Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Which Denominations Will Thrive in the 21st Century?

George Bullard on (BullardJournal.org) has identified 20 factors that empower denominations to survive in the 21st century. I have condensed them to 10, and revised a couple. I hope the Seventh-day Adventist denomination will take a careful look at these. Just for fun, rate each point on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and let us 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.

Dennis Pumford
Assistant Directional Leader


Anonymous said...

Sadly, I can only give a "1" to the denomination as it functions in the US today. I truly hope someone is reading and listening to what you are saying.


David Simms "Skipper" said...


First of all I wish to encourage you and Mr. Gladden to continue, at all costs, with the MCN. I feel that great things await you as you wait for God to interact. I feel inspired to say that you certainly are not presumptious in acting as was King Saul. God has spoken and you are moving forward with patience and at His pace.

I took some time and read through the previous posts on your blog. Some very good points have been brought to light. The underlying and most apparent theme is that people in all ages, including church leaders, are resistant to change. Most would accredit this to "human nature" but I feel inspired to say that resistance to change especially when that change is accompanied by truth is an instrument of Lucifer.

Let me elaborate. Abraham's faith was counted to him as righteousness. Therefore, his belief in God and following God's plan through changing circumstances was to Abraham a blessing unto Salvation. Therefore, any resistance to change on the part of Abraham would actaully be a lack of faith in God and therefore there would be no righteousness involved but rather unrighteousness or sin.

The same applies to change enshrouded in truth in the Church today. It is dangerous to discredit change without prayerful investigation lest it lead to unrighteoousness and ultimate self ruin. One need not fear to openly and honestly investigate a change of any sort as God encourages it and promises to show us the truth if we search for it with all of our hearts.


Dennis said...


You have made a good point. Truth is progressive, and we are to "walk in the light lest darkness overtake us." History is the story of God shining light on Bible truths that seem to go contrary to our traditions, and most people rejecting that light, while some embrace it. Individuals, nations, and churches are in history's salvage yard because of their rigid loyalty to fables and irrelevant stuctures, basically an unwillingness to embrace positive change.


Ron Corson said...

Thanks for the article, I posted a section of it on my blog