Saturday, August 15, 2009

Missional renaissance - pt. 4

Chapter 6 of Reggie McNeal's book Missional Renaissance is on "Changing the Scorecard From Measuring Programs to Helping People Grow."

He says right up front (p.111): "The second shift of the missional church - helping people grow - is the most challenging... Moving in this direction, however, calls for us to get out of the church business and into the people business." I agree on both counts.

On p. 112 he contrasts how things are measured in the program-driven church vs. how he thinks it should be. In the program driven church model the activities and numbers center on...
  • Number of people involved, attending, or participating
  • People recruited for church services
  • Church activities
  • Spiritual disciplines
  • Money gathered and spent on church needs
  • Church turf
  • Church-centered "opportunities for growth"
  • Staff devoted to program management
He contrasts these with the scorecard he says should be in place to celebrate a people development culture, including but not limited to...
  • Relationships that people are intentionally cultivating
  • People released into service
  • Personal life development
  • Money spent on people rather than buildings and administration
  • Life turf (home, work, school, community, and so on)
  • Life-centered growth
  • Staff engaged in coaching people for their personal development
He sums up nicely on p. 113: "The people development approach reflects an understanding that the church in its essence and highest expression is incarnational, not institutional."

He breaks things down according to the same resources as before: prayer, people (leaders and others), calendar (time), finances, facilities, and technology.

I like the area on 116 where he discusses four categories of growth. He says, "I find that it helps to think in terms of four categories when it comes to helping people grow in their individual lives... self awareness, skill development, resource management, and personal growth." The explanations in the book help, and they make sense to me.

At the end of the chapter he talks about how the leaders in one church had conversations with their people and asked these five questions:
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Where do you see God at work right now?
  • What would you like to see God do in your life over the next six to twelve months? How can we help?
  • How would you like to serve other people? How can we help?
  • How can we pray for you?
I should probably re-read this chapter. There was some good stuff, but it is complicated and difficult, and people are not going to be the same everywhere, and, you know, people are strange too. He is up front about the fact that this is not all-inclusive. It's a place to start. Which is better than giving us a place to stop. This is definitely a key to it all though. imho.