Reggie identifies important realities that church leaders must address, including:
The Present Future:
Reggie identifies important realities that church leaders must
1. Recapturing the spirit of Christianity
[What spirit? How do we "capture" it in the
first place? How do we "recapture" it?]
2. Replacing church growth with kingdom growth
[Where – or what-- is Reggie's kingdom? What is growth to him
(Church membership numbers? Supposed conversions? Biblical
wisdom? Hidden or non-public service and giving? How would he
measurable are these?]
3. Developing disciples instead of church members
[Disciples who truly follow His guidelines -- including
separation from evil -- and are willing to lay down their lives
when they face persecution? Or “disciples” who compromise Truth
by following new guidelines, new management systems and new ways
4. Fostering the rise of new leadership to meet the needs of new
[Who trains these "new leaders?" Fuller, Ken Blanchard, John
5. Focusing on spiritual formation rather than church
[Would Bible study and prayer meetings be included among the
despised and abandoned "programs"?]
6. Shifting from prediction and planning to preparation for
[How about obedience to Christ and His Word -- letting Him guide
growth and direction?
Reggie believes that by changing the questions church leaders ask themselves about their congregations and their plans, they can approach the future with new eyes, new purpose, and new ideas.
The future is now!
[Reggie McNeal, Director of Leadership Development for the South Carolina Baptist Convention"
Fuller Theological Seminary Presents a Dynamic Workshop Experience
"The Present Future:
Tackling Six Tough Questions for the Church"
with Dr. Reggie McNeal
"...McNeal identifies the six most important realities that church
leaders must address...
[He] 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."
- The Present Future
The Present Future by Reggie McNeal:
"McNeal paints a vivid picture of the need for and emergence of missional congregations and
apostolic leaders for the 21st Century. ... The book is outlined in the form of six new realities and then draws out the questions for leadership from each.
One - The Collapse of the Church Culture
Two - The Shift from Church Growth to Kingdom Growth
Three - A New Reformation: Releasing God's People
Four - The Return to Spiritual Formation
Five - The Shift from Planning To Preparation
Six - The Rise of Apostolic Leadership
A fairly short book aimed at pastors and lay leaders, this would be a
perfect small group spark plug in a staff small group or other venues of leadership development.
... There is a great deal of inspirational and affirmational material here and come helpful "how to" suggestions, particularly in the
Apostolic Leadership section. His recommendation that leaders become part of an
intentional learning community and find their own mentor/coach affirms much of what is happening in the larger church... like here at
Transforming Church and other digital communities and resources."
Phil Wilson's Blog: "We read to know we are not alone. We write to let others know they are not alone."
"The Presetn Furtuer: Six Tough qyuestions for the Church:
"...I'm very interested in how a congregation is practicing the action of
helping its members become disciples. ... this book is definitely written for church leaders.
New Reality Number One - The Collapse of the Church Culture
Tough Question: How do we convert from Churchianity to Christianity?....
New Reality Number Two - The Shift from Church Growth to Kingdom Growth
Tough Question: How do we transform our community? ...
New Reality Number Three - A New Reformation: Releasing God's People
Tough Question: How do we turn members into Missionaries?
This is where the missional stuff really started. The idea here is that if
people change from being club members to being missionaries, what does that mean
for the church, specifically does that mean fewer programs at the church
building and more in the community?
New Reality Number Four - The Return to Spiritual Formation
Tough Question: How do we develop followers of Jesus?
Here's the great irony of the new thinking to me. On one hand, a lot of the new
thinking is very communal in its nature and rightfully so. However, there's a
very introspective aspect to it ... There was a lot in this chapter about learning and shifting away from a
New Reality Number Five - The Shift from Planning to Preparation
Tough Question: How do we prepare for the future?
Here's where the book started to lose me. This is when it got into vision and
New Reality Number Six - The Rise of Apostolic Leadership
Tough Question: How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement?
Again, another section that really seems to be geared more toward congregation
leaders, rather than laypeople....
I think this is a pretty good book for current church congregation leaders. It
envelops a lot of the new thinking about church and people who might not read
Brian McLaren or some of the other emerging church thinkers.
What it means to be a Christian