To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Even with the rise of megacongregations, decades of emphasis on church growth, and large infusions of money and people resources, the congregational approach to "doing church" has entered its declining period, according to Reggie McNeal in this book. The nonchurched are not coming to church, and another approach is needed to reach them.
A post-congregational culture requires a strategy of engaging people where they already live, work, play, go to school, and pursue their hobbies and passions. This is what missional communities aim to do, and the book goes on to tell the stories of some different types of such communities:
* British and European missional communities, typically of 20 to 50 people and aiming to incarnate the gospel to a particular neighbourhood or network of relationships. Examples of this are St Thomas Sheffield and Valgmenighed Church in Denmark. * Soma Communities, a group of around one hundred missional communities in the US. * University campus missional communities. * Future Travelers, a group of megachurches which are attempting to become launching pads for missional movements of the future. Particular examples include Austin Stone and Community Christian Church. * Mission Houston, which uses a spiritual formation process called Faithwalking to develop missional followers of Jesus, who then form missional communities.
The book does not claim to be a how-to manual on setting up and running missional communities; indeed the diversity of the examples given shows that there are many different successful approaches. The stories are descriptive, and no attempt is made to critique the communities described or compare their effectiveness with other models of church. What the book does do is provide a range of stories which provide ideas and inspiration for those who are considering a missional community church model.
I have had the good fortune to spend time with Reggie McNeal in a smaller group setting. I have found his perspective on current trends in the Church and the future of Christendom to be insightful and inspiring. "Missional Communities" captures the next piece in the Missional puzzle. While "Present Future" begins the thought process and "Renaissance" recommends behavioral shifts for the individual and the church, "Communities" offers completely new models of being the Church. The different churches' stories represent a wide variety of contexts allowing one to contemplate how their ministry context could fit in. McNeal's commentary draws out practical values and principals that can be applied no matter what your context may be. I highly recommend this book for those ready to take the Missional life head on.
Reggie McNeal walks the reader through the concepts of the original church described in the Biblical book of Acts. The church should be based on relationships, and not limited by organizational rules and structures. Missions that are built around human to human relationships will grow and prosper. Organizational structures take on a life of their own based upon tradition and not human need. Organized religion is expensive and requires a building to house its religious ceremonial activities. A congregational mission only requires passionate people who see a human need and they will donate their money to that cause. WOW, what a neat idea!
Excellent introduction to the subject giving four differing, good and thorough examples, with a biblical basis. The assumption is sound; the stories (from Europe and the States) will resonate with the recent experience of missional-minded people, i.e. people who know that inviting people to church is not the right way for everyone to make disciples. I feel this book is timely and it (or something similar) should be required reading for missional-minded church leaders.
A friend and soon to be ministry partner suggested that I give this book a read through. With the way our society has been, is, and will be becoming; this is a very relevant book for ANYONE in ministry to read. If you want to grow the Kingdom of God, you need the information provided by Reggie McNeal! I will be referring back to this book often as we participate in what God is doing in HIS church! IF YOU ARE IN MINISTRY...BUY THIS BOOK NOW!
Brings to light reasons why your normal church experience seems lacking. Some people will come to an understanding that there is more they should be doing and this author helps guide that thought process. "Church" community is more than just a place, it really is about the interactive relationships with all people groups.