Reggie McNeal leads the Missional Renaissance Leadership Community at Leadership Network and has just released a new summary report on churches across the country that are engaging with their communities.
According to McNeal, these churches are pioneering a shift in leaders who are engaging their communities in mission. In addition to deploying their own members for service, they are engaging with people who, while not a part of their church, are attracted to rolling up their sleeves to bless the community. These on-mission churches look not only to their own resources and ideas for the community; they are strategically engaging with other churches and non-church organizations. These churches are moving from ministry for the community and in the community to ministry with the community.
The missional conversation the past few years has moved church leaders more into ministry in the community—outside our church walls. This new movement is a rise in churches that are working shoulder-to-shoulder in partnership with the community—across multiple domains of business, education, health care, social service and government—to transform a city.
Four trends in this movement include:
1. Participation in service is increasing; 2. Missional churches are engaging non-believers as part of their labor force; 3. Missional churches are increasingly working in cross denomination collaboration; 4. Church leaders are gaining a better understanding of community development.