Transformational Ministry for Congregations in the 21st Century

“God’s vision is for revival…not just survival. As God challenged me, so I challenged our church.  So…here we go!”   --Rev. James Kwon, Community Church of Seattle. 

“I can't say enough about how important this has been . . . It's cooking, and everyone is on the same page in my vision team and they are spreading their enthusiasm.”   --Rev. Dennis Hughes (2014) on renewed vision and energy from their TAG Vision Team. 

There are times in a congregation’s life when deeper change is necessary to align with what God is doing in the people and communities you are called to serve.  You know that’s happening when 2 or more of the following signs can be observed: 

  1. Energy and tone in worship and fellowship begins to dampen.
  2. Congregants’ focus turns inward on the congregation and its issues. They don’t have energy to turn outward toward the community.  
  3. The number of babies, young people and adults being baptized seems stagnant.
  4. When you look around at worship and everyone you see has been a member for 5 years or more.
  5. The same people keep getting re-elected to serve as elders and deacons. You have trouble recruiting new people into spiritual leadership. 
  6. Financial conversations are focused on “how we’re gonna make it” over a prolonged period of time.  
  7. Leaders begin to wish new people would join so they can increase giving and have more people serve, rather than so that those new people can grow deeper in their faith and experience the abundant life in Christ. 

When you get into that situation, we partner to help you discern God’s will for your congregation’s present and future.  We also help you implement needed changes to posture the congregation for a new day of ministry.  Rev. Tod Bolsinger, calls this kind of leadership “canoeing the mountains” inspired by the Lewis and Clark journey from the St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean.  It requires re-tooling ministry (we need horses instead of canoes) for a new context (we’re in the mountains now, not the river) driven not by our own schemes, but by God’s call.  

For a quick and useful tool to assess the self-perceptions of your session and congregation we encourage you to “Take your Church’s Pulse” an online assessment tool provided at no cost from the Ministry Multiplication Network.

Resources available to help congregations discern and navigate the adaptive challenges God is calling them to include:
Engage: a transformation curriculum provided by Evangelism and Church Growth Division of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
New Beginnings: Church assessment and options for the future

To learn more Contact Dr. Corey Schlosser-Hall


Image by Shannon Claire Bailey, God's Pocket Photography