Monday, 30 August 2010

Notes on Missional Renaissance

Missional Renaissance is one of the most important books that I have read.
I am convinced Reggie McNeal is on the right lines when he suggests the kind of changes that churches need to make if we are to be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the 21st century and make an impact on our postmodern world

Below are my rough notes on the book with the key points as I see them.
The notes on chapter 1 are furthest away (sorry) and then you read upwards

Please let me know what you think!

Missional Renaissance CONCLUSIONS!


McNeal thinks interest in tradITIONAL church will decline rapidly.
Churches that are externally focused and develop people will grow
An explosion of missional communities will occur in homes, restaurants, bookshops, they will order life round communion caring and celebration Many movement leaders won't be clergy Many clergy will transition the churches into missional output
Denominations will matter less Those who shudder at these developments will miss the party!
You have been sent by GOD the world will be glad you came!

Missional Renaissance chapter 8

Chapter 8 Changing the scorecard from church based to kingdom based leadership

Leaders must live the change they seek!
This will be tough We need to shift paradigms from church culture to missional movement
Leaders scorecard How many growing relationships with those who are not Jesus followers?
Number of relationships with community leaders
Intentional study plan
Number of hours in personal service for the community
Are you debriefing your personal life?
Number of stories of external missional experiences used in preaching and writing Skill development Need to be coached in order to coach
Need to use more stories and learn how to tell them
Conflict management
Transition leadership
Listening skills Celebrate and affirm others and yourself
Learn to train people as missionaries
Prayer Resource management Prayer have a prayer agenda that is missionally informed Relationships Have good relationships
Time how you spend time tells the tale
Technology Don't work for technology make it work for you
Personal proerty this too must be managed on a missional strategy
Personal growth It's all about you the message is to be wrapped up in you !

Leaders have a responsibility to grow spiritually often we will need the help of others to do this! Self awareness Single most important thing for a leader to possess
Know yourself Your personality and challenges Cognitive style Your conflict style
How you come across to other people
Your talent Your passions Hidden addictions or compulsions Family relationships With spouse With children. Emotional and spiritual health What are your spiritual disciplines like? Your emotional health? Your physical health? exercise sleep Your financial health We must pay attention to health in these areas

Missional Renaissance chapter 7

Chapter 7 From church based to kingdom based leadership

This is scary it means redefining current leadership patterns!

AD 30 leadership Was deployed by God across All sectors of society Lydia the merchant, Stephen the deacon, Luke physician. Timothy pastor.
Not restricted to clergy roles -Leaders were viral agents of the gospel Key changes. We need to make
1 from church job to kingdom assignment Church leaders in AD 30 did not serve church members in a Customer service relationship Not consumed with building the church as an institution Leaders did what they did for the sake of the kingdom movement God gave leaders to church as a gift for it's mission. But over time the church became institutionalised.
Hierarchies grew up Ecclesiastical matters superceded kingdom business
We need to refocus our church leadership to reflect Gods vision for the mission of his people, We need as leaders to pastor the community and not just the church! We are to lead a movement not just a church! From institutional rep to viral agent People outside church see church leaders as institutional reps We are locked into project management We Market church mainly to members"don't miss that"

Leaders of a kingdom movement see themselves very differently. They talk about God not just church! Like viral agents they want to infect people with Gods love for them
The kingdom is both taught and caught We must prepare people for kingdom assignments
From director to producer A director on a film set directs a producer finds the stories ,recruit the talent,raise the money, New testament leaders released people for ministry acts 6-they were producers If your a producer ministry doesn't collapse it radiates out from around you. The producer feeds the movement The leader should empower people to pursue their ministry passions!
From reliving the past to rearranging the future A faith built on dead people doesn't thrive
We learn from the past and it helps us discern what GOD Is doing today -now! We need to discover what GOD is upto and join him in it
From train and deploy to deploy and debrief Jesus used the deploy and debrief method They watched what he did and tried it themselves at thesis of the day they debriefed him on it He. Created teaching moments he also took people away for quality learning and prayer and relaxation We should help people in the congregation develop their skills so they can lead inthe workplace or community The church should be a partner in peoples kingdom efforts not a competitor for their time
From positional to personal Today's leaders need to have great personal skills we need to model how to live see 1 Corinthians 4v 16 So are we living what we are talking about? Are we willing to be accountable and authentic? Do we say Yes to Jesus? our role is to deploy Christians into missional lives To teach To coach To be missional strategists To train What should leaders do? Clarify your life purpose Pay attention to your emotional and physical stamina Learn how to Cope with change Ask if we are giving the kind of leadership that turns people towards the mission of GOD Our reward is to hear him say well done!

Missional Renaissance chapter 6

Ch 6 From Measuring programmes to helping people grow Program church scorecard equals
Number of people involved
People coming to services
Church activities
Money gathered and spent on church needs
Church buildings
Staff devoted to program management
alternative scorecard
Missional Relationships cultivated
People released into service
Personal life development
Money spent on people not buildings
Life centred growth
Staff engaged in coaching people
These are big shifts!
Reallocating resources
Prayer How much prayer in services How much prayer for community
How many prayed for during the week
How many prayer meetings in community settings
How many requests from Community
Number of people reporting better relationships ie marriage, family, work, friendships.
Number of people being mentored
Number of people mentoring
Number of people growing spiritually
Number of people giving to kingdom causes
Number of people being debriefed
Leaders.a Numbers engaged in Life coaching
Numbers engaged in deeper relationship
Amount of time given to leadership devt agenda
Progress in scheduling fewer meetings
Number of life story interviews in sermons
Number of hours people spend in community service
How we use money reflects our core values
Amount of seed money invested in community
Amount of giving
Number of messages dealing with financial issues
Number of people who have made wills
Facilities % of facilities used during week for financial growth Number of external venues church is using for ministry
Space devoted to people friendly areas
Technology Number of personal growth areas offered on website Online life. Coaching People using facebook

Missional Renaissance chapter 5

Chapter 5 From program devt to people devt
Are people better of being part of this church or just tireder and poorer?
This is a tough shift to make! Developing people is hard for it requires building relationships, not just delivering a product. We must have a true commitment to helping people grow
We must mentor people inside and outside the church
God is not more interested in developing people inside the church than outside
We must develop people! Church is not to be the centre of a persons spiritual experience! Everyday living is where spirituality is worked out Loving god and loving neighbours cannot just be fulfilled at church
Being salt and light doesn't mean a holy huddle. It doesn't even work for church members. Reveal study at willow Creek proves this ! Willows most engaged members were unhappy with their personal growth
Fostering a people development culture
From standardisation to customisation People are no longer going to let the church provide a template for their spiritual journeys. This could be bad news but it does give opportunities
From scripting to shaping For centuries we told people how to grow spiritually And people did it
In today's culture people want to take more responsibility for their own affairs eg health,education etc If you go to a gymn the trainer will ask mr x what do you want to achieve?.Spiritual leaders pay attention! This is labour Intensive-yes but surely we are not too busy for people?
Idea 1. Ask people what they want to achieve and based on their responses. Help them to achieve those goals
Idea 2 offer life coaching
From participation to maturity Maturation is messy it takes time Maturation happens where there is mutual accountability Where people are coached,celebrated and challenged Remember Peter up one minute down the next We are like him but Peter kept growing because he was part of a spiritual community pulling him forward
From delivering to debriefing We focus on teaching but people need to debrief their lives! To examine experiences and learn from them
Make space for this even in your services! Eg where did you see god at work this week? What was your biggest challenge?
From didactic to behavioural Mustn't be teacher dominated yes give people info but also help them apply it. We need to help people become followers of Jesus So Jesus said love your neighbour and in parable showed them what that meant practically!(good Samaritan)
From curriculum centred to life centred Not just here to study bible but to apply it and let it inform us help people to examine their lives story page 105
Growing into service to growing through service In missional church service is an expression of first step of spirituality not an ultimate goal we growmmost when we are serving others we. Grow most through serving
From compartmentalisation to integration In new testament acts of ministry primarily done not in church but in Market place they were the church In the world
All life relationships are kingdom opportunities! All life activity is kingdom investment
From age segregation to integration Need to be more intergenerational do stuff together! The key to all this is relationships! People don't exist apart from relationships! The missional church is people not a place People devt is central to what we must Do The mission is about people!

Missional Renaissance chapter 4

Changing the scorecard
Prayer How often do we pray for community Rather than church? Lord help me see what you see!
Prayer walking Prayer booths Praying for community leaders Praying for community in worship services Praying for lost People.
Church leaders need to be deployed in community Give leaders time to be missionaries Insist all groups have some external element Make church calendar a community calendar
Plan with community calendar in mind
Cut some stuff to free up time for community stuff
Help members see what they do in community is ministry
Discover what buildings your community needs
Track how much the community uses your buildings!
Make sure your facilities say you are welcome (disabled,parking,lighting,toilets etc
Financial resources
Put more into community ministry
Partner with business
Apply for grants
Work with other churches
Help people contribute to community causes through the church
Technology Make sure your website enables people to report prayer concerns
Use social spaces eg facebook Podcast interviews
Post community needs on your website
Use twitter and texting to remind people of ministry opportunities
Blog your missional engagement Create possibility of gospel engagement online

Missional Renaissance chapter 3


Missional shift 1 Internal to external focus
This is a tectonic shift
It involves changing our understanding of what the church is as well as what it does! From church centric to kingdom focused
The church has ocupied centre stage but now we need to think Kingdom1
It isn't about how much activity we can generate
we are no longer to be church centric "for god so loved the world"as we engage with the world so we find Jesus whose home is on The streets -he is out there already!we can bring the gospel to people where they are!
From destination to connector The church is not the destination it is a connector the destination is life- life in all it's fullness
We are to link people to the kingdom life God has for them!
From thinking we are the point to being absolutely the point! The role of the church is to bless the World"in doing this we reveal Gods heart for the world see genesis 12 We don't need an evangelism strategy but a blessing strategy To practice the blessing life you will need to believe God not just believe on god Abraham didn't just believe God he believed in God
From attractional to incarnational

Now we produce services ministries programes etc Our scorecard is attendance,participation,reflected in income But we need to find a way of being church where people are
How can we tell people Jesus is there for them if we aren't willing to be there for them? What can we do?
1, Tell stories of how god is at work outside the church
2Commission people as missionaries to blocks of flats ,shops ,workplaces,school classrooms.
3 From member culture to missionary culture Church is not a separate culture recruiting people from other domains sucking salt out of the community no the church is God's people deployed throughout society. We are to be missionary priests 5
5From worship services to service as worship
We could use 1 Sunday a month As service to the community The focus of the worship in missional church is to celebrate the work of god in life of the community From congregations to missional communities Up in out It's not so Much about changing the church as about changing the world

Missional Renaissance chapter 2

Ch 2 missional manifesto Heart of missional church God is a sending god so a missional church participates in God's Mission in the world.
God is on a mission we are to join him on it We are to partner with god in his redemptive mission in the world "we can hoist our sails to gods breeze that is already blowing"
"we are to be the aroma of Jesus in the cemetry of decaying flesh"
Wherever missional followers are the church is there This is biblical

Missional Renaissance chapter 1

As promised here are my rough notes for chapter one of Missional Renaissance. They are no substitute for reading the book!

Missional Renaissance Biggest devt since reformation.
Missional not an activity it is a a way of living.
3 key shifts
Internal to external.
Program development to people development.
Church based to kingdom based.
The signs New Expressions of church. Emergence of altruism economy, Internal to external ministry focus, "missional church engages community beyond it's Walls, because it believes that's why church exists" Externally focused ministries take their cues from world around them! Time,money,energy spent on those not part of their church.
This needs radical change of mindset from leaders
A changing of scorecard for how we do church!
Search for personal growth
This is a big thing today people are empowered by technology etc to do things for themselves,where others once had to do for them. People want to maximise personal devt; So- Program devt to people devt. This is hard work but we must help people grow we are not really trained for it we are groomed to do project management.
We should no longer be looking for new and better ways of doing church. But to help people in and out of the church grow spiritually.
We are to develop people not process them!
From church based to kingdom based leadership
We need kingdom leaders who understand the cultures search for God and who do not insist on people leaving their own turf to have this conversation .Our major task is not serving those who come to church! We should no longer seek to maintain an organisation but to be an incarnational influence and thus build a movement.
We must think of kingdom impact more than church growth. What's next? Missional thinking changes the game completely.
Unless we adopt this new thinking we will become irrelevant

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Holiday Reading

This year I read a couple of thrillers which were in my opinion pretty ordinary.

I also spent a great deal of time reading and making notes on every chapter of Reggie McNeal's Missional Renaissance which our leadership team are all meant to be reading.

I will put my notes of each chapter on this blog,when I get time ,in case anyone wants to read them. They are no substitute for reading the book however!

The other book I thoroughjly enjoyed was James Holland's " Battle of Britain "
For once a book that looks beyond the myths and deals with the reality.
Holland does not fall into the trap of most writers on this critical phase of the war, by simply focussing on the Spitfire and Hurricane pilots and their daring exploits. He spends a great deal of time detailing the, often neglected, exploits of Bomber Command and its attacks on German cities including Berlin in 1940.

Holland also puts the whole battle in its historical context by describing the events leading up to the evacuation of Dunkirk and he also attempts to answer the often asked question "Why didnt Hitler invade as soon as he captured the channel ports and the retreat by the BEF to Britain. ?"
A very well researched book that tells the story from both German and the British side and although the cover price is steep at £25 you can get it online for less than half that!
A really good read if you like history!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Holiday time!

Just back from 2 weeks at Le Pas Opton,Spring Harvest's holiday site in France.

We had a great time and the weather was very good with much less rain than England,judging by the length of the grass when we returned home!

The park itself is attractive and well cared for with plenty to do including a heated swimming pool.

It was a joy to see friends Jeff and Sarah from Herefordshire and to meet their children who I don't think had been born the last time we met!
.Needless to say we bored the children with plenty of talk about the old days!

Being at Le Pas Opton was more like a restful retreat than a busy conference though we did have speakers and a morning and evening meeting. There were also really good children's acivities run by an enthusiastic and gifted team

The second weeks speaker was Roger Sutton who spoke powerfully on spiritual journeys drawing on passages that included The Prodigal Son and Psalm 84
Roger spoke with great honesty ,openess, and humour while making some powerful points,which I found enormously helpful.

We drove back to Roscoff to catch the ferry .It's not the biggest of the channel ports, but (along with St Malo) it is my favourite. Typically French and very beautiful on a sunny if chilly evening.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Riding and thinking

I haven't posted for a while because I have been focusing on other things but recently, I fulfilled a promise to take my daughter for a days pony trekking in achingly beautiful countryside on the Black Mountains near Hay on Wye. I have posted some photos above
I hadn't ridden for a whole day for many many years; but Mungo ( the 16.1 hands horse!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it and we even cantered a few times
I was at the back ,we were in single file and so there was a lot of time to think
Among many other things (like" what incredible views!" & "I feel quite sore!") I thought about the Christian church .This had been inspired by seeing a small chapel way up in the hills whose graveyard seemed well kept ,which may have once been the focus of a thriving farming community but which was now separated from the culture in which it is now placed.There are people who think that is a good thing. For example a small " Christian place of worship" is being built near us that has not a single window. If you want to go on a Sunday you have to phone up to get permission to go.The whole building shouts stay away your presence may contaminate us.
That is not the kind of message Jesus sent. He got his hands dirty and came along side people in their suffering and got involved and that is what the church should do! We are called to be salt and light! It is the Pharisees who shut out the world and in shutting out the world they shut the door of The Kingdom against themselves
God is calling out into the world with a heart full of love and the life changing message of the gospel! Its great if our church architecture reflects that but its essential our lives do!
PS I got a public dressing down from the trek leader for taking photos when I should have been concentrating on riding . I hope I received it with due humility!