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  • Writer's pictureBernie

Staying Alive

George Bullard on ( has identified 20 factors that empower denominations to survive in the 21st century. They have been condensed to 10 here. I thought about Adventism when I read this so I’m posting it here and just for fun take the time rate each point on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and let me know your overall score by posting a comment.

1. They proactively acknowledge and function with the understanding that real denominations serve congregations, and all they do points to enhancing the vitality of local congregations.

2. They unite on a clear and compelling message that seeks to make a transformational difference in the world. That message is so powerful that it gives them great reason to work through issues that seek to divide them.

3. They develop clarity around their doctrinal values that focus on core doctrines and allow flexibility for congregations who do not agree with every non-core doctrine espoused.

4. They empower congregational multiplication movements that result in a number of new congregations each year equal to three percent or more of the number of congregations already affiliated with their denomination.

5. They adopt and adapt effective models for helping congregations to develop readiness for transition and change, and ultimately transformation.

6. They help faithful, effective, and innovative congregations move to the next level of effectiveness in reaching their full kingdom potential.

7. They rediscover the core, highly valued activities of the denominations, and move secondary endeavors such as institutions to the back burner.

8. They make peace with the parachurch world, and even become more parachurch in nature themselves. They partner with parachurch organizations to increase effective service to their congregations.

9. They find ways to conduct the basic services and systems of the denomination in a manner that spends as few resources as possible and still maintains basic services to congregations. They do this by becoming resources brokers and coaches, rather than resource providers and consultants.

10. They understand multiple funding streams will have to be developed and cultivated to pay for denominational resources and services. They realize it is not likely the offering plate dollars in their affiliated congregations will provide the financial resources needed for future denominational vitality.

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