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Ten Qualities Found in Congregations Who Appeal to Millennials

Millennials

Download Bullard 10 Qualities in Congs Who Appeal to Millennials 03.15.17

Frank Powell wrote an article posted to www.Faithit.com entitled 10 Things You Won’t Find in a Church That Attracts Millennials. It is subtitled What differentiates a church culture that attracts Millennials from one that repels them?” Read his blog and learn about him at http://frankpowell.me/.

This is a really big issue for thousands of congregations. I took Frank’s ten points which are written in the negative, and turned them around as positive issues for congregations to address to become appealing to Millennials. I urge you to read Frank’s work in addition to reading my spin on them. I placed them in my own spiritual and strategic framework.

Here we go. These are the ten qualities in congregations that appeal to Millennials. Read and ponder each one of these. Then rate your congregation on each one using a scale of one to ten. One means your congregation is nothing like this. Ten means you congregation is exactly like this. Numbers two to nine can be used to say how little or how much your congregation is like this. Be honest about where along the scale your congregation is today.

Here is the inventory of 10 qualities: Download Bullard 10 Qualities in Congs Who Appeal to Millennials 03.15.17


Captured By Vision Insight 044 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover, 01.17.17Vision Insight 044: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then you are more likely to get an excellent, challenging future.

Mediocrity should never be the character and nature of vision. Mediocrity is never the character and nature of the call of God upon a congregation.

An easily reached, unchallenging horizon should never be the limit of vision’s sight. Vision always challenges congregations beyond that which they can see as they view the horizon before them.

The excellent, challenging character and nature of vision is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe deeply in God’s empowering vision and are committed to an excellent, challenging future then you are more likely to experience one. If you are only looking for a future that is good enough, then that is what you will accept.

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

 


Captured By Vision Insight 043 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover, 01.17.17Vision Insight 043: Vision is much more than a marketing statement or motto, yet these tools can be important in communicating vision.

It is important to cast vision in a manner that connects with the audience of each congregation. As a vision statement is molded in response to visionary discernment and insight, it must be the breath of God that edits the words and phrases, and not a Madison Avenue marketing mindset.

The counterpoint, as stated above, is that vision must connect with people who may not have the same depth of God talk in their lifestyle as the deeply committed disciples who form the people of passion in congregations. Vision must be stated in words and stories that effectively communicate with those to whom God is sending you.

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


Captured By Vision Insight 042 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover, 01.17.17Vision Insight 042: Vision is not about doing the same old things the same old ways and giving them a new name and motto.

Vision is not window dressing. It is not just style. It is substantive, real, new, and innovative content, focus, and direction. It is not dressing up what you have been doing for many years and calling it a new vision from God. That focuses on the past. Vision always focuses on the future towards which God is pulling the congregation. 

It is not that the same old things done in the same old ways were wrong or bad. They just highlight the past over the future. While the core substance and spiritual foundation of the gospel proclaimed from the first century forward never changes, the strategies and structures for nurturing and proclaiming the gospel message modulate over time. The style with which the gospel message is proclaimed is in constant flux.

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


Captured By Vision Insight 041 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover, 01.17.17Vision Insight 041: Too much focus on a professionally crafted vision statement takes the focus off a real visionary experience.

While your vision statement must communicate clearly, it should not be so polished and sterile that it does not speak into the actual experience of the congregation. Have a marketing strategy for its context, but overly polishing your vision statement to use as a marketing tool often distracts from the power and passion around a vision.

It is not the well-crafted and professionally polished vision statement that is likely to increase the invitational quality of a congregation. It is the relationship with people, and the meaning and significance of the visionary experience in the life and ministry of the congregation that will entice others.

Stories about real visionary experiences that speak into the lives of others are the most powerful marketing tools. Yes, a professional marketing strategist can assist you in realizing when you have some great stories, but they do not originate them. The stories must be the real experiences of real people connected with your congregation who are willing to engage others through their storytelling.

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


“I Started a Church Today!” Response: Are you sure?

Church Planting 01“I started a church today!” exclaimed Samuel Powers our congregation multiplication director as he returned to the office from a successful field visit with the potential sponsor of a new congregation.

I responded as the missions division leader, “No, you didn’t. You simply had the first meeting with a potential sponsor.”

“Yeah, but they agreed to start the church. I am putting it up on the board as number 23 this year,” Samuel said as he grinned at me as we both knew what was going on here.

Samuel liked to count new congregations as successes from the first discussion about launching the congregation. I insisted we talk about the seven phases of launching and developing a new congregation, of which the fourth phase was when we formally counted them as a new sustaining congregation.

Consider the full life of a congregation. What happens when a congregation first experiences the waning of its initial empowering vision from God that launched it into a life of worship, discipleship, fellowship, and mission. At some point when vision wanes, it decides it is time to re-envision, revitalize, renew, reinvent, or resurrect the congregation.

Continue reading "“I Started a Church Today!” Response: Are you sure?" »


Dick Hamm Endorses Captured By Vision -- George's Newest 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.

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


Congregations Must Play at the Top of Their Game in the March Madness

Duke and March MadnessI am writing this as March Madness—better known as the NCAA Division 1 College Men’s Basketball Tournament gets underway. Although as an Atlantic Coast Conference fan I expected the first day of the basketball season both Duke University and the University of North Carolina would be in the tournament, that did not mean they failed to engage in readiness to be in the tournament.

At least for Duke it was an up and down season. Even their legendary coach—Mike Krzyzewski—was out of commission for four weeks with back surgery, and various other injuries and even bad behavior by a player or two threatened that they would miss the tournament, it was still a reliable prediction that they would be in tournament.

With all their challenges, by the end of the season they were playing at their very best. It took more than 30 games for them to get ready for the tournament. They could not just short hoops around Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC for six months and get ready for the tournament. They had to practice hard, play hard, and anticipate the next game as soon as a game ended.

Congregations are too often not like that. They want to play around being a congregation, doing whatever comes naturally to them, and then at a certain point when the pain is too great declare they need help, a silver bullet, a newly drafted pastor, or some other magic to transform. They want to do this without a highly-disciplined season of readiness.


Laying a Strong Foundation for Congregational Transformation

Mill Field RoadWhere I live in a northeast suburb of Columbia, SC is geologically known as the sand hills side of town. A mile up the road from my house is an urban village called the Village of Sandhill that has been developed over the past 15 years as a mixed-use residential and commercial space like ones built in many locations throughout North America. It is where my wife and I go for much of our shopping, dining, and movies.

Nearer to my house is a cut through road called Mill Field Road. It is only a half mile long, is narrow, and has a suggested speed limit of 25 miles per hour that is routinely ignored. This road is a bunch of asphalt laid on top of sand, and called a road. It even has a state government designation as State Road S-40-2041.

The foundation or road bed for Mill Field Road was poorly engineered and constructed. Because it is a low priority road it also does not have a drainage system. When it rains it floods. What seems like monthly I drive around road crews and their trucks who are filling in potholes with loose asphalt as if the patching of the holes is going to solve the problem. It simply has a bad foundation.

Many congregation more than one generation old are built on a sand foundation instead of rock. So, they have a bad foundation. When their founding vision wanes, they start patching up their congregation with various quick fixes that quickly become pot holes once again.

Congregational transformation begins with a firm foundation or readiness to respond to the new thing God is in the process of doing in your congregation. It is solution-based and not fixed-based. While Mill Field Road is a low priority road, your congregation is a high priority to God. The call of God upon your congregation deserves the building of a strong foundation for a spiritual and strategic journey that is transformational.


Captured By Vision Insight 040 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover, 01.17.17Vision Insight 040: Since vision is not a statement, do not try borrowing a vision statement from your favorite congregation.

Sure, I have my favorites. But I try not to impose my language on a congregation that I’m helping. Besides, when a congregation pilfers the language of another congregation they’re often picking up the mission statement, motto or tagline and not actually their vision statement.

I like what Shawn Lovejoy says in his book on congregational vision entitled Be Mean About Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters (Thomas Nelson, 2016). On page 20 he says, “Don’t rip off someone else’s vision. God has something better—much more authentic—that’s meant just for you.”

That is so true for every congregation I encounter. The best visions are the ones that fit each congregation perfectly. Do not borrow. Be unique. Be who God is calling you to be.

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