Reggie McNeal's book The Present Future is subtitled: Six tough questions for the Church. Those questions are a follows...
1. How do we deconvert from churchianity to christianity? his answer: recover a theology of mission. "the appropriate response to the emerging world is a rebooting of the mission, a radical obedience to an ancient command, a loss of self rather than self-preoccupation, concern about service and sacrifice rather than concern about style."
2. How do we tranform our community? (rather than 'grow this church') his answer: by getting out of the church (building) and onto the streets. "since the church is absent from the streets, people are turning to all kinds of false answers to their spiritual quest. church members then have the gall to sit inside the church and pass judgment on people for their errant beliefs."
3. How do we turn members into missionaries? his answer: train them in the discipline and practices of missiology - the study of contextualizing the gospel in another culture. "until we bless people who 'go out' from us to reach people who may not come to us, we will continue to have a kingdom vision that is shrink-wrapped to church programs and church real estate."
4. How do we develop followers of Jesus? his answer: move from 'teaching' discipleship to 'learning' followership. "Jesus facilitated spiritual formation in his disciples by introducing them to life situations and then helping them debrief their experiences."
5. How do we prepare for the future? (rather than 'plan' for it...) his answer: reorient your vision, values, and scorecard/results around the future, rather than the present. "the future belongs to those who prepare for it, not those who plan for it. If the North American church is going to make the leap off the sigmoid curve and avoid the sure death guaranteed by incrementalism, it will have to shift its beginning point from the present to the future."
6. How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement? his answer: orient leaders toward accomplishing the mission, rather than toward filling roles in the church structure. "the goal of a congregation's leadership development process is to create a core of leaders who are capable of strategizing, launching and conducting a mission for expanding the kingdom of God."
What does God want the church to be doing in the world? rather than 'what works' to get people into our church building on Sunday morning...
I like that.