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March 2015
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When It Comes to Vision Some Congregations Have Macular Degeneration

Macular DegenerationSimply put, macular degeneration is when a person's eyesight straight ahead begins to become blurry, and as it advances, they see a dark spot straight ahead that ultimately moves them to a place where they only have peripheral vision. My mother had it. I am told it is hereditary.

Some congregations develop macular degeneration to where their vision of the future is blurred and ultimately blocked. They have no clarity about what is ahead of them. They can only see to one side or another.

I had an interesting discussion today with a ministry colleague about congregational experience similar to mine. It is that we both grew up in parts of North America where our denomination of heritage was not present in large numbers, and our families were part of starting new congregations affiliated with our denomination. As he pointed out, the vision of many congregations was blurred and they only had peripheral vision.

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The Essential Three S’s For Your Next Church Building

ChurchA Travel Free Learning Article 

By George Bullard

Stop! Before you build that new Structure or do major retrofitting of existing space, be sure you have answers to the first two of the three S’s for your next church building. Structure is the third S and should not be answered until the first two S’s have been answered.

Do not!, I repeat, do not fall victim to the most common capital expansion mistake congregations make. Too many congregations are fooled by the mentality that “if we build it they will come”. Their new or retrofitting space is a field of dreams.

In the more than 350,000 congregations throughout North America billions of dollars are spent out of a “if we build it they will come” mentality. Answers the first two S’s are not generally sought before new construction or existing space is retrofitted.

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Do You See Strangers at Your Door?

Strangers at My Door book coverIt was a joy recently to read the book--Strangers at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests--by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. It is about the home where he lives in the Walltown neighborhood of Durham, NC. I highly recommend this book. I am reading it in preparation for a meeting I will lead next year on economic oppression in North America. It will be held in New Orleans. We are thinking about inviting Jonathan to speak at the meeting.

"This is a book about the hope that's possible when we trust a grace that's greater than ourselves and go to the door to see who's there." [7]

With the situation this week in Baltimore, MD there are some characteristics of people, neighborhoods, the police, drugs, and the prison system with a lack of true restorative justice that speak into the Baltimore situation. I also speaks into many communities across North America.

"You will never view Jesus and the people he cares about the same way again" if you read this book. Take a look at Jonathan's Facebook page to learn more about him and his ministry. Click HERE.


Welcome to The Church of Rationalization: We Have Excuses!

Thinking about writing and article entitled--Welcome to The Church of Rationalization. The subtitle would Church Picture 003be--We have Excuses!

What are some of the excuses you hear in or about churches who are failing to be vital and vibrant? Share some here as a comment.

One of my favorite is when a church calls themselves "faithful". I have often suggested that is a rationalization or excuse for the fact the church is much, it is not doing much, it does not have much potential, but wow it sure is faithful!

What are some of your favorites?

 

 

What is the Direction and Diversity of Collaboration Among Christian Ministries?

ColabA Travel Free Learning Article 

By George Bullard

Building on the foundation of two earlier articles, let’s now address the direction and diversity of collaboration. The first article was Compete or Collaborate: The Dilemmas for Christian Ministries, and the second was Critical Understanding About Collaboration for Christian Ministries.

Vertical or horizontal? Harmony or Diversity? How is collaboration best understood and practiced among Christian ministries?

The Direction of Collaboration

Is collaboration vertical or horizontal? Collaborating with different dimensions or levels of denomination is vertical collaboration. Collaborating with people within your same dimension is horizontal collaboration.

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