Learn in Three Days a Process to Transform Your Congregation

3.daysIt does not matter what “RE” word works for you—revitalize, renew, re-envision, reinvent, redevelop restart, replant, resurrect—there is a three-day “retreat” you ought to attend.

It is called a Congregational Champions Retreat. (For more information go to www.CongregtionalChampions.info.)

It is for senior or solo pastors, church staff persons, key lay leaders, denominational staff leaders, consultants, coaches, stewardship and capital campaign consultants, college and seminary professor who teach church growth and church leadership, and a host of other categories of people.

These retreats are led by George Bullard who has engaged in research, consulting, coaching, writing, speaking, and training on congregational transformation for more than 40 years. He wants to share with you what he has learned will work, will not work, and a process to achieve it.

His work with congregations includes thousands. His advising of denominational organizations about congregational transformation includes hundreds. His training of consultants and coaches over the past five decades also numbers in the thousands.

George likes to do this in small groups. Over the past 13 months he has led 13 retreats involving 130 people. Now he is announcing a new round of retreats for the fall of 2017. All these “retreats” will be held at the Columbia Metro Baptist Association office in Columbia, South Carolina.

The “retreats” start at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and end at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday. The dates for this fall are,

  • October 24th-26th
  • October 31st-November 2nd
  • December 5th-7th

For more information go to www.CongregtionalChampions.info. Or call George directly at 803.622.0923 or e-mail him at BullardJournal@gmail.com, and he would be glad to answer your questions.

To register go to https://goo.gl/forms/9maMJs0aer84f10V2.

Can you really learn how to transform your congregation in three days? Absolutely you can learn the process and receive handouts you can use with your congregation. Then, you and George will work together to assess what additional process assistance you need or want following the retreat.


Today I Honor the Missionary Man--Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley of Lott Carey

David Goatley 02The fall edition of the Lott Carey Herald of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention honors the 20th anniversary of their executive director-treasurer Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley.

Download 2017-8 Lott Carey Herald Web Edition

I have known David for these 20 years, and consider him a close friend, great colleague, and Christian ministry soulmate in the cause of Christ. We have been together many times in Washington, DC, and have also met with many others throughout North America and in Europe. Africa, Asia, and South America in gatherings of Baptists seeking to expand and extend the fulfillment of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment. I know of no greater leader among us as Baptists.

He thinks and acts creatively to be part of God's empowerment of effective Christian missional engagement. He is often my counsel when I seek to understand and act prophetically in multi-cultural situations. He is a true friend.

Thank you, David, for your faithful, effective, and innovative service to God's Kingdom.


Seven Strategies for a Baptist Association--An Overview

Strategy 02The following conversation could have taken place between any Baptist pastors, staff ministers, or laypersons anywhere in North America any time in the past 50 years. It could have taken place this week in the Midlands of South Carolina. 

A pastor, a church staff person, and a layperson met at a coffee shop, ordered their favorite caffeinated drink, and on this gorgeous day decided to sit outside and enjoy the breeze flowing gently through the trees.

Greg, the pastor, is new to the church having arrived just three months ago. The worship leader, Carlton, has led worship for seven years since the congregation made the transition from traditional to contemporary worship. Stephanie is the chairperson of the Finance Committee, and has attended the congregation all her life.

The reason for gathering was to talk about the missions section of their church budget for the coming year. Questions have arisen as to the value of contributing financially to the three dimensions of their denomination—international, regional, and local. In days of limited funds for the church budget, pressure has arisen to cut contributions to the denomination. This is not a new agenda. It has come up before, and cuts to denominations already have been made.

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Baptist Associations are a Family Heritage

Church Pin Map

For my family, Baptist associations have been part of our DNA since at least the 1940s. I suspect it goes back even farther.

Several weeks ago I was organizing my home office and aggressively throwing out things I no longer need that have piled up over the past 11 years. I came across a couple of boxes of family archives. Much of one box were various papers from my father. As I anticipated beginning as the director of missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, I had a good time reading through some of the papers and remembering my family commitment to Baptist associations.

From stories told by my parents, I suspect it was through associational meetings in Wilmington, NC where my parents met in the 1930s. Beyond these gatherings, Dad would preach at churches who needed someone to fill in, and often he would take Mom to play the piano. Not a bad way to court one another.

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The Synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, Good News

Great ChurchesFour essential characteristics of FaithSoaring Churches are Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News. All four characteristics must be present in congregations or they are incomplete, myopic, and lack sufficient spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy. They also must interact in a way that creates a synergy that is greater than the cumulative impact of their individual characteristics. Only when this synergy is present will congregations move from being good enough to being sufficiently great.

The idea behind suggesting these are the essential characteristics of great FaithSoaring Churches is my desire to understand what characterizes congregations when they are functioning with great spiritual and strategic surrender to God’s empowering vision.

Management guru Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, suggests many organization are good. Functioning in a great manner, however, eludes the many organizations. David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in their book, Good Faith, challenge Christians to live out a good faith. They also share what they believe constitutes a good faith practice.

The exceptional synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News results in Great FaithSoaring Churches with a generous presence of spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy.

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