George Bullard Speaks to Accept His Election as Director of Missions in Columbia, SC

George Bullard  06.29.17With great joy, and with my promise to you of faithful, effective, and innovative service, I accept your election of me as the next Director of Missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association. 

In many ways this is an emotional experience for me. Local Baptist associations are nestled within the DNA of my family heritage. I learned about the importance and the primacy of associations in Baptist life at the breakfast, lunch, and supper table from a father and a mother committed to Christian ministry, and joyfully engaged in the life and work of Baptist associations.

The past 45 years have involved me in ministry with Baptist associations as I served on the staff of two associations, as the key point person for associations while on the staff of two state conventions, and on our national missions staff as Southern Baptists in the Associational Missions Division.

It is a great crescendo that I will have the opportunity over the next five to seven years to serve as the missional leader of this association. We have great potential in this capital city and the surrounding areas. I commit to you that we will help all willing member congregations to journey in the direction of their full Kingdom potential from the base of our associational fellowship area. We will focus on essential strategies and actions to fulfill the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.

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Captured By Vision Insight 099 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover  01.17.17Vision Insight 099: God’s empowering vision often disrupts the status quo and who is in charge. That is why some people try to kill it.

Many vision killers want to retain their positions of power. They may even want to control all the decision-making. Because crafting vision focuses on people with positive spiritual passion more than it does on people with elected or appointed positions, they do not trust the vision.

Rick Smyre, a futurist and long-term friend, has said the most conservative thing a congregation’s governance group can do is to change something. If they control the change, then after the change is made they are still in control. If they cannot be in control, then they will kill the vision.

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 098 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover  01.17.17Vision Insight 098: Myopia prohibits many long-tenured congregational members from seeing the long-term benefits of new vision.

Many longer-tenured members are nearsighted. They are myopic. Part of this may be their age. They are thinking in shorter life stages. They’re not sure they should buy green bananas.

Just as they want to conserve principal and not take risks with their retirement funds, they are not open to a bold new vision for their congregation. They would prefer to preserve the accomplishments of their congregation, pay off any existing debt and certainly not take on any new risks.

I have tried many ways to unfreeze these people in congregations. The most successful question I have asked that gets them to reframe their position is, “What would you be willing to change to make this the kind of congregation your grandchildren would want to attend?”

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 097 to Empower Your Congregation

Captured By Vision Final Cover  01.17.17Vision Insight 097: Killers of a new vision in a congregation are the people who will not let go of the old vision that has waned.

Long-tenured members who will not let go of a waning vision worship what was. They add heritage as the fourth person of the Trinity.

As Lyle Schaller said, “You can tell the old-timers from the newcomers at the church fellowship. The old-timers sit around the campfire telling lies about the past, and the newcomers do not understand the stories.” The old-timers are stuck on their image of the congregation of the past. The newcomers are looking for a fresh approach to faith and spiritual significance.

I am one of those older adults who likes traditional worship with some liturgical highlights. At the same time, I want my congregation to employ styles of worship that connect with younger generations. Can I have both? If so, I can give permission for a vision that grasps an emerging future, even as I reluctantly release the old vision that is waning.

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


Baptist Associations are a Family Heritage

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

Yesterday 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 anticipate the possibility of my election as the director of missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association this Thursday, I had a good time reading through some of the papers and remembering my family commitment to Baptist associations.

(For any readers not familiar with associations, they are the local denominational dimension for various Baptist tribes.Think of them as districts, circuits, presbyteries, dioceses, classes, etc.)

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.

My father did not attend seminary until he was 30 years old. He loaded up Mom and my two older sisters, and went to Fort Worth, TX where he and Mom did a two-year certificate program. Neither had a college degree. To do this Dad had to resign from a church where he was serving as pastor.

Following seminary they moved back to North Carolina for Dad to serve as associational missionary for the Roanoke Baptist Association in Rocky Mount. He served there three years before going on the staff of the regional denomination known as the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

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