Finding God’s Future for Your Congregation

None of the original Acts 2 congregations exist any longer; every person, organization or congregation goes through a life cycle. This is the reason General Albert Orsborn wrote in the House of My Pilgimage it is as true of organizations as of people they, “must be born again. The spirit must remain the same, whilst taking new forms and finding new expressions of service. How well this life-principle has been fulfilled, in our more than ninety years, our present world-position will show. That is our continuing lifeline: the alternative would be extinction.”

There are four vital components of a congregation’s life cycle: Vision, Relationships, Programs and Management. At different stages of the congregation’s life they focus more strongly on one or two of these areas.

George Bullard defines these areas this way:

Vision -

Our congregation has a strong, clear, and passionate sense of our identity involving mission and purpose [who we are], our core values [what we believe or highly value], our vision [where we are headed], and our spiritual strategic journey [how we are getting there].

Relationships -

Our congregation is doing well at attracting people to a Christ-centered faith journey [evangelism], and at helping people who are connected with our congregation to be on an intentional and maturing Christ-centered faith journey [discipleship development]. Among the results is a deepening spirituality, the development of numerous new leaders, and a willingness of many people to get actively involved in leadership positions and places of ministry service [lay mobilization].

Programs -

Our congregation has outstanding programs, ministries, and activities for which we are well known throughout our congregation, and our community/target groups. We meet the real needs of real people in real time.

Management -

Our congregation has excellent, flexible management systems that empower the future direction of our congregation rather than seek to control. Decision-making is open and responsive to congregational input. The management systems support visionary leadership.

Please click here to find a tool for determining where your congregation is on the life cycle: CongregationalLifeCycleAssessment.

There are two books that can help your congregation work to become younger again once they have found where they are on the life cycle. These books are “Pursuing the Full Kingdom Potential of Your Congregation” and “Holy Conversations: Srategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregation.”

If you would like a congregational coach to help your corps work through a life cycle assessment please click here.    Send article as PDF