Clergy Credentialing for a Missional Movement


What is the impact of the process of clergy credentialing on the vitality and vibrancy of a missional movement within a denomination? In a word—significant.

The more centralized, professionalized, formalized, and lengthy the clergy credentialing process is within a denominational family, the less vital and vibrant is the missional movement of that denomination. This has a negative impact on the numerical growth of the denomination.

The more localized, experience-based, informal, and abbreviated the clergy credentialing process is within a denominational family, the more vital and vibrant is the missional movement of that denomination. This has a positive impact on the numerical growth of the denomination.

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Ministry Legacy Season Insights from George Bullard at

InsightDuring the four-plus years of George’s Ministry Legacy Season he will from time-to-time offer insights developed over 50-plus years of ministry. His local church ministry leadership and involvement began during his teenage years, and actively continues in his sixth decade of ministry.

These insights come from multiple sources and many years of research, observation, and engagement with congregations. Like his mentor—Lyle Schaller—George cannot always tell you exactly where he acquired these insights. At times he can remember a book or books, a presentation by one or more experts, or observations of multiple congregations. At other times they represent discernments, conclusions, and a synergy of various observations and practices.

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Congregational Champions Retreat 003 Took the Dialogue to a New Depth

Bullard Retreat Photo 2September 27th-29th was the third Congregational Champions Retreat. This is the second one in the home of George and Betty Bullard in Columbia, SC. Five people were present for this retreat. Each retreat is five to eight people who are either local congregational ministers or third-party providers to congregations. 

Through the first three we have had 20 people. The reason for the small numbers in each retreat is for greater in-depth conversation--and so they will fit around our dining room table for in-depth  conversation. We are able to take almost unlimited questions from the participants.

George says, "It is a pleasure to share my 40 years of experience of coming alongside congregations to help them reach their full Kingdom potential."

Four more retreats will be held this fall, and dates for 2017 have been opened. The next retreat is October 11th-13th. See Check out the web site and come join us for three days of inspiring, informative conversation. 

Congregational Champions Retreat 002 Was a Great Time of Dialogue

CCR002 GroupThe second of seven Congregational Champions Retreats to be held this fall finished on Thursday, September 15th. Here are the seven participants plus me from five denominations, and five states plus Canada. It was extremely enjoyable to have them in our home. We had some great dialogue. We ran out of time, so I will seek to adjust the content so we are not rushed, and are able to complete the agenda.

The goal is to download what I have learned about helping congregations become vital and vibrant, and journey in the direction of their full Kingdom potential. It is not that what I have learned is perfect, the best, or the only good approach to serving as a third-party provider to congregations. It is that over 40 years I have learned many things, had many insights, and thought long-term about the spiritual and strategic approaches that make a significant different in the ability of congregations to soar with faith.

I do not want to hoard this knowledge. I want to share it to accelerate the learning of others, and so they might go farther than I have in increasing the faithfulness, effectiveness, and innovation of congregations. Would you like to be one of these? Would you like to meet with me in our home? [You will lodge elsewhere.] If so, go to for more information, or contact me at

Report on First Congregational Champions Retreat

George Bullard 3Ministry Colleagues: The first of seven Congregational Champions Retreats for this fall was held this week in Richmond, VA with eight people present. It included people who are pastors, executive pastors, intentional interim ministers, and regional denominational staff persons. It was a great experience!

I learned how to modify the retreat agenda so I can make the experience even better for the next five that will take place in my home in Columbia, SC, and then the last one for this fall that will take place in Sarasota, FL. As is typical of my style, I had too much material to cover. It is hard to decide what to leave out. Everyone seemed to want everything I offered to them--and more!

As I requested earlier this week, I ask you to pray for each of these retreats. The date for the next one is Tuesday through Thursday, September 13th-15th. The others are September 27th-29th, October 11th-13th, October 25th-27th, November 15th-17th, and December 6th-7th [Sarasota, FL]. Check out for details on these. I am already projecting 2017 dates.

The idea is to accelerate the learning of third-party providers to congregations so that they might be part of God's empowerment of congregations to help them reach their full Kingdom potential or what I call FaithSoaring Churches.

One of the things I am doing at these retreats with the urging of a ministry colleague is to using a voice to transcribing dictation system that creates a relatively complete transcription of everything I say. The effort this week resulted in a transcription that is 68 pages long, single-spaced, and has 50,000 words. Ultimately it may be a handbook for Congregational Champions. We will have to see later.