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March 14, 2003


Transforming Congregations

Transformed By The Holy Spirit’s Design

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

Rev. Kendall M. Taylor, Executive Director Office of Congregational TransformationThe Florida Conference’s Conference Table meeting Feb. 15 was an exciting and hope producing time for me and for many others there. Substantive issues for our ministries of congregational transformation were discussed. I received many good ideas and heard helpful perspectives on how we can support the transforming activities of congregations.

What now? Conference Table attendees received a document describing how a healthy congregation behaves. The Eight Characteristics of a Healthy Church from Natural Church Development (Church Smart Resources) is the core of the document. Some additions were made that identify particular concerns of the conference’s Committee on Congregational Transformation. Table attendees also chose to recommend to the Florida Annual Conference that this become the conference’s standard for healthiness in congregations. The decision was made in just a few minutes. There was a unity of mind and Spirit. Some who had experience in transforming particular churches affirmed that the eight characteristics described to a “T” what they had found to be true and indispensable in the process.

Review and become intimately familiar with these characteristics. Begin to think of your church’s ministries in these categories. You can find them on the conference Web site ( http://www.flumc.org,  click Congregational Transformation, scroll to the bottom and click Eight Characteristics).

Continue to read and study. Check the Web site for books on transformation. Discuss transformation with the key leaders in your congregation. You will be preparing to launch the transforming process.

Caution: transformation is not a program, nor does it come easily or quickly. You are about replacing a system of congregational life that no longer gives life with a new one that does. The part that makes us anxious is that there is no blueprint for the new system. We will discover it in passionately embracing the mission of making disciples...as the Holy Spirit gives us the design!

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