Dick Hamm Endorses Captured By Vision -- George's Forthcoming Book

Dick Hamm"George Bullard is the premier church consultant of his generation. Forty years of work with every imaginable kind of congregation and church organization has uniquely qualified him and blessed him with hard-won wisdom. You hold in your hands a marvelous distillation of that wisdom! Read this book carefully, reflect on it, allow it to get inside you and your congregation, and it will transform you. I commend this book to every Christian leader, clergy and lay, who wants to see congregations grow and thrive in faithfulness and effectiveness." 

--Richard L. "Dick" Hamm, Former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US & Canada, www.Disciples.org.

Captured By Vision is due out during the first quarter of 2017. To receive notification when it is released send an e-mail to BullardJournal@gmail.com with the subject "Tell Me When Captured By Vision is Released."


Insight 343: Become a FaithSoaring Church By a Focus on Healthy Progress

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform are not satisfied with simply being healthy. They are also not satisfied with simply making progress. They desire to focus on healthy progress.

Too often being healthy takes a congregation only to neutral. It may be a quality congregation, but it is not on a journey. It is not making progress in response to God’s Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Too often making progress creates a congregation primarily concerned about progress and not about how healthy that progress may be. It does not create a quality community that is lasting. It may create a successful community.


Insight 342: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Perspectives

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform are often composed of people with multiple perspectives. At the core may be differing theologies as people come to the congregation from various denominational backgrounds and special interest groups from within their denomination. People bring to the congregation differing political views that emphasize the need for the separation of church and state, and to keep congregations from falling victim to a civil religion perspective that clouds their spiritual nature.

The differing perspective that life vocations bring to congregational discussions should not be minimized. The socio-economic mindset of various households must be considered part of the multiple perspectives.


Insight 341: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Affiliations

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform may have multiple affiliations. They are not always affiliated with just one denomination as they seek to address the diversity and complexity of ministry particularly in urban areas. They may also be affiliated with various parachurch organizations who provide inspiration, collaboration, and resources. Community-based organizations are also an important part of their ministry in their marketplace setting.

No one denomination, parachurch organization, or community-based organization has all the answers. Also, networking in multiple arenas is an important part of resourcing the ministry of congregations seeking to transform. With multiple affiliations, congregations still must maintain focus.


Insight 340: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Cultures

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform must be aware of their community context and be relevant to it. If there are multiple cultures within their context, they may have a missional imperative to address directly or in collaboration with others the spiritual needs of these cultures.

Being multi-cultural differs from being multi-ethnic. Multi-cultural means the ability to have differing expressions of worship, fellowship, spiritual formation, and missional engagement under the umbrella of the same nesting congregation. This may be done through different worship expressions or even different congregations nested by the core congregation. The actual integration of the cultures may be minimal.


Insight 339: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Ethnicities

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform must be aware of their community context and be relevant to it. If a congregation is located in an area where there are multiple ethnic groups they should seek to have the type of worship, fellowship spiritual formation, and missional engagement that appeals to a slice of the ethnicity within its context.

Being multi-ethnic differs from being multi-cultural. Multiple ethnic means the ability to discover a common thread that runs through various ethnic groups--generally of compatible socio-economic groups--that motivates various programs, ministries, and spiritual and social activities. Thus, what is happening can be characterized as integrative.


Insight 338: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Worship Services

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform should give strategic consideration to having multiple worship services. There is no clear answer on this. Over the modern life of congregations one strategic suggestion has been that starting a second worship service is a way to move beyond certain growth barriers. Also, it is a way to reach a different generation of people. Further, it is a way to reach people of a different demographic.

At the current time there is also a move to return or move forward to one convergent worship service that responds to the desire for a higher quality of worship service.


Unfocused: The Name of These Congregations is Legion

Unfocused

When I say, “Hello, my name is George, and I am a Facebook addict,” the proper response from a 12-step group is, “Hello, George.”

I love posting on Facebook and sharing with folks what is going on, and particularly sharing resources and ideas. It is also a great place for keeping learning communities with which I am connected informed of the latest resources and opportunities.

It goes through my mind to post more things than I do. Fortunately for my 5,000 friends on Facebook — and for me — I do not post more than I do, as additional posts would drive people away due to the voluminous numbers of them. I also post daily on a blog at www.BullardJournal.org, and on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn — among others. Most posts outside of Facebook and my blog are automatic posts set up to share of what I post on Facebook and my blog.

A key word that explains why I do not post more on Facebook is the word “focus.” I have two foci on Facebook. One is to share meaningful experiences about personal and family activities, and a few helpful positive observations about life and society along the way. The other is to share information about my ministry and resources I make available to my network of colleagues and the through their networks to the world.

Continue reading "Unfocused: The Name of These Congregations is Legion" »


Insight 337: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Sites

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform should give consideration to the development of multiple sites. While this may seem like a dividing of resources for smaller membership congregations, it is a form of launching a new congregation particularly if there is a clear target group that God has inspired a congregation to address.

A myth is that a congregation must be of a certain size to initiate a new congregational site. Rather than size the issue is that a congregation must have a clear vision of what God is calling for them to do in a new site among a different target group.


Insight 336: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Addressing Multiple Expressions

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform address multiple expressions of the presence of the Church. This is not necessarily about church planting, but it is about a missional expression of the Church that moves beyond an attractional focus that seeks to grow the base congregation.

The focus is on target groups generally beyond the reach of a congregation who need a Christian congregational expression that is in the midst of their cultural setting. Many such gatherings can be called “missional communities”. Many may remain small, but that will depend on the size of the target group. Many will never be self-supporting.


Laughter Can Foster Forgiveness and Heal Relationships, Minister Says

Susan Sparks 01Susan Sparks was the guest resource person for our November 17th Thursday Dialogue of the FaithSoaring Churches Learning Community. [See at www.ConnectwithFSCLC.info] Her topic? Humor in the Pulpit. Susan's background includes service as a lawyer and a comedian before attending seminary and moving into church leadership. She is the senior pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City.

Our colleague organization in ministry -- Baptist News Global -- wrote an article based on our dialogue with Susan. Check out the article HERE.