Mel McGowan’s Thought Leaders

We asked 35 Christian leaders, “Who is the influencer with the biggest impact on your life and ministry?” Most of these leaders listed several influential thinkers, writers, innovators, and leaders more of us should get to know. This response is from Mel McGowan, president of Visioneering Studios, Irvine, California.


07_TL_McGowan_Read_JNEric O. Jacobsen: He has been one of the best theologians of space and an “interpreter” of our contemporary cities and communities through his advocacy of “New Urbanism,” which describes the maturing of the American suburban dream into a denser, more diverse, polycentric, postmodern reality.

Dave Gibbons: David is my Jedi kung fu master. His new book, Small Cloud Rising: How Creatives, Dreamers, Poets, and Misfits Are Awakening the Ancient Future Church, describes what I see the Holy Spirit doing to his church more artfully, succinctly, and accurately than anything I’ve read in years.

Alan Hirsch: Alan has been a key prophet to the American church, bringing “balance to the force” by helping attractional megachurches move toward missional communities without losing the critical mass of their apostolic leadership capital, space, and budgets.

Mark Batterson: The most winsome, likable, and articulate charismatic dude I know. I’m so thankful God has this man of God on Capitol Hill [he is pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.]. His “Postmodern Wells” takes the John 4 story and blows up 2,000 years of misguided attempts at creating “sacred spaces.”

Rob Bell: I don’t know if any other author, thought leader, or pastor has sparked more rich conversations that I’ve had in the last 10 years than this dude. I don’t know many friends/pastors who would agree with 100 percent of what Rob says, but I’m pretty sure Rob would be worried if they did.

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