Requesting Prayer for Congregational Champions Retreats

George Bullard 2Ministry Colleagues: I am requesting prayer for the seven Congregational Champions Retreats I will be leading this fall. These are the first major events of my four-year Ministry Legacy Season. Five of these will be in my home in Columbia, SC, one will be in Richmond, VA, and one will be in Sarasota, FL.

I am starting a three-day retreat in Richmond, VA today [August 30th]. Please pray for me and the eight participants. [I only want to have 5-7 people in each retreat to enhance and deepen the learning.]

These retreats are my attempt to download, share, and "pay it forward" to others. I had so many mentors 30 to 40 years ago who helped me get started, and whose wisdom I have used for four decades.

These retreats are arising out of my 40 years of consulting with and coaching congregations and leaders in 50 denominations throughout North America. I want to share what I have learned about how to help congregations become and sustain vitality and vibrancy. I feel a lot of passion around these retreats, and amazingly I am nervous because this is such a significant and humbling experience.

I will have pastors, church staff, layperson, denominational staff, consultants, and coaches in these retreats from more than 15 denominations in the USA and Canada.

That is why I am requesting prayer. Thank you, in advance.

Insight 243: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Wading Into Deep Water

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform by resetting their focus and expectations stop walking around in shallow water, but wade deep in water. They move from a shallow cultural commitment to church to a deep commitment to the Triune God.  Instead of every time culture and Christ conflict, culture winning, they move to where increasingly Christ wins. Ultimately Christ always wins.

This is why for many congregations a reset is necessary. They were established as a cultural community who had a churched background, and perhaps even a Christ background. But somewhere along the way they went shallow. More in later posts

Insight 242: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Resetting Your Congregation

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform may reach a place where they have the willingness to reset their congregation. In computer terminology they are willing to reformat their hard drive. [This is something you should never do with your computer unless an honest, knowledgeable, experienced technician tells you that is the best way forward.]

Resetting your congregation means to start over again. In another place I call this reinventing your congregation. Here I am referring to a process of resetting your focus and expectations of congregational participants, and moving to a covenant disciplemaking and missional engagement style. More in later posts!

Insight 241: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Distinguishing Christ and Culture

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform reach a point where they must acknowledge the difference between their eternal faith relationship with the Triune God, and the culture in which they grew up, and how that culture is impacting their congregation. Congregations captivated by their culture will never transform or at least sustain what initially looks like transformation.

Transformation of a congregation is about doing a new thing, going in a different direction, and morphing into an organic movement of God that always chooses the Triune God over culture habits. Always! Congregations captivated by culture habits die.

Insight 240: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Projecting Spiritual Formation Identity

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform are authentically and significantly involved in spiritual formation efforts that become known in their community and in the networks of their congregational members. They are seen as a congregation that takes their Christian life seriously. The people of their congregation are not seen as “holier-than-thou”, but genuinely caring people who are connected with the Triune God.

Community people often seek out this congregation to pray for their life concerns, and for the challenges of that face their community. In the midst of crises this congregation is seen as a place of spiritual hope and real life help.

Insight 239: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Projecting a Missional Identity

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform are authentically and significantly involved in missional efforts in their community context and beyond to the extent that it becomes part of their brand, image, reputation, and appeal. They are known as a caring community who focuses on causes that alleviate and eliminate the hurts of people.

It causes people to say they want to be part of that. These congregations also engage in efforts that people from the community context can participate in without having to make a commitment to the congregations, while at the same time experiencing the love of the congregation.

Story and ‘Ship--A Foundation

MillennialsThe Key to the Next Generation of Your Congregation

[See all articles in this series HERE.]

In January 1982, the American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, a regulated monopoly commonly known as Ma Bell or the Bell System, was mandated to divide into multiple corporations. This was the result of a 1974 antitrust lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against AT&T--the sole provider of telephone service throughout most of the USA. This was perhaps the largest and most successful antitrust action of the US government since the days of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Certainly it was a earthshaking transformation in the communications systems of the United States with great impact on the world. It led to creativity and competition in the way the world communicates that allowed the popularization over the next three decades of revolutionary communications through the Internet.

Continue reading "Story and ‘Ship--A Foundation" »

Insight 238: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Telling Your Story

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform do not hide either the Good News of the Gospel, or the good news of what is happening in their congregation. Many congregations have a positive story of ministry and spiritual focus to tell, but they fail to tell it.

Congregations seeking to transform use traditional media such as newspapers, radio, and television to tell their story. They also use the growing digital world to tell their story on the internet and through social media. Even though they may not be experts in social media, they find people to help them for whom social media is the norm.

Insight 237: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Realizing Your Uniqueness

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform who successfully sustain their transformational journey do not only try to emulate other congregations who have successfully transformed. Often this will be a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution. Emulation will not necessarily lead a congregation to be captivated by God’s unique calling on them.

Instead they seek to use the principles others have found helpful and apply them to the unique situation of their congregation. They ask the question, “How will this work for us”. They seek to understand the unique context in which they serve and how to apply the principles in their setting.

Ms. Lulu is an Amazing Woman!

IHOPThree months ago I meet a pastor, a staff person, and a lay leader for a breakfast meeting at an IHOP restaurant. We arrived around 7:00 a.m. and got a back table so we could have a meeting. Our wait-person was Ms. Lulu. She was a piece of work. She overheard our church conversation and walked by several times to provide her advice. Beyond that she was acting a little bit crazy Not a lot. Just enough to be entertaining.

This morning I met the same people at the same restaurant. I was the first to arrive and Mrs. Lulu said to sit anywhere. I said I wanted the same back table we had used when we were here before--three months earlier. She said, "I thought I recognized you. You are the three priests and the lawyer woman." She was right. But how did she know that three months later?

Continue reading "Ms. Lulu is an Amazing Woman!" »

The Synergy of Vision, Relationships, Programs, and Management

SynergyThe Next Season of Your Congregation’s Life

Implications from the Congregation Life Cycle

[See all articles in this series HERE]

Visionary Leadership, Relationship Experiences, Programmatic Emphases, and Accountable Management individually are not enough. As individual qualities—or silos—they cannot sufficiently help a congregation be vital and vibrant during the next season of their life. It is only when they work together—become synergistic—that they can help a congregation soar with faith.

Continue reading "The Synergy of Vision, Relationships, Programs, and Management" »