The Next Season of Your Congregation’s Life: Accountable Management

ManagementImplications from the Congregation Life Cycle

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“Who is in charge here?” is a demand question often heard from someone who wants to enter an organization and provide either leadership or management. When spoken loudly and with an anger edge it can mean that if no one else is in charge here then they are taking over.

Early in the US presidency of Ronald Reagan we came to know this as the Alexander Haig Syndrome. Remember? He declared he was in charge at the White House after the shooting of Reagan.

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The Next Season of Your Congregation's Life: Programmatic Emphases

ProgramsImplications for the Congregation Life Cycle

[See all articles in this series HERE.]

For a generation of time following World War II, organizing congregations around standards of performance regarding their programs, ministries, and activities was a major emphasis of many denominations. Denominations developed standards of performance, and base designs for congregations.

Awards were given to congregations if they developed all the right programs, and they completed a checklist of actions that supported the programs. In my denomination of heritage, one aspect of the standard was about becoming a five-star church.

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The Next Season of Your Congregation's Life: Relationship Experiences

DiscipleshipImplications for the Congregation Life Cycle

[See all articles in this series HERE.]

A huge shift in the focus and impact of the four organizing principles in congregational life has taken place in the past dozen years or so. This is the crescendo around the importance of Relationship Experiences in the life of congregations.

Relationship Experiences have always been important, but in the past dozen years they have shifted into a new dimension. They are exploring new galaxies in amazing ways. Their influence in numerous congregations has superseded Visionary Leadership for many people. Yet, the importance of Visionary Leadership is still the leading principle.

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The Next Season of Your Congregation's Life: Visionary Leadership

Visionary Leadership Community

Implications for the Congregation Life Cycle

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Does your congregation have a captivating and passionate sense of your identity involving the eternal mission of God and the everlasting purpose of your congregation (who you are), your enduring core values (what you believe or highly value), your empowering vision from God (where you are headed), and your spiritual and strategic journey as a congregation (how you are getting there)?

Are there a number of adults equal to at least 21 percent or 21 adults—whichever is greater—within your average weekend worship attendance who are clearly captivated and passionate about God’s empowering vision for your congregation, and are committed to living into God’s vision and fulfilling it through the life and ministry of your congregation?

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The Next Season of Your Congregation's Life: The Four Organizing Principles

Principle

Implications from the Congregation Life Cycle

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What are the categories you use to describe your congregation? What frameworks or assessment tools do you use? Is the best category size, age, location, growth status, worship style, denominational affiliation, facilities, disciplemaking processes, pastoral leadership, programs for children and youth, ethnicity, status in the community, or the primary age groups of the attendees?

Try the fuel and flavor of the organizing principles of congregations that impact the character of the stages of development of congregations in a life cycle assessment. These four principles or traits are Visionary Leadership, Relationships Experiences, Programmatic Emphases, and Accountable Management.

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