Why we must give up our obsession with fixing the church-and what we should do instead.
Published by Tyndale publishing.
Early in the introduction Mr. McNeal states his central idea, "the purpose of the church is to further God's kingdom." Whatever else we may be doing or disagree on, that is the central theme of all we do. The author's dad was a Southern Baptist preacher and he joined the church at an early age. He holds Mdiv and PHD from Southern Baptist Seminary.
There is a reason Jesus taught us to pray Thy kingdom come, and not Thy church come.
On page 51 he states, "God desires our obedience and joyful participation, but the success of his agenda doesn't depend on our decisions or efforts." This speaks to the sovereignty of God, and that His plans will prevail. However, on page 37, he states, "We have a choice to self-select whether we want to be in our out of the Kingdom of God." This speaks to man's free will. Not quite sure where he stand on the subject of Reformed theology with these two statements. Regardless, he does make some good points about the church, such as, "Everywhere we go the church is." This is the idea of the church not being a building, but the people of God, his chosen, His elect, who He has called to be in this world, but not of the world.
I like the idea of only 9 chapters, it simplifies the ideas. So many other books about the church get bogged down in many sub-headings, and frankly too many words. Chapter titles such as My Journey into the Kingdom, Challenging the Church's Story line, make for good reading. I can appreciate how he makes it a call to action for the church itself to make some changes.
There is a Discussion guide included with questions for each chapter for use in group study.
He talks about cooperation and collaboration, and despite some issues, we all can use more of that.