This is the last post of the review of Reggie McNeal’s book the “Present Future”. This time we will look at the last reality. The Rise of Apostolic Leadership. This last area obviously has to do with how we go about the paradigm shift in church leadership to accomplish making disciples rather than doing “church”. Again Mr. McNeal is rather blunt in his assessment. Let’s start out with another quote from the book:
Many church leadership groups apparently have not grasped the insight that each new generation now is a distinct culture and requires different leadership approaches. Most have never understood that the call to be missionaries means a shift from the member, business as usual approach to church life. The shift from “doing” church at he clubhouse to “being” church in the world is a paradigm shift that has apparently eluded many church leaders. Many people in existing churches are willing to learn these new paradigms. Some of them already know them intuitively but have not been able to give language to their thoughts. Part of the reason I wrote this book ws to help create conversations around these key issues. Until we do, our churches will continue to mire down in methodological debates and trivial pursuits.
As you have seen from my review Reggie McNeal is not one to mince words. I repeat that while I have some difficulties with parts of the book the purpose is right on target. We no longer get down and dirty to make disciples for the Lord. As a result we are losing more and more of each generation that comes along. If they are not willing to do church our way then we ignore them. I don’t think Jesus is pleased about that.
One important final quote from the book follows.
I did not say that we need a postmodern church, nor did I say we need for the church to pursue its understanding of the culture in order to mimic it. The last thing we need is a post modern church. We need a church for post modern people. The reason to get in touch with the culture is not to adopt it but to engage it for the same reasons a missionary does — in order to gain hearing of the gospel.
There is a whole section in the book about “things he did not say”. To the present church leadership this is a must read part of the book. I highly recommend the book if you are willing to see some of the modern churches failure to taking the gospel to the people the way Jesus did.