Who is the Primary Client for Seminaries?

Clients  Only for Our ClientsI am part of an accreditation team from the Association of Theological Schools for an Chicago area seminary this week. I am pondering various questions about seminaries and covet your insights into various issues. Respond by posting a comment, sending me a private message, or write me and e-mail to BulllardJournal@gmail.com
 
Who is the primary client of seminaries? Does the seminary I am visiting have clarity about who its client is, and who its client should be? In the case of this specific seminary, is the primary client they are serving and the primary client they ought to serve the same
 
Share your perspective. In your opinion, who is and who should be the primary client of a seminary—the primary people or entities they serve? Here are some choices to stimulate your thinking. In your answer choose three or less—one is best--and distinguish between who is and who ought to be the primary client. Provide not only your answer, but why that is your answer.
  • The seminary faculty.
  • The seminary president/administration.
  • The board of trustees.
  • The small group of the largest financial contributors to the seminary.
  • The denomination with which they are affiliated.
  • The agencies/association with whom they seek accreditation.
  • The students.
  • The congregations from whom the students come.
  • The congregations to whom the students are going to provide ministry leadership.
  • The persons in the pews/chairs of the congregations to whom the students are going to provide ministry leadership.
  • The preChristians, unchurched, underchurched, and dechurched people not actively participating in the congregations to whom the students are going to provide ministry leadership.
  • Other ministry organizations to which the students are going to provide leadership.
  • The educational and/or leadership institutions/organizations to whom the students are going as faculty.
  • The founding mission, purpose, and/or vision of the seminary.
  • The historic global Church, in general.
  • The future, emerging global Church, in general.

Extra Credit: Who is the primary client of the primary client of seminaries? Explain.


What About Location Partners? More Than Multisite--Learning One on Barna Report

Multisite ChurchesI am just having an opportunity to read the 2016 Barna Report produced in partnership with Cornerstone Knowledge Network entitled More Than Multisite: Inside Today's Methods and Models for Launching New Congregations. I will likely post several times about it.

One term I have already learned that I like very much is "Location Partners". I am going to use it here forward as a replacement for "Nesting Congregations". Location Partners are defined in the report as "a separate congregation meeting at, and sharing resources with, another church (for example, a ministry reaching a specific demographic groups, such as a young adult congregation or an international group with services in a different language)." [p. 10] 

The only thing I would change is to indicate that Location Partners can be several congregations sharing facilities and other resources. I have visited church sites where up to six congregations meet for worship, discipleship, fellowship, and other activities.

I also like Location Partners as a title as Nesting Congregations as a term has implied in many cases a parent/child relationship. Location Partners should express more of an adult/adult relationship. For some churches who own their facilities, however, this is a stretch when a group of a different ethnicity or socio-economics is their Location Partner. Perhaps some growth in relationships can happen in this case.


Southerland Springs Calls for Solutions

Sutherland Springs  FBCO Lord, there are no adequate words to express our grief over the violent death of any individual. Every person is a person of worth created in Your image to live and to love. It is especially sad when a church at worship, gathered in sanctuary, is violently interrupted by an act of evil. 
 
We pray for all the souls gathered for worship at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, November 5, 2017, just as we pray for all the souls gathered for Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, just as we pray for all the souls gathered at various places of worship throughout the world who have had a visitation of evil, just as we pray for all places and venues beyond places of worship who have experienced a visitation of evil, and death as resulted.
 
Our world is not a ignorant world. We can figure with Your holy help a reasonable and peaceful solution to many of our incidents of violence. Our solution must be a dynamic response because of the presence of violence and evil in Your world. We must have the courage to go beyond simply asking Why?” We must have the conviction to develop complex solutions that are effective, and not simple fixes that are ineffective. 
 
May all the churches of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association and all Christians of good will be people of solutions. Amen.

Jesus and Our Brain Compete for Racial Reconciliation

Multi Cultural Bible StudySunday, October 15, 2017

Today I attended a presentation and dialogue on changing the way the Church views racism. With me were six people representing various member congregations of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association.

It was sponsored by the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops. Guest speaker was Drew Hart of Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and author of Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church View Racism.

In the dialogue around our table, one team member suggested there is competition between Jesus and our brain. Here is my spin on what she meant.

Our relationship with Jesus is one of unconditional love. Through such a relationship external racial reconciliation is possible. It involves our awareness of racism in our words and actions, repentance of racism in our lives and the systems of society we enable, and forgiveness for our sin of racism. This awareness may ultimately lead to actions to rid society of unjust laws and systems, racist cultural practices, and racial privilege.

The challenge is our brain. Among things that may be missing in the Jesus-focused actions of racial reconciliation is forgetting. Reconciliation is about repentance, forgiveness, and forgetting. Forgetting is the harder of the three to achieve.

Continue reading "Jesus and Our Brain Compete for Racial Reconciliation" »


Not Necessarily FaithSoaring Churches Characteristics

Soaring-birdAnother set of characteristics exists which I call, ”Not Necessarily FaithSoaring Church Characteristics”.

(See article on FaithSoaring Churches Characteristics that preceded this article.)

They more clearly define who can be considered a FaithSoaring Church.

Already you may be typecasting or stereotyping who these congregations may be.

You are probably wrong at some points and right at others. Keep reading to discover the five "not neceesarily FaithSoaring Churches" characteristics.

Continue reading "Not Necessarily FaithSoaring Churches Characteristics" »