the present future

December 5, 2004

The Present FutureSome thoughts from the pages of The Present Future, by Reggie McNeal:

• Pg xvii – “I believe the search for models can often short-circuit a significant part of a leader’s journey into obedience to God.” – This is encouraging to me. As I look toward church planting in the future, I don’t have the perfect vision of what that church should look like, but I don’t need to yet. More importantly, I just need to let God do what he needs to in me so I can see what he has in store in his time.

• Pg 45 – “In more recent decades the emphasis on spiritual gifts has often been associated with helping church members find their ‘ministry fit.’ Unfortunately, the scripting of ministry opportunities based on gift ‘discoveries’ most usually ties back to church responsibilities.” – How can we help people to put their gifts to use not only in the church, but perhaps even more importantly, outside the church.

• Pg 73 – “To live abundantly is to borrow the future into the present. This means that helping people develop emotionally, physically, and relationally is all spiritual.”

• Pg 76 – “Instead of dumping a packet of church club member stuff on them, why not interview them about what they would like to see happen in their lives in terms of their spiritual development and personal growth?” – As an example of this, he talks about how you get a personal trainer when you join a gym, which is an interesting parallel and worth thinking about.

• Pg 88 – “We typically hire children’s and student ministers to run programs for children and young people. In fact, this approach by the church may do more to decimate the home as a spiritual center than anything coming into the home on television or the internet.”

• Pg 101 – “In the emerging world people will increasingly demand intentionality in the organizations they belong to. They will only belong to those organizations that help them experience the vision they have for their own life. (emphasis mine)”

• Pg 105 – “Great organizations get results because they go for results and are willing to life and die by the results they identify as their benchmarks for success. Effective missional congregations are no exception.” — what are the benchmarks for measuring missional effectiveness?

• Pg 138 – “A word to pastors. Over time there is no substitute for your leadership inner circle to be in some small group setting with you where your heart for the kingdom can have an impact on theirs. (I believe this is the primary responsibility for church leaders: to share God’s heart with God’s people.) This means that you turn your board into a small group learning community first. Secondarily, they have responsibility for board decisions.”

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