There is a great deal of discussion today about the health, effectiveness, passion, and future of the local church. It seems at every turn someone is offering a better, more effective, and smarter way to carry out the ministry given to the church. If you listen hard and long enough you can hear anything you want to as it relates to what church leaders should and should not be doing. Thoughts ranging from mega churches are on their way out, to satellite campuses are the way to go to, to make the children happy and the parents will stay have been expressed in many different formats and venues. Rob Wegner and Jack Magruder, senior leaders at Granger Community Church in South Bend, Indiana have collaborated on a new book entitled, “Missional Moves; 15 Tectonic Shifts That Transform Churches, Communities, and the World” that address and speak the issues facing the local church today.
Wegner and Magruder offer for consideration the point of view that the church today is very pragmatic, desiring the nuts and bolts of how to do effective ministry. This desire, and thus the sought after results, will be viewed through a certain paradigm that each church has established. They use the following working explanation of paradigm to make their case. “Our paradigm is our repeated life story that determines how an organization feels, thinks, and thus acts. This system story determines the way an organization behaves no matter how the organizational chart is drawn. The paradigm explains and then it guides behavior, and because of this it is the primary template that shapes all other things. Restructure the organization but leave the original paradigm in place and nothing changes within the organization.” In order for churches to be more effective, the authors propose and support certain paradigm shifts. They offer three which comprise the three main sections of the book: Section One – Paradigm Shift (Missional Imagination). Here the church is challenged to find its way into the bigger story. Section Two – Centralized Shift (Local Churches on Mission). Here churches are given a map of how to be empowered and unleashed for local and global mission. Section Three – Decentralized Shift (The People of God on Mission). Here the church is shown how to equip and then release people to accomplish the mission God has given to them.
The authors use earthquake language throughout this book. Citing the shifting of tectonic plates and resulting tsunami that struck the coast of India in 2004, they suggest certain “shifts” must take place in the local church today. Within the three main sections are fifteen “shifts”. These shifts are “from” something the church is presently doing or pursuing “to” something the should pursue or reevaluate. Each one breaks down the main section into bite-size digestible pieces. I found these shifts to be especially insightful, especially “From My Tribe to Every Tribe”, “From Professionals to Full Participation”, and “From ‘We Can Do It; You Can Help to You Can Do It; We Can Help’”.
Wegner and Magruder have written a smart book. I found it to be thought-provoking and interesting. Missional Moves is written in an easy to follow and logical format. Without a doubt the passion of the authors comes through. Most definitely worth your time. Engaging and timely, Missional Moves is one of those books that will remain in the church-health conversation for years to come.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”