McNeal’s book A Work of Heart was assigned to me as a part of my capstone internship program at TFC, so I went into it with a bit of a negative attitude (which I have towards most things I am forced to do, something I still work on to this day), but it surprised me…a lot. It remains one of my favorite books of leadership in the church.
So, on that knowledge and from Nick’s whole blog on McNeal’s new book, The Present Future, I picked up McNeal’s latest and here are some great quotes and things I learned. There are some parts that really affected some of my thinking that I won’t post here, because some of the thoughts are deeper and longer. But, if you are concerned with the future of the church (meaning: you are called to lead her) then this book comes with two reorienting thumbs up!
On the “refuge” mentality: which is touchy because the former yp here at SACC named the youth group refuge, and now has named his new church refuge. So when James agrees against the refuge mentality, it’s touchy. Welcome to the reorientation!
p.8 “Many congregations and church leaders, faced with the collapse of the church culture, have responded by adopting a refuge mentality”
p.9 “Evangelism in this world (refuge world) is about churching the unchurched, not connecting people to Jesus…Refuge churches evidence enormus self-preoccupation. They decieve themselves into believing they are a potent force.”
p. 17 “He (Jesus) preached that God was for people, not against them. He defined the litmus test for genuine spirituality in terms of one’s relationships.”
p.27 “The North American church culture is not spiritual enough to reach our culture.”
p.36 “The power of the gospel is lost on church memebers who can sign off on doctrinal positions but have no story of personal transformation.”
on John 8,
p. 39 “In the ensuing dialogue with the crowd of would-be executionsers Jesus proved that he is for the woman, not against her. He becomes her champion…Then after everyone is gone he tells her, in effect, ‘Why don’t you quit living like this? It’s going to kill you.’ No shrinking back. No ‘I’m OK; you’re OK’ stuff.”
p.50 “I am proposing that missiology come into prominence, both as a theological pursuit and as a guiding operational paradigm.”
p.71 “People don’t want to be assimilated.”
p.73 “I think the solution is an abandonment of the church culture idolatry and a radical reintroduction of spiritual formation.”
p.81 “The devil knows more Bible than most church members in North America and can sign off on our doctrinal statements, but this knowledge has not transformed him.”
One big idea I will share and hopefully you will go out and buy this book because of this: McNeal shares and semi-develops and idea for Spiritual Development Coaches within the church. Much like the “life coach” idea that is so popular (and effective) today. Insteads of a “mentoring program”, what if the church had a small army of people who were qualified to be a spiritual development coach for younger beleivers? It’ll get you thinking!!