The second of three negative trends for 2012 is this:
Liberal congregations will continue to focus more on short-term financial goals than on long term ministry and mission goals.
And here are three possible steps you can take to reverse this negative trend:
Step 1: Let’s begin by asking what is absolutely essential for a liberal congregation.
Only three things are absolutely essential:
— A liberal congregation must have weekly Sunday services.
— A liberal congregation must raise up the next generation.
— A liberal congregation must provide pastoral care and nurture to those who are part of it.
Nothing else is absolutely essential. Nothing. Really.
Step 2: Now let’s look at what is not essential, and what to do about the on-essentials.
— Owning and maintaining a building may be very important, but it is not essential; plenty of congregations rent space.
— Having paid staff may be very important, but it is not essential; there are congregations that have no paid staff.
— Carrying out social justice in the name of the congregation is very important, but it is not essential; what is essential is providing weekly religious services, and pastoral care and nurture, to support those who are doing social justice. Continue reading “How you can change three negative trends in 2012, pt. 2”