The title had me from the start. I went to my library and counted at least 30 books on how to improve the church such as Tribal Church, Simple Church, Aqua Church, Unlearning Church, Prevailing Church, Transformational Church—You get the picture. Fixing the Church is a cottage industry.
McNeal changes the conversation. He writes,
Obsessing over “fixing the church” has created a church-centered storyline that not only misses the point, but often runs counter to the narrative that God intends for us to live into and out of—namely, the saga of the Kingdom of God. It’s time for the church to get over its self-absorption and self-centeredness and adopt the larger and more compelling story of God’s Kingdom as its reason for being and its mission in the world.
Later McNeal states,
What constitutes the mission of the church? has to do with partnering with God as his people in his mission. That mission is the Kingdom of God, not the church. Jesus told us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” not, “Thy church come.” Though the church plays a vital role in the Kingdom, it is not the point of the Kingdom.
As one would expect from McNeal, he does a masterful job of providing a biblical and theological explanation of the Kingdom of God. The book is thoroughly grounded in Scripture. Christ and the gospel is center to the discussion in the book. It is full of inspirational stories of people who are living out what it means to be the people of God and telling stories about the lives that are changed as a result of believers’ serving the community. (McNeal calls these “God-sightings.”) The last chapter provides practical suggestions on how we can live as Kingdom agents.
Why this Book is Important
What would happen if the people of God asked community leaders how we can serve the community and make it a better place for all to live? What would happen if we prayed like Jesus, “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done, in our community as it is in heaven?” What would happen if we looked for where God was already at work and joined Him in Kingdom activity? What amazing God-Sightings and God-Promptings would we see? I pray this book will begin a conversation of how we move from a church-centered paradigm to a Kingdom movement.
I encourage you to purchase the book. Read it with your church staff, small group, or workers at the office. Start a conversation of how you, your family, your small group, your church can join God in bringing Kingdom life to our communities.