Friday, February 3, 2012

Missional Communities: The Rise of the Post-Congregational Church by Reggie McNeal

In this book Reggie McNeal examines a number of models of missional communities in the UK and USA. If you are looking for a snapshot of missional community strategies, this book offers several. While the missional communities vary in size and form, they are united in incarnational mission, gospel-community, life rythms, and leader multiplication. Some are substructures of a local church, much like cells in a cell-church, while others function independently, or in a network. The author presents these as means to reach those who will not be reached by traditional attractional churches. Most models are in the research and development phase of what he calls "this new life form." Of course, this brings up the question if this is really a "new life form." It seems that he is reacting to the traditional, attractional church of the the 20th century because of its inability to reach the majority of people in today's society. This is to be commended. The church today needs to mobilize and send its people to engage communities with the gospel in word and deed. With that said, he seems to be fuzzy on ecclesiology and various ecclesial models in church history such as Waldensians, Franciscans, German and Scandinavian Pietists, and Methodist societies that organized small missional bands. The largest contribution of the book is the call for reform from the traditional, attractional mindset of the church in America and the UK toward a missional, incarnational praxis. For this, I thank Reggie McNeal for Missional Communities!

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