Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

4/13/2010

The Present Future

I meet with a group of Episcopal clergy to discuss the future of the church and how we can better prepare for the changes brought about by our changing cultural landscape. For that group, I've read the book The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal. McNeal has been a denominational leader in the Baptist church who teaches seminary, serves as a leadership development coach, and challenges the church from within. I wanted to share some quotes from his intentionally provocative book:
The North American church is suffering from severe missionary amnesia. It has forgotten why it exists. The church was created to be the people of God to join him in his redemptive mission in the world. The church was never intended to exist for itself.
The church that wants to partner with God on his redemptive mission in the world has a very different target: the community.
What you must do is two things: create a culture informed by missiology and create venues where people can practice being missionaries.
What if denominational reporting inquiries asked, "What percentage of your congregants feel they grew to be more like Jesus this past year?" What if church leaders asked each other, "How is God at work in your people?" or "Where do you see Jesus bustin' out?"
Here are his six tough questions:

1. The collapse of the church culture.
•Wrong question: How do we do church better?
•Tough question: How do we deconvert from Churchianity to Christianity?

2. The shift from church growth to kingdom growth.
•Wrong question: How do we grow this church?
•Tough question: How do we transform our community?

3. A new reformation: Releasing God's people.
•Wrong question: How do we turn members into ministers?
•Tough question: How do we turn members into missionaries?

4. The return to spiritual formation.
•Wrong question: How do we develop church members?
•Tough question: How do we develop followers of Jesus?

5. The shift from planning to preparation.
•Wrong question: How do we plan for the future?
•Tough question: How do we prepare for the future?

6. The rise of apostolic leadership.
•Wrong question: How do we develop leaders for church work?
•Tough question: How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement

I will share some more on this tomorrow.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Neo-Apostolic Leader Wannabe

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