See Captured By Vision--George's newest book released at

 Learn in Three Days a Process to Transform Your Congregation

3.daysIt does not matter what “RE” word works for you—revitalize, renew, re-envision, reinvent, redevelop restart, replant, resurrect—there is a three-day “retreat” you ought to attend.

It is called a Congregational Champions Retreat. (For more information go to

It is for senior or solo pastors, church staff persons, key lay leaders, denominational staff leaders, consultants, coaches, stewardship and capital campaign consultants, college and seminary professor who teach church growth and church leadership, and a host of other categories of people.

These retreats are led by George Bullard who has engaged in research, consulting, coaching, writing, speaking, and training on congregational transformation for more than 40 years. He wants to share with you what he has learned will work, will not work, and a process to achieve it.

His work with congregations includes thousands. His advising of denominational organizations about congregational transformation includes hundreds. His training of consultants and coaches over the past five decades also numbers in the thousands.

George likes to do this in small groups. Over the past 13 months he has led 13 retreats involving 130 people. Now he is announcing a new round of retreats for the fall of 2017. All these “retreats” will be held at the Columbia Metro Baptist Association office in Columbia, South Carolina.

The “retreats” start at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and end at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday. The dates for this fall are,

  • October 24th-26th
  • October 31st-November 2nd
  • December 5th-7th

For more information go to Or call George directly at 803.622.0923 or e-mail him at, and he would be glad to answer your questions.

To register go to

Can you really learn how to transform your congregation in three days? Absolutely you can learn the process and receive handouts you can use with your congregation. Then, you and George will work together to assess what additional process assistance you need or want following the retreat.

Today I Honor the Missionary Man--Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley of Lott Carey

David Goatley 02The fall edition of the Lott Carey Herald of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention honors the 20th anniversary of their executive director-treasurer Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley.

Download 2017-8 Lott Carey Herald Web Edition

I have known David for these 20 years, and consider him a close friend, great colleague, and Christian ministry soulmate in the cause of Christ. We have been together many times in Washington, DC, and have also met with many others throughout North America and in Europe. Africa, Asia, and South America in gatherings of Baptists seeking to expand and extend the fulfillment of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment. I know of no greater leader among us as Baptists.

He thinks and acts creatively to be part of God's empowerment of effective Christian missional engagement. He is often my counsel when I seek to understand and act prophetically in multi-cultural situations. He is a true friend.

Thank you, David, for your faithful, effective, and innovative service to God's Kingdom.

Seven Strategies for a Baptist Association--An Overview

Strategy 02The following conversation could have taken place between any Baptist pastors, staff ministers, or laypersons anywhere in North America any time in the past 50 years. It could have taken place this week in the Midlands of South Carolina. 

A pastor, a church staff person, and a layperson met at a coffee shop, ordered their favorite caffeinated drink, and on this gorgeous day decided to sit outside and enjoy the breeze flowing gently through the trees.

Greg, the pastor, is new to the church having arrived just three months ago. The worship leader, Carlton, has led worship for seven years since the congregation made the transition from traditional to contemporary worship. Stephanie is the chairperson of the Finance Committee, and has attended the congregation all her life.

The reason for gathering was to talk about the missions section of their church budget for the coming year. Questions have arisen as to the value of contributing financially to the three dimensions of their denomination—international, regional, and local. In days of limited funds for the church budget, pressure has arisen to cut contributions to the denomination. This is not a new agenda. It has come up before, and cuts to denominations already have been made.

Continue reading "Seven Strategies for a Baptist Association--An Overview" »

Baptist Associations are a Family Heritage

Church Pin Map

For my family, Baptist associations have been part of our DNA since at least the 1940s. I suspect it goes back even farther.

Several weeks ago I was organizing my home office and aggressively throwing out things I no longer need that have piled up over the past 11 years. I came across a couple of boxes of family archives. Much of one box were various papers from my father. As I anticipated beginning as the director of missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, I had a good time reading through some of the papers and remembering my family commitment to Baptist associations.

From stories told by my parents, I suspect it was through associational meetings in Wilmington, NC where my parents met in the 1930s. Beyond these gatherings, Dad would preach at churches who needed someone to fill in, and often he would take Mom to play the piano. Not a bad way to court one another.

Continue reading "Baptist Associations are a Family Heritage" »

The Synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, Good News

Great ChurchesFour essential characteristics of FaithSoaring Churches are Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News. All four characteristics must be present in congregations or they are incomplete, myopic, and lack sufficient spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy. They also must interact in a way that creates a synergy that is greater than the cumulative impact of their individual characteristics. Only when this synergy is present will congregations move from being good enough to being sufficiently great.

The idea behind suggesting these are the essential characteristics of great FaithSoaring Churches is my desire to understand what characterizes congregations when they are functioning with great spiritual and strategic surrender to God’s empowering vision.

Management guru Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, suggests many organization are good. Functioning in a great manner, however, eludes the many organizations. David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in their book, Good Faith, challenge Christians to live out a good faith. They also share what they believe constitutes a good faith practice.

The exceptional synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News results in Great FaithSoaring Churches with a generous presence of spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy.

Continue reading "The Synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, Good News" »

Our One Priority

PriorityDownload Our One Priority

Respond to This Post:  (For members of Columbia Metro Baptist Association churches only.)

For your congregation to effectively move forward, how many spiritual and strategic priorities should you have? Three? Five? Seven? How many priorities are too few? How many are too many?

Did you know the word priority only existed in a singular form for the first five hundred years after it came into common use? It was primarily after World War II that it was expressed in a plural form and became priorities? If that is the case then the correct answer to how many spiritual and strategic priorities a congregation should have is one.

If you could only have one priority as a congregation, what should it be?

  • To reach people for a Christ-centered, faith-based spiritual journey?
  • To pay off the debt for your buildings?
  • To connect the unchurched with your church for Christian discipleship?
  • To grow you church bigger?
  • To make disciples of Christ who make disciples of Christ?
  • To make sure your church exists until you die?
  • To call a pastor who will bring vision that your church can follow?
  • To reach young adult families with children?
  • To fill up your sanctuary with worshipers?
  • To care for the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of your members?

If you could choose only one, which one would you choose? Which one is a worthy priority that fits your congregation and honors our God?

Continue reading "Our One Priority" »

How Do Economics Impact Churches in Your Ministry Area?

NUCLEARTOWN 64796-2I hope we all know that economic situations, and patterns of both increased and lessening prosperity significant impact the opportunities and challenges congregations and our overall Christian witness face on a regular basis. In the association I serve--Columbia Metro Baptist Association--we have not only the very urban metropolitan county of Richland, but also a county to the north--Fairfield--which has risen and fallen based on various economic projects that prosper for a while and then disappear.

The most notable in the past 30 years was a Mack truck plant that opened and then closed 15 or so years later. It promised great prosperity, but left bankruptcy for those who misunderstood the fragile nature and risk of this economic opportunity. 

How do we help churches, their leaders, and their layperson in various businesses to cope with the hope and despair of fleeting economic opportunities and challenges?

The current situation about a nuclear facility in the county is current bringing hope, but signs are pointing to possible disappointment in the near future. Read this article to discover why:

Captured By Vision Insight 101 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover  01.17.17Vision Insight 101: When the first century church at Jerusalem lost vision and slowed missional action, it invented the holy huddle. Now many congregations follow their example and hoard the Good News.

The biggest vision killer is when congregations lose vision and huddle. They fear failing more than being open to joyously fulfilling God’s empowering vision for them. They focus more on taking care of one another than they do on caring for those most in need of a Christ-centered, faith-based relationship in their lives.

Out of guilt, obedience, or a sense of duty they engage in what I call “detached” missional engagement. It is detached from the full ministry of the congregation. They do not expect to be sitting next to the people to whom they minister during the week when they worship on Sunday.

This is missional engagement where congregations perform a ministry service either to or at people they never see otherwise. There is no attempt at holistic ministry that deals with physical, social, and emotional needs as well as spiritual needs.

Congregations gathered in holy huddle have difficulty ever seeing Jesus as the embodiment of God’s empowering vision for them. They age, slowly decline, and at some point become dysfunctional. They hoard good news rather than sow the Good News.

The book of 101 insight--Captured By Vision--is now live on Click HERE to see and purchase it.

Bill Shiell Endorses Captured By Vision--George's Newest Book

Bill ShieldGeorge Bullard understands that vision must be caught not coerced. In this book, he demonstrates how pastors and church leaders can receive a vision from God and empower their congregations to move forward in today’s present realities. With profound insight drawn from years of real-life experience as a consultant, coach, and colleague, Bullard fills an important void missing in most congregational leadership books and offers wisdom for the renewal of the church. 

--William D. “Bill” Shiell, President, Northern Seminary,

Click HERE here to see and purchase Captured By Vision: 101 Insights to Empower Your Congregation.

Captured By Vision Insight 100 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover  01.17.17Vision Insight 100: Vision is more about transformation of the prodigals than honoring the elders among us.

Congregational vision is more about creating a congregation not only in tune with God’s leadership, but with a structure and style that will connect with the next generation of leaders. With deep and abiding appreciation for the older people in a congregation, we must realize vision is more about captivating the imagination of the younger generations.

Some younger generation people are prodigals in the sense that they may still be going through their 20-somethings spiritual wanderings. Reconnecting with church is still a future agenda for them. In many cases, it is this Millennial generation who are the crucial clients for the new congregational vision. They want to be part of a cause that both speaks to their need for community while simultaneously changing the world.

If the older generations cannot let go enough, then they may kill vision. If they refuse to let God’s new empowering vision for the emerging generations develop, they will eventually kill the congregation.

The book of 101 insight--Captured By Vision--is now live on Click HERE to see and purchase it.