Monday, May 14, 2012

The Present Future

I read “The Present Future” by Reggie McNeal last year about this time, and have never reviewed it here. Let me say first that this book still is with me. I loved reading it, and it challenged me in a big way. It’s a very easy read, as McNeal writes in a very conversational way, and doesn’t use too many big words! Let me say a couple of things I really liked, and one I think the author could have done better.

 First, any time we are challenged, I think it’s a good thing. McNeal challenges many presuppositions about church; both in what we do and why we do them. I think every church leader should read it for this alone. Whether you come away agreeing with that he says…well, that may not happen. However, it’s worth the challenge.

 Another thing I really liked is that McNeal frames a lot of the book in questions. He’s not writing in order to give answers, but to help the reader think for himself. This caused me many times to put the book down and think through some things. 

The one thing I think he could have done better in the book, which he does in his speaking engagements, is be sure to point out the balance which needs to be drawn between being “incarnational” (much of the book) and “attractional” (which is ignored almost completely).

 All in all, this is probably the leadership book which has most challenged my ministry when I read it, and continues to challenge me today.

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