Missional CommunitiesThe Rise of the Post-Congregational Church
Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series, Band 55 1. Aufl.
The third book in the trilogy that explores the popular missional movement From Reggie McNeal, the bestselling author of The Present Future and Missional Renaissance, comes the third book in the series that helps to define and illuminate the popular missional movement. This newest book in the trilogy examines a natural outgrowth of the move toward a missional orientation: the deconstruction of congregations into very small Christian communities. For all those thousands of churches and leaders who have followed Reggie McNeal's bold lead, this book details the rise of a new life form in churches. Discusses how to move a church from an internal to an external ministry focus Reggie McNeal is a recognized leader in the missional movement Outlines an alternative to the program church model that is focused on the projects and passions of the congregants This book draws on McNeal's twenty years of leadership roles in local congregations and his work over the last decade with thousands of clergy and church leaders.
About the Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series xi Foreword by Hugh Halter xiii Acknowledgments xvii Introduction xix 1 ‘‘Let There Be . . . Missional Communities’’ 1 2 The Missional Church Conversation 15 3 Missional Communities—European Style 39 4 Soma Communities: Missional Communities as Organizing Architecture 65 5 Campus Renewal UT: Missional Communities as Campus Evangelism Strategy 85 6 Future Travelers: Missional Communities as Megachurch Strategy 103 7 Mission Houston: Missional Communities for Spiritual Formation and Community Transformation 125 8 Looking Ahead 145 About the Author 155 Index 157
Reggie McNeal is the missional leadership specialist for Leadership Network. Drawing on twenty years of leadership roles in local congregations and his work over the last two decades with thousands of clergy and church leaders, McNeal counsels local churches, denominational groups, seminaries and colleges, and parachurch organizations in their leadership development needs. Leadership Network, a division of OneHundredX, seeks to accelerate the impact of 100X leaders. Since 1996, Leadership Network Publications has presented thoroughly researched and practical concepts from leading thinkers, practitioners, and pioneering churches. www.leadnet.org
Almost a decade ago, in his bestselling book The Present Future, Reggie McNeal talked about the growing phenomenon of post-congregational Christians, people who, for a variety of reasons, choose to pursue their spiritual journey outside the routines and rhythms of the congregational model of church that has dominated religious activity for centuries. This development has created ripe conditions to produce and to nurture a new life form of church that intersects people in the middle of life—in their homes, their workplaces, their leisure pursuits, their passions to help others. In Missional Communities McNeal shows us this new form of church and how it differs in its rhythms, its celebrations, its activities, and its scorecard. He maintains that it is not for everyone, nor is it the replacement for centuries of church practice. But it is clearly a growing phenomenon that cannot be ignored. At the very heart of the book are stories about some of these new missional communities, each one illustrating a fresh and different chapter in God's work in and through the church. The settings range from Europe to North America, from suburb to city to college campus, from neighborhood to workplace. McNeal presents these stories in the hopes of exciting the imaginations of those attracted to this burgeoning movement—whether they want to get started in their own distinctive way of doing missional community or want to be more missional in their traditional practices. For all those thousands of churches and leaders who have followed Reggie McNeal's bold lead, Missional Communities offers a vision of a new and vibrant life form in churches.
Praise for Missional Communities "Once again, Reggie McNeal proclaims what too few have intuited: that God's Spirit is blowing in a new direction like a hurricane headwind. Thank God, we have Reggie to show us how the church can once more 'mount up with wings as eagles.'" —Charles Anderson, directing pastor, University United Methodist Church, San Antonio, Texas "Every uncharted territory requires a guide who has seen the other side of the mountain. In Missional Communities Reggie serves as that guide who introduces you to the people, practices, and scorecard of this fresh growth plate of the kingdom." —Eric Swanson, coauthor, The Externally Focused Quest and To Transform a City "Reggie is an iconoclast. His ideas and vision break open our sense of what it means to 'be' and 'do' church. If you love God and believe in the future of the church you will read this book." —Rev. Chip Edens, rector, Christ Church, Charlotte, North Carolina "Reggie McNeal has given voice to those of us who dream of a church that is not just a conspiracy of strangers but a redemptive community on mission for God. For those who dare to make the journey this book provides some invaluable navigational charts for how to get there." —Gary Brandenburg, lead pastor, Fellowship Bible Church Dallas, Texas "Classic Reggie McNeal! An in-your-face prophetic wake-up call that congregational ministry business as usual is not going to get the job done. But he gives us hope that we can make the change as he reports on how post-congregational ministry is being effective."—Buford Lipscomb, senior pastor, Liberty Church, Pensacola, Florida "Our staff team has been deeply impacted by the challenges and thinking of Reggie McNeal. He has served us by helping us think beyond ourselves, reminding us that true community results in mission, and continually bringing us back to the glorious mission of Jesus."—Eric Geiger, Christ Fellowship, Miami, Florida
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