I took the time to watch the two Reggie McNeal lectures which the RCA sent to us via email.
I recommend them. Here’s the link
I don’t agree with all of what he says (too narrow a view of the Kingdom, too disparaging of the church as “people of God,” too discounting of the sacraments as actual small miracles in church), but hey, he’s trying to make a point, I’m willing to let him overstate it.
I like so much the thrust of what he says, like about “blessing” and “how can I pray for you” and such. Indeed, that’s what I’m teaching our people here already. Also he’s very wise on “custom-designed discipleship” and the problems of the program church. And he’s delightfully funny.
I’d like to know more what he means by “apostolic,” because that worries me. But I do think he’d be very open to a sacramental approach to what he advocates.
Here’s what bothers me. It’s the way it’s packaged to us by the RCA leadership. Somehow the RCA leadership is suggesting that this “missional” approach requires a revolutionary change in our historic structures (classis, synods, etc.) The RCA packaging says that if we like what McNeal has said, we’ve got to go along with staff-down centralized denominational restructuring.
If anything, I would suggest that if we like what McNeal says, we could much better just discard the whole denominational staff!
If the leadership is really in favor of missional structures, then why don’t they get out of the way? Why don’t they stop distracting us with all their structural finagling? What a waste of everyone’s time the whole “missional structures” thing is, both the earlier attempt and this new current “son of missional structures.” What a phenomenal waste of time, the staff’s time and our time. The denominational staff looks more preoccupied with the church than we who really take a Reformed approach to Word and Sacrament.
I can’t understand it. Don’t they see the connection?
I can’t see how anybody who watches the McNeal videos would ever want a denominational staff job!
If McNeal is right, then who cares how large or small the RCA is, or what our numbers are.