Friday, April 11

Reggie McNeal quotes

The following Reggie McNeal quotes come from a seminar given at Marty Duren's church entitled, Nuggets from McNeal. Reggie is Director of Leadership Development for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and author of The Present Future one of my all-time favorite books. I have included a partial list of a few of the quotes that jumped out at me and relate to our own life, work, and ministry.

In 1900, 80% of Christians were white, Western, northern hemisphere. In 2000, 80% were non-white, non-Western and southern hemisphere.

The church in North America is not like the Pharisees--we are the Pharisees, and Jesus does not like Pharisees.

The Pharisees clumped together and built a parallel culture--refuge theology is Pharisaical. When dealing with Pharisaism, we are dealing with a religion that has nothing to do with Jesus. They have a heart for religion, but not a heart for God.

People who live by a missionary set of values cannot abide those with a "club member" set of values.

The missional church is the most radical resorting of Christians since the reformation. Those who are missional have more in common with those in other tribes than with those in their own tribe who don't get it.

Kingdom growth is profoundly anti- what we have typically been doing.

Don't count critics; weigh them.

Talking about the future will lead Satan to crank up enough background noise that we cannot hear God.

Christianity is the fastest growing religious/spiritual group in the world today: 175,000 new Christians in the world each day.

The church is not the destination; the kingdom is the destination. Jesus does not say, "Thy church come." He spends 40 days before His ascension teaching about the kingdom. Acts closes with the kingdom. Jesus uses "church" twice, but "kingdom" 90 times. When the kingdom breaks out, things change. People's lives get radically re-altered; their entire worlds get re-ordered.

God says to Abram, "I'm blessing you so that you can bless all those people who are not like you." God regularly blesses people with whom He disagrees.

The "post-congregationlist" category is at 5% of the population and will go to 30% in the next 20 years.

Our conversation rate has to go up before our conversion rate can go up.

The kingdom of God is all about people, and God has seeded the value system of the younger generations (Xer's and millenials) that will feed the shift He has begun.

In a missionary culture a person does not look to the central hub for direction.

Most people are burned out from dealing with prolonged trivia.

Most of the stuff that impacts our congregations happens outside our meetings and it is stuff that we cannot plan for.

The bandwidth is expanded in a missional church: how many conversations are we having, how much life interface is taking place, how is our community service component, how many community leaders are we praying for, how many teachers have we partnered with, how many community groups have used our facility?

Feel free to jump in and comment on any of the above. They are thought-provoking, aren't they? Which thoughts speak to you?

9 comments:

Darrell said...

The Present Future had a profound influence on me. It was a wake up call. I could not longer to continue to do things the way I had been if I cared about the Kingdom. I really appreciate Reggie's straight forward reality. Great stuff!

GuyMuse said...

Darrell,

Ditto to what you say. Really good stuff. Any of the quotes above that jump out at you?

Darrell said...

I like this one:

Kingdom growth is profoundly anti- what we have typically been doing.

It is what God opened my eyes to as I read McNeal's and Garrison's and Rolland Allen's book.

I like this one:

The "post-congregationlist" category is at 5% of the population and will go to 30% in the next 20 years.

Because it shows me the huge need to adapt to this changing reality.

I like this one:

Most people are burned out from dealing with prolonged trivia.

Because it is what I feel so strongly.

Strider said...

I really dug all these quotes. Good work Guy.
I particularly liked:

People who live by a missionary set of values cannot abide those with a "club member" set of values.

It kind of gives me permission to be who I am! Thanks again for the quotes.

GuyMuse said...

Darrell and Strider,

I guess that's why I identify so much with these quotes, they put words to exactly what I think and feel about so much going on today. I feel such a disconnect from the current expressions of Christianity in general. Try as I may to "fit" I realize, by my identification with these kinds of quotes, that I am simply cut out of a different mold than most of those around me in regards to my understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. I love the way Reggie expresses this sentiment, Those who are missional have more in common with those in other tribes than with those in their own tribe who don't get it. and then this one, When dealing with Pharisaism, we are dealing with a religion that has nothing to do with Jesus. So very true!

Feral Pastor said...

Reggie's The Present Future had a big impact on me as well and I must have given away ten or twenty copies!

His observation about the "radical resorting" certainly rings true with me. While my theological ties are still strong with my "tribe of origin" (ELCA Lutherans), I've found that my missional urges have put me into relationships with believers that are quite different from me. At the same time, I find I frequently feel less and less connected with the people in my tribe that are not missionally driven. I first really noticed this when I started connecting with the people in the House Church movement who as a group tend to have a high missional impulse. They also tend to be theologically conservative and significantly charismatic in their spirituality - neither of which would describe me very well! Yet I feel a strong kindred with them, and I'm happy to report that they have been very accepting of me - with my differences - again, on the basis of the missional urge.

Guy, I have one question for you: can you unpack what Reggie meant by the term "post-congregationalist?" To my ears, that sounds like a reference to the House Church stuff, but I don't want to jump to that conclusion.

GuyMuse said...

feral pastor,

Welcome to the "M Blog". I'm glad you stopped by. I clicked on your blog and enjoyed reading some of your thoughts about house churches.

With your statement, my missional urges have put me into relationships with believers that are quite different from me. At the same time, I find I frequently feel less and less connected with the people in my tribe that are not missionally driven... I would say you have tapped in to the heart of what Reggie and others are saying about the "revolution" taking place across the Christian world.

My understanding of the term "post-congregationalist" is simply that many Christ followers find the congregational churches of Christendom to be more a hindrance to expressing the fullness of the Gospel, than simpler non-institutional forms of the church.

As Reggie puts it, People who live by a missionary set of values cannot abide those with a "club member" set of values that too often the IC has become.

Christ's Kingdom entails so much more than the minimum requirements we have grown to accept from those within traditional congregational churches.

Of course, the truth of the Gospel is certainly there, but it has been layered with so much extra biblical baggage and tradition that, for many like myself, more simple forms of church (house/organic) are better expressions and wine skins of what a NT church is meant to be.

I find that I live with a foot in both worlds: that of the IC from which I came, am part of, depend upon, and dearly love; and the post-congregationalist, non-institutional expression of Christianity into which I find greater affinity and personally identify.

If the former is about "going to church" (which I have done all my life) the latter is about "being the church".

Camel Rider said...

Guy,
Thanks for highlighting these great quotes. I also wanted to say thanks for your personal message of encouragment you left at the "crossing" the other day. It was much needed and definitely received.
Blessings!

GuyMuse said...

Camel Rider,

I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for stopping by. Keep up the good work there where you are.