You tell ’em, Reggie!

I enjoy going to preaching conferences, but the kind of preaching conference I enjoy the most is the kind where someone tells me that the way I’m doing it already is the right way. 

I had that same pleasurable rush of confirmation at the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia this week.  Reggie McNeal was the featured speaker, and as he talked about the missional church I heard him saying some of the same things I’ve been saying for the last several years, but in a way that was funny and disarming.  You’d be laughing out loud about something he said and then suddenly, umph, he’d slip the truth between your ribs like a knife blade.

Let me share with you some of those pointed truths:

  • Church is not “it” but “us.”
  • Our job is to bless the world, just as God told Abraham (“In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” Genesis 12:3).
  • We used to think it didn’t count unless we clubbed it, dragged it across the finish line, and threw it into a church pew.  We’ve got to relax about this thing—just bless people.
  • Leaders tend to look at what they’re working on. In John 4 Jesus was looking at the fields that were “white unto harvest.”  What about you?  Are you looking at the church or are you looking at the world?
  • Go to Wal-Mart and watch people for an hour.  Say, “Lord, help me see what you see.”
  • The church does not have a mission, the mission has a church.
  • We are all on a mission trip.
  • We are not members, we are missionaries.
  • If I can’t bring church to my neighbors, my neighbors are not going to get it.  Put your focus on people, not church.
  • Use your building to bless the community.
  • Get involved in your local schools.
  • As the bride of Christ, can we allow what captures his heart to capture ours?  Can we allow what breaks his heart to break ours?
  • The missional church follows the path of brokenness.  Whatever breaks your heart is how God wants to use you.

Click HERE for a video that will give you a good taste of what I heard at BGAV.  It’s funny, mind-boggling, and (umph!) true.

5 thoughts on “You tell ’em, Reggie!

  1. Thanks for sharing some of the great moments at the meeting! I am taking a mission class this semester with Dr. Oladipo, and I’m having an eye-opening experience. We are learning about Missio Dei, the mission of God. The church is supposed to be a movement, instead of an institution, to carry out Missio Dei. Dr. O calls everyone in the class with a missionary title. So, thanks again, Missionary Jim:-)

  2. Reggie is right. It was my responsibility to secure the speaker for the BGAV meeting, and was he ever effective. His wonderful focus on others sounds remarkably similar to the words of Jesus. Those words are probably right, too.

  3. Reggie was an excellent choice and no doubt, quite effective. “A Good Choice” emphasizes to me that life is one choice following the one just before. It takes me back to the days of building blocks. I learned early on how important it is to have a good foundation by making the right choice.

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