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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Questions and Statements Relevant To Vision

This post will be an evolving list of good questions to ask of a church engaged in a visioning process. The first six, which have been previously shared with the Visioning Task Force, are from Reggie McNeal's DVD companion to his book "The Present Future":
  • How do we de-convert "churchianity" into Christianity?
  • How do we transform our community?
  • How do we transform members into missionaries?
  • How do we develop followers of Jesus?
  • How do we prepare for the future?
  • How do we develop leaders?
This question evolved from our group "life cycle" exercise on March 19, 2006:

Does our individual perception of TMBC limit our perception of the collective congregation?

The inspiration for that question was the more invigerated viewpoint of the youngest person and newest TMBC member participating in the exercise. Almost everything she had encountered was positive; whereas longer term members could recall higher peaks.

It will also contain a list of good statements regarding visioning and change. The first thirteen are from Brian McLaren's "The Church on the Other Side" (formerly called "Reinventing Your Church"):

Introductory statement: If you have a new world, you need a new church. You have a new world.

  • Distinguish between renewed, restored, and reinvented churches, and focus on the last.
  • Clarify and simplify to "more Christians, better Christians" in authentic missional community, for the good of the world.
  • See the church program in terms of interrelated systems rather than quick fixes.
  • Distinguish between church traditions and the Christian Tradition, and move emphasis from the former to the latter.
  • Stop thinking of theology as a matter of technical training, in which answers are already known, and rejuvenate theology through a quest for truth and beauty.
  • Find fresh ways to communicate the gospel to the postmodern mind.
  • Realize that old communication patterns are less and less effective in the new world, and discover new, appropriate modes of discourse.
  • Adopt a new paradigm for church structure that allows for routine reengineering based on changes in size, constituency, resources, and strategy.
  • Rocgnize the terrible toll that the transition time is taking on leaders; recognize their immense value to the church at this time; help them to be "saved" for their needed work.
  • Understand the crisis in world missions, and help launch a new missionary movement.
  • Anchor your hope in the future rather than the past, and explore a new eschatology.
  • Understand postmodernism, and learn to see it from the inside.
  • Engage postmodernism, and maximize the opportunities it presents.
  • Prepare to de-bug your faith from the viruses of modernity.
  • Help your church become a learning organization that discovers and implements its own new strategies.

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