This is BullardJournal's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following BullardJournal's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
BullardJournal
Columbia, SC
Congregational and Denominational Strategic Leadership Coach
Interests: Senior Editor of TCP Leadership Series books with Chalice Press
Recent Activity
Image
Download Our One Priority Respond to This Post: https://goo.gl/forms/swnO5KBgF1fGQ6ut2 (For members of Columbia Metro Baptist Association churches only.) For your congregation to effectively move forward, how many spiritual and strategic priorities should you have? Three? Five? Seven? How many priorities are too few? How many are too many? Did you... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at George Bullard's Journey
Image
I hope we all know that economic situations, and patterns of both increased and lessening prosperity significant impact the opportunities and challenges congregations and our overall Christian witness face on a regular basis. In the association I serve--Columbia Metro Baptist Association--we have not only the very urban metropolitan county of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Image
Vision Insight 101: When the first century church at Jerusalem lost vision and slowed missional action, it invented the holy huddle. Now many congregations follow their example and hoard the Good News. The biggest vision killer is when congregations lose vision and huddle. They fear failing more than being open... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Long-tenured congregational leaders would do well to read the parable of the Prodigal Son (or the Loving Father) in light of the transformation that needs to happen in their congregation. The next generation may in the eyes of long-tenured members be like prodigal children. The beginning of a solution to this perspective is for long-tenured members to take on the attitude of a loving parent. What difference would a loving parent attitude make in your congregation?
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 100: Vision is more about transformation of the prodigals than honoring the elders among us. Congregational vision is more about creating a congregation not only in tune with God’s leadership, but with a structure and style that will connect with the next generation of leaders. With deep and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Image
With great joy, and with my promise to you of faithful, effective, and innovative service, I accept your election of me as the next Director of Missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association. In many ways this is an emotional experience for me. Local Baptist associations are nestled within the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Resistance to God’s empowering vision in a congregation is typically not because the vision isn’t attractive, or that the fulfillment of it would not be successful. It is because too many congregational leaders are stuck within their current culture. People culturally realize if they move forward to fulfill a challenging vision they may lost a personal position of power and recognition in the church. Something they do in their church that gives them status may go away, or be transferred to someone else. Just as there are comfort foods, there are comfort positions and traditions in congregations. Long-tenured congregational leaders and followers resist becoming uncomfortable. God’s empowering vision has a uncomfortable tone to it to many people. How can your congregation thrive in the midst of becoming uncomfortable?
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 099: God’s empowering vision often disrupts the status quo and who is in charge. That is why some people try to kill it. Many vision killers want to retain their positions of power. They may even want to control all the decision-making. Because crafting vision focuses on people... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
“What would you be willing to change to make this the kind of congregation your grandchildren would want to attend?” This is a key question tenured, older members of congregations need to consider as they ponder the long-term vitality and vibrancy of their congregation. They need to struggle with their tendency to be myopic about the future of their congregation, and have the insight and wisdom to look at what their congregation might be like 21 or more years into the future. These people have a great opportunity and ability to bless the future of their congregation, and the witness in and to the world their congregation still has within their potential. Will they? Do they? How is this happening in your congregation?
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 098: Myopia prohibits many long-tenured congregational members from seeing the long-term benefits of new vision. Many longer-tenured members are nearsighted. They are myopic. Part of this may be their age. They are thinking in shorter life stages. They’re not sure they should buy green bananas. Just as they... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
God’s empowering vision for a congregation is composed of perfect insight about the desired future. A congregation’s understanding of God’s empowering vision becomes blurry from time-to-time and requires the insightful correction and refocusing that only God can provide. Some—perhaps many—congregations are stubborn. That squint their spiritual eyes like the fictional character Mr. Magoo and claim they can see the future with clarity. What they are really saying is that they are unwilling to take the risk to let go of their former understanding if God’s empowering vision, and accept the new thing God is seeking to help them realize about their spiritual and strategic journey.
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 097: Killers of a new vision in a congregation are the people who will not let go of the old vision that has waned. Long-tenured members who will not let go of a waning vision worship what was. They add heritage as the fourth person of the Trinity.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Image
For my family, Baptist associations have been part of our DNA since at least the 1940s. I suspect it even goes back farther. Yesterday I was organizing my home office and aggressively throwing out things I no longer need that have piled up over the past 11 years. I came... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Tenure—the length of membership in a congregation—has the tendency to blind people to the new thing God is in the process of doing in and through their congregation. The people who become blind did not do so on purpose. It just sneaks up on them. Tenure has this impact. These people feel a sense of entitlement. Tenure—the longer people abide in a churched culture—has the tendency to blind people to the new thing God is in the process of doing in and through their congregation. The people who become blind did not do so on purpose. It just sneaks up on them. Tenure has this impact. These people feel their cultural perspective on the heritage of their congregation trumps any new initiatives. Age—the older the average member of a congregation--has the tendency to blind people to the new thing God is in the process of doing in and through their congregation. The people who become blind did not do so on purpose. It just sneaks up on them. Age has this impact. These people have 20/20 vision of the past, and cataracts that make fuzzy their view of the future.
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 096: In general, the longer people are connected with a congregation, the more difficult it is to see a new vision. The routine patterns and habits within the fellowship of a congregation blind people to new vision. In older churches, there is a group of people I call... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Image
Do you remember—or even know about—the folk song written by Pete Seeger in 1955 entitled “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” I did not know it from Seeger. I knew if from the recording made famous by folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary. That tune is already swirling around my... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
Whose fault is it when vision wanes in a congregation? Is it the pastor’s fault? Is it the lay leadership’s fault? Is it God’s fault? Try this. It is the fault of anyone who blames someone else for the lack of vision. Ouch! Does that hurt? I would suggest that vision wanes only when we in the congregation fail to stay connected with God’s empowering vision for us, and what it means at this time, in this place, for the collection of people who compose our congregation. It is a Pogo issue—”We have met the enemy and he is us.” It is “we” who need to reconnect with the steady and ever-present vision of God for the spiritual and strategic journey of our congregation.
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 095: When vision wanes in congregations they can become angry at God for forsaking them, when they may actually have forsaken God. Congregational vision does not move forward on auto-pilot. Congregational participants must believe in the vision sufficiently to be part of God’s empowering force. When vision wanes... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
It is way too easy to kill vision in a congregation. It happens when we do the same things we have always done rather an using new and innovative ways to fulfill or live into God’s empowering vision. This is where the confusion between having a vision statement and living out God’s vision comes into play. Vision killers embrace the statement and say, “we have one of those.” Vision fulfillers want God’s empowering vision to make the crucial difference in how the life and ministry of congregations is expressed. Is your congregation made up primarily of vision killers or vision fulfillers?
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 094: Vision which is not fulfilled in new and innovative ways each year will become stale and lose its cutting edge. As empowering as it is to be captured by God’s vision, that vision does not come with a playbook for living into it. New and innovative methods... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
The heritage of congregations is very important to them. It would appear out of the unconditional love of God that the past, present, and future of congregations are important to God. God, nor visionary leaders in congregations, desire to, want to, like to destroy the heritage of congregation. That is no one’s goal or aim who loves congregations. It is simply that being embraced by the new thing God is seeking to do in and through congregations is a higher calling. Is your congregation passionate about the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus?
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 093: Vision does not call for the rejection of heritage. It sees heritage as a foundation, a centering, and a mooring. Heritage provides a foundation. For example, the substance of worship, such as who congregations worship and why, never changes. We always worship the Triune God. That is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey
The heritage of a congregation is prelude to the future ministry of the congregation. The past is important as a foundation, as a time we recognize the presence and movement of God in our midst. But what God is seeking to do in and through us as we move forward in response to the pulling of God is the main event and the core of missional engagement. What is next for your congregation is a more important point of exploration and discernment than a litany of where have we already been under God’s leadership.
1 reply
Image
Vision Insight 092: Vision is always about the future, never about the past. The past is a prelude to the emerging future. Congregational vision is never about going back to the past. It is always going forward to the future. I tell congregations one four-letter word to eliminate from their... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at George Bullard's Journey