Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Transforming Churches

Several years ago, I was teaching a class on the missional church.  One session was devoted to the various paradigms out of which the church has functioned over the last two thousand years.  One student summarized the basic idea very succinctly when she said, “Every so often the church has to renew itself.”

Despite all of the articles and blogs we read about the challenges that the church faces today, I am optimistic that the church will not only survive but prosper in the days ahead, but the way we do church will look different.  Even more traditional churches can adapt in order to minister effectively in their context without sacrificing their theological foundations. The key word is “adaptive.”  We must move beyond “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” and find a new means of transportation.  Rather than just tweaking a few things, we have to rethink how we do church.

Encouraging adaptive is an emphasis of Pinnacle Leadership Associates, the group I work with in coaching, consulting and training.  Mark Tidsworth, our President, leads the organization to provide Transforming Church Initiatives for congregations who want to become more missional.

A question that Mark asked recently was, “What’s required for churches to transform toward increased faithfulness and relevance?”  He has identified six prerequisites:  spiritual invigoration, covenant for transformation, leadership committed to transformation, contextual awareness, paradigm shifting, and a clear process and engagement plan.

I think he is on to something.  In subsequent blogs, I will address each of these from my own perspective and consider how they can be part of transforming any church for more effective ministry.


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