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February 14, 2003


Transforming Congregations

Questions To Consider

By Rev. Kendall M. Taylor, Executive Director, 
Office of Congregational Transformation (OCT)

Rev. Kendall M. Taylor, Executive Director Office of Congregational TransformationI have been delighted at the interest in transformation I have found in people all over the conference. I know it is something much easier to talk and dream about than do. And the interest may wane as folks discover the cost in hard work required to transform. But there seems to be a clear perception that business as usual will produce its own set of difficulties. Hence, there is interest in finding another way.

The next gathering of the Conference Table will be held at First United Methodist Church, Sarasota. I have the privilege of presenting some of our learnings to date and some of the issues that are central to the process of transformation for congregations. After this brief presentation attendees will be invited to ask questions, share concerns, make suggestions and, in general, enter into the creative process of defining the work of OCT and methods we employ.

Here are some of the issues I believe are pivotal for our congregations.

  • What system(s) of transformation shall we use? There are several readily available.
  • How shall we define what a healthy church looks and behaves like? There are definitions already circulating. Do we use one of them? Do we make our own? Do we pick and choose?
  • Shall we use coaches to help congregations transform? Who will be transformation coaches? Who will train them? What paradigm shall we use for coaching?
  • What instruments shall we use to assess congregational health? There are several options.

Along the way we may choose multiple answers to some of the questions. I have some tentative answers, but I need to hear from the “consumer,” the congregations. I hope you will be there to help discern our next steps.

Please keep the transformation process in your prayers. Its success depends on our discernment of God’s will and our obedience to it!

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