrenaissance.org

ABOUT LEADERSHIP NETWORK The mission of Leadership Network identifies and connects innovative church leaders, providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Contact Leadership Network at www.leadnet.org.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470243449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470243442
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John W. Pearson VINE VOICE on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reggie McNeal says that "the rise of the missional church is the single biggest development in Christianity since the Reformation." That's an extraordinary claim--and you should read his latest book to see if you agree.

Churches, he argues, can now be divided into two groups: those that get it (being missional) and those that don't. The typical clergyperson, McNeal writes, "Is groomed to do project management (yes, even the sermon is a project) and perform religious rites, not develop people." So he calls the church to a new role and a new scorecard:
* Ministry focus: from internal to external
* Core activity: from program development to people development
* Leadership agenda: from church-based to kingdom-based

The missional movement is not about "doing church" better. "It is not church growth in a new dress," or a hot new trend or fad. So what is it? McNeal says that "the missional church is the people of God partnering with God in his redemptive mission in the world." The focus is on the world, not a full calendar of church activities that are exhausting, not equipping, God's people.

The author/church consultant reports on many North American church leaders who have moved from a church-centric operation (come to our buildings) to a community focus (we go to you). Example: a senior pastor sent his staff into the community (malls, schools, stores, etc.) and asked them to observe people through God's eyes for one hour. Their conclusion: all the nifty programs back at the church were not now reaching nor would they ever reach those people. Then on a Sunday he sent the whole church into the community to observe. Bingo! The people got it--and it turned the church upside down by being outwardly focused.
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Format: Hardcover
McNeal captures the current of the stream of the Holy Spirit working in the N American church today. He is saying what most of us are saying, but with brilliant clarity. This book will continue to fuel the intensity of the God movement taking place.

The Scorecard is a challenge...the new movement requires new measurements (if we need to measure?). McNeal gives ideas to help generate this scorecard, but this will continue to be a challenge for missional leaders. If anyone has quality solutions send me an email at dwaybright@sugarcreek.net

Also...the attractional model is not evil. The Great Commission is the overriding purpose and goal of the church. Both the nation of Israel in Old Testament and the Holy Nation of the church in New Testament have attractional and incarnational elements. In many cases the church in N America has abandoned its incarnational gifts by conforming to the dominant culture. The Holy Spirit is birthing a renaissance, as Reggie implies, that is restoring this spirit-filled dynamic to the church.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book certainly does that. As an example, here's another interesting and practical exercise that any congregation can start doing right now (from Chapter 6).

Reggie states that "To change a culture, you have to change the conversations". So he helped guide conversations that one congregation's leadership team had with several hundred of their church members and participants, including teenagers. They called it "Real Talk" and used these five questions.

1) What do you enjoy doing? Many never make the connection that what they enjoy might be the way God wants to bless others through them.
2) Where do you see God working right now? In your life, your kids' lives, your neighborhood, at work, wherever.
3) What would you like to see God do in your life over the next six to twelve months? How can we help?
4) How would you like to serve other people? How can we help? Rather than trying to plug them in to service opportunities inside the church (although this will happen too), the focus should be about helping people outside the church.
5) How can we pray for you?

Over time the results showed that by just doing this and then following up in a coaching setting for those that want to be more intentional about their lives, they advanced God's kingdom as well as added to the vitality of their congregation.

This book is full of practical ways to be more outward focused and engaged in your community and beyond.
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Definitely a "chew the meat and spit out the bones" style of book. I agree with another reviewer, that McNeal seems angry at times. I am not a huge fan of writing a book that spends the majority of time criticizing past institutions, repeatedly, to inform the reader of a present need to change. Missional churches? Yes. At the expense of blasting the local church that has loyally served communities so well for generations? No.
Change does need to come, but not at the expense of a critical spirit. It is in fact, the very church, the Reggie consistently criticizes, that has brought us to this juncture in time. Let's celebrate where we've been and what has been accomplished and look forward to a more missional shift for the future. But let's not beat up the pastors that have laid down their lives to see the gospel presented to their communities. Overall, I did glean some great points from the book, but found it hard to stay engaged due to the many referrals of how we have continually failed as program churches. I still believe the purpose of the local church is to train and release disciples into our communities, but they need a home base to return to and family to receive them. I'm for a hybrid model of what Reggie proposes, but not quite ready to throw it all out to embrace one mans idea of Renaissance.
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