Prolific Author, Speaker Reggie McNeal Returns to CHOG Convention
By Carl Stagner
Reggie McNeal is no stranger to the Church of God. The prolific author and speaker has graced the stage of several Church of God Conventions and gatherings over the years, most recently in 2016. Known for his witty and direct communication style, Reggie has consistently championed the missional church, even before the concept was popular. At Convention 2021 in Denver, he’ll offer pastors and lay leaders the opportunity join him for a casual conversation over lunch.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta tell it like it is! Perhaps that’s one reason Reggie McNeal has endeared himself to so many Church of God pastors. The provocative title of his 2013 book Get off Your Donkey! Help Somebody and Help Yourself captured the attention of Christians everywhere, leaving some unsettled but all with open ears. After all, the message of Jesus Christ is precisely what Reggie wants to get across. For example, he asserted from the pulpit of Convention 2014 in Oklahoma City, “It’s our job to connect with the community—not the other way around.” A 2016 Convention wrap-up article recorded that, “Reggie McNeal minced no words as he challenged us to think about church differently, seek the kingdom first, and grasp the power of what breaks our hearts in order to change the world.”
Jim Lyon echoes such observations. “‘Those who have turned the world upside down have come here, too,’” he says, bringing to mind Acts 17:6 (NKJV). “If a verse of Scripture could summarize a pastor’s calling, this would be Reggie’s. Acknowledged by many as the progenitor of ‘missional church,’ his books and teaching on turning the world upside down with the way of Jesus have stirred the pot all over the Christian world. As a church planter, as a pastor, as an articulate master of the Word, as Missional Leadership Specialist for the Leadership Network, as a Jesus guy—and as a friend of the Church of God—Reggie returns to stretch our thinking about being hungry and thirsty for the things that also whet the Lord’s appetite.”
Reggie McNeal has worn a considerable number of ministry and leadership hats over the years; he still wears several. As City Coach for GoodCities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Reggie works with community leaders across the United States to “build cross-domain collaborative efforts that can move the needle on big societal issues.” From coaching to consultation, to Reggie has clearly had a hand in changing the conversation in the Western church from a perspective that’s all about the church as an organization, to a more kingdom-minded and Jesus-is-the-subject approach. Besides his influential ministry with Leadership Network, his experience as a founding pastor of a church, a denominational executive, and a faculty member for multiple seminaries positions him well to speak once again to the Church of God—especially on the subject of “hunger and thirst.”
“I think the church and the country have arrived at the same intersection of mounting concern for future viability,” Reggie explains, considering the present culture and his own invitation to join us for lunch in Denver. “The best path forward,” he continues, “is an alignment with God’s purposes and kingdom—for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. For pastors and church leaders steeped in church-as-institution, this will require an intentional shift from a church-centric to a kingdom-centric ministry approach and agenda. My mission is to help them make that turn.”
Don’t miss this opportunity to join Reggie McNeal for lunch on Sunday, June 27, during Convention 2021. A modest fee will cover the cost of your boxed lunch. Stay tuned for more information and the opportunity to register for this special event. In the meantime, be sure you’ve registered for Convention 2021 & General Assembly at www.chogconvention.org!