IICM WEBSITE COURSE

 An IICM Publication, 2006
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CONTENT

Introduction
 

1. Management principles

2. Effective governing of church life

3. Managing the local church

4. Managing through church governance

5. Managing goals and vision

6. Managing change

7. Managing time

8. Improving managerial skills

9. Guiding principles

10. National leadership roundtable on church management

11. Church growth and management:

12. Reinventing the world

13. Building a global framework

14. Shaping the future

15. Gaining control through partnerships
16. Universal participation

17. Reinventing the church

18. Guiding the revolution

19. Molding truth to fit the vision

20. Thinking outside the box and bible

21. Taking our stand

22. Creating community

23. New way of thinking

24. Total quality management

25. 10 Spiritual principles of church health

26. Records management policy

27. General stress management

28. Councils of churches

29. Biblical principles for managing conflict

30. Twenty key biblical principles for church management

31. Working together as God intended

32. Expressing the rule and reign of Christ

33. Principle being evaluated

Conclusion

Introduction

It is interesting to note that every management principle discussed in any standard textbook of management used in colleges has its routes in the Bible. As we know, God is managing the affairs of the whole universe. Further, he is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. What is really sad is that his people of the world have learned these fundamental management principles and are using them daily in their enterprises with great success, while those who are governing the Churches somehow miss these concepts and principles of management contained in the same Bible focusing only on the Spiritual content of the Bible miss the benefits of the management principles hidden in the pages of the same Bible. To put it another way, we can say that the Churches are generally managed rather poorly compared to the business and governments. Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at some standard management books used in the world, find their Biblical routes and start applying them in the management of the Church.

Formal management training is essential for the clergy men and others who govern the Church in various capacities. This fact is recognized by the top leaders of Christian organizations and they do organize management seminars for Pastors and Church Leaders periodically to narrow this gap in management skills and knowledge.

It is essential that we use in Church and Para-Church organization the five frame principles of basic management concept.

          1. Planning

          2. Organizing

          3. Staffing

          4. Directing

          5. Controlling

It does not really matter what the nature of products or services one provides, but one has to manage an organization by repeating the five functions listed above in that sequence over and over again.

Therefore, these skills in performing these management functions become very critical. Perhaps, a clergymen or who ever is in charge of a Parish, Church or a Christian Organization should begin with a statement of mission, followed by a listing of measurable goals and kinds of programs that should be developed to achieve those goals. Collectively these functions would constitute what we call as the planning function.

Secondly, he should develop an organizational chart showing the hierarchy within the organizational structure as well as the job titles, span of control etc. Basically, this chart should indicate the working relationship of staff members with the organization and there should be detailed job descriptions for every position in the organization.

Thirdly, every position created within the organization should be filled with persons who are qualified to do that job.

Fourthly, every manager in the organization should direct and guide those working under them to get the job done so far as their areas of responsibilities are concerned, and to achieve the goals of the organization to which they are responsible.

Fifthly, all management staff members should emphasis adequate control within the realm of their authority to ensure that the programs and plans are carried out as per the organization’s policies, plans, procedures and rules, and expected set goals have been achieved.

A clear understanding of the management concept is very important for every Christian Leader to fulfill , the God given role, exercising the spiritual authority to over come the spiritual forces through following the Biblical and Spiritual laws. It is also important for the Spiritual Leaders to get Spiritual insights and have communion with God to get visions, dreams, insights, unction and revelations.

http://www.ag.org/enrichmentjournal/200304/016_Management.cfm

Management Principles to Effectively Govern Church Life

By T. Ray Rachels

This issue of Enrichment is part one of a two-part series on church management. The goal of these issues is to better equip pastors and church leaders to successfully navigate through the oftentimes complex matrix of church-management issues.

The following article serves as our primer on the subject of church management. It summarizes a variety of management issues that will be covered in greater detail in subsequent articles in this issue as well as articles appearing in part two—the winter 2004 issue.

Finally, topics are cross-referenced within and across the three major sections of the issue giving multiple entry points on subjects of specific interest to you.

The closest I have come to seeing a perfectly managed organization was on a downtown sidewalk in Visalia, California. There were 20 preschoolers, walking single file and accompanied by 4 teachers—one teacher in front, one at the rear, and one on either side—boxing them in. Down the middle was a rope held by the teachers in front and back. Twenty preschoolers, 10 on each side, held the rope as they walked, talked, laughed, and looked around. It was a perfect system for getting preschoolers in a difficult environment safely from point A to point B, with minimal disturbance.

The teachers were competent in their task and the kids happy to be led. With everybody going in the same direction, it was management by walking around; all parties had a hands-on relationship to the task. And those who looked on applauded the event with appreciation.

John Kotter of the Harvard Business School says, "Management is about coping with complexity. Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence. Good management brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions."

Those 20 preschoolers, led by 4 wise managers, is an example of how to deal effectively with a group that has a high potential for disorganization.

Managing The Local Church

As pastor, you are called to manage your church. Whether you have a large or small church, paid or volunteer staff, leading and managing your church effectively remains at the heart of ministry.

Don Cousins, in Mastering Church Management, says: "The term administration, itself, hardly sets feet dancing. In many people’s minds, administration stands precipitously close to bureaucracy. It smacks of endless details, rigidity, red tape, and routine.

"Yet, administration—managing the affairs of a church—often spells the difference between pastoral effectiveness and ineffectiveness."

Managing Through Church Governance

The single most effective strategy for building public confidence in organizational church life is accountability. Without openness and transparency that provides disclosure of decisions and actions, a pastoral leader invites suspicion and mistrust. One of the important ways to build trust is to have good church governance. (For a thorough discussion on this subject, see the section on managing church government beginning.)

Constitution and Bylaws

Part of church governance includes proper organizational structure. Every congregation needs to be accountable to its constitution and bylaws. If these documents are well-written, they will provide structure for responsible accountability for everyone within the organization. Bylaws set up procedures by which the church operates. These procedures are not obstacles to effective ministry but an aid to getting things done right. It is important to cultivate congregational respect for its bylaws. The foundation of accountability is a uniform governance standard to which everyone must conform.

Boards

Decision-making at the board level is hard work. It is a process that requires asking questions and insisting on answers. It requires evaluating facts and information, weighing risks and rewards, and reviewing alternatives. It may also require consulting experts such as accountants, attorneys, fundraisers, engineers, and financial planners.

The board must have freedom to discuss and debate issues, deliberate, and then make decisions. The board can make responsible decisions only if it has its eyes open and has access to all relevant information. If a pastor discourages board members from asking questions or characterizes reasonable inquiry as negative, he* fails in his responsibility and does not serve the best interests of the church. Board members cannot fulfill their duties if their pastor refuses to provide answers to reasonable questions.

Where only views supporting or approving pastoral decisions are permitted, truth and reality are suppressed. Where differing views are discouraged or characterized as negative thinking, accountability is also suppressed. The result is poor, ineffective, and unaccountable board decision-making. The better rule is to encourage open and free discussion where all views are heard and respected.

There is no reason why a split decision is always unacceptable. Where there is freedom to vote against proposals, accountability abounds, and effective, positive board decisions are possible.

The Book of Acts relates how Paul and Barnabas had a sharp difference of opinion (Acts 15:36–41). Although Paul and Barnabas disagreed, it worked out well for both.

Unanimity was not necessary for their ministry to continue. In fact, unanimity, had it been the rule, would have frustrated any meaningful missionary activity by either Paul or Barnabas.

A caution is in order, however. Boards need to temper the pursuit of honest inquiry with a spirit of cooperation toward pastoral leadership to avoid an antagonistic relationship. When the spirit of cooperation is lost, the church’s pastoral leadership, ministry, and accountability will suffer.

Finances

Church finances are another area that must be managed well. Maintaining financial integrity requires full and regular disclosure to a competent church board and to the congregation at the annual business meeting.

A church’s budget should be analyzed for cost-benefit ratios, as in any effective business or organization. In ministry, organizational efficiency means positive, tangible outcomes resulting from investing funds.

If a church wants to regain lost credibility, it must make sure it keeps promises and does so within budget. A team of leaders that includes members of the congregation, not just staff, also enhances credibility. This process involves time and a long-term strategy. (Managing the Local Church, part 2 [winter 2004], will discuss church finances in much greater detail.)

Paperwork

Since a church is a corporation, accountable not only to its membership, but also to its legal charter, it must pay attention to paperwork. Corporate existence, health, status, financial condition, liability, and accountability all depend on written documents.

A key component of accountability for any church is an effective system of documentation. Without a proper paper trail, it is difficult for anyone to determine who made what decision, based on what information, and who was told about it. Good minutes tell the story.

Every good pastor needs accountability with a good board. "A board of directors," said Robert R. Thompson and Gerald R. Thompson in Organizing for Accountability, "acts only in the form of a resolution. If formal resolutions are not proposed, debated, and passed, the board has not acted. Moreover, if a resolution exists only in verbal form, every board member will have a different recollection of what it was. The virtue of putting resolutions in writing is that it helps end any dispute as to what action the board took." A rule of thumb: always put it in writing. (See sidebar, "Minutes of Meetings—A Guide," in the managing church government section.)

Managing goals and vision

The success of a well-managed church depends on how it fulfills God’s plans and purposes. In one of Annie Dillard’s books, she talks about life lessons on swinging an axe and chopping wood.

"Chopping wood," she says, "is best done when you aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will hit nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block."

That idea holds a great lesson for building a healthy local church. When swinging your management axe, look past the present moment, past the little pieces of church life that may hold distractions for you, past the inefficiencies and poorly managed systems that may now be in place. Take the long view, the view that tells you and the entire congregation about a fabulous future that is available to express itself in biblical proportions, needing only a tough and tender guiding hand to point it toward a Christ-honoring future.

Big questions remain: What priorities must I employ that puts into motion a standard of excellence for my pastoral leadership? What management principles govern effective church life? Will Spirit-led people follow? How do I get people on board? Where do I start?

For a pastor to lead his church and manage it well, he must know where his church needs to go. This is accomplished through a vision and mission statement. This credo—a mission statement—will be a behavioral guide for every person in leadership, from the custodian, to the ushers, teachers, board members, to the lead pastor. Be specific and honest. Whatever success or failure you may have as pastor should tap into that credo/mission statement as the values that will be applied by every team member to every ministry in the local church, no matter how small it may seem. And your effectiveness will come only to the degree that people buy into your beliefs and purpose. If this is not in place, you will not be able to effectively lead your staff and church. Here are some areas that are important.

There should never be confusion about why your church exists.

Spell it out. Then include your well-defined purpose in every strategy the church undertakes. Your influence within and outside the congregation will grow as you present clear and compelling reasons for your church’s mission to the community.

Make sure everyone can clearly state the church’s purpose.

It’s one thing for the pastor to know what the church’s business is; it’s another to transfer that vision so the people have ownership of it.

Thomas Watson, Jr., founder of IBM in 1914, built the incredible success of IBM on the few words he wrote and distributed to each employee he hired: "One, the individual must be respected. Two, the customer must be given the best possible service. Three, excellence and superior performance must be pursued." These words are still in force at IBM and are at the heart of it’s Business Conduct Guidelines manual which is distributed to every employee once a year and is required reading.

When a church’s vision and core values are clarified, energy is infused into the entire organization.

Make sure your people know their role in making the church’s purpose a reality.

Cousins likens the church to a football team. The purpose is to get the ball across the goal line. But unless the wide receiver knows his route, and the left tackle his blocking assignment, and the center the snap count, they will trip over each other and go nowhere. Every player needs to know his specific assignment.

It’s the same in the church, notes Cousins. If the worship leader doesn’t know how much time he is allotted in the service, or if the youth leader doesn’t know what activities he or she is expected to plan, or if the ushers aren’t told about special events, there will be disarray. In the well-managed church, these players not only know the overall purpose, they also know what they can do to contribute to the goal. (See the section managing the church office and managing church staff.)

Put your best foot forward by having a neat, clean, and attractive facility.

This is especially true for those areas people pass through on Sunday morning—"Main Street," as Don Cousins calls it.

Main Street is the corridor from the parking entrance, through the parking area, church entrances, lobbies, and main halls, to the auditorium—the portion everybody, especially visitors, passes through on Sunday. They may not see the offices or rehearsal rooms, but people at church will walk through Main Street.

Neglecting Main Street speaks volumes about church management. Pastoral managers who are careful about these details will likely have other aspects of ministry under control. (Managing the Local Church, part 2 [winter 2004], will discuss managing church facilities in greater detail.)

"Management helps us make the most of the light we have," advises Cousins. "Organization helps us enhance our capabilities. If we order our lives well, and carefully manage those placed in our charge, our churches will shine brightly, as lights set on a hill."

Decisionmaking is easy when values are clear. A church’s core values are the basis for church leadership decisions. Nothing feels better than playing on a team where everyone is trying to move the ball toward the same goal. Few experiences are more stressful than working with a group whose values are moving them in opposite directions. (See sidebar "Developing an Outstanding Staff" in the managing church staff section.)

Managing change

A museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, contains an exhibit of a mockingbird skeleton. Inside the winged skeleton is a huge eggshell. The bird produced an egg too large to lay and died trying to lay it. A leader who emphasizes or promotes teachings that do not match the theological selectivity of most people in his congregation understands how that mockingbird must have felt.

When you feel change is needed and seek to initiate that change before bringing your board and congregation alongside you, then, as the premedieval mariner’s maps warned about unknown territories: "There be dragons."

People will follow a good pastor almost anywhere when trust is established. And trust takes work and time.

When working toward change, a wise pastor’s most important role is to determine the parameters in which committees or task forces do their work. The idea is to give away tasks to competent people. Let them know what needs to be done and when, empower them, and release them to fly. When you cast your bread on waters like that, it usually comes back buttered, with jam on it. (See sidebar, "Finding and Discipling Quality Volunteers." Choose article "Managing the Church Office: An Ever-changing Challenge.")

The most common mistake is trying to change too much, too fast, too soon. We overestimate what we can do in 1 year and underestimate what we can do in 5 years.

In guiding people toward a realistic pace of change, Paul Mundey, director of the Andrew Center, a nondenominational agency for helping church leaders, suggests that effective pastors and lay leaders follow these principles:

Affirm that grandiose is not always grand.

Overambitious, big-time plans do not always serve the best interests of a local church. In many instances, small is beautiful, beneficial, and better. Management guru, Charles Handy, reminds us that it is often the seemingly insignificant things that alter life most profoundly:

"The chimney, for instance, may have caused more social change than any war. Without a chimney, everyone had to huddle together in one central place around a fire, with a hole in the roof above. The chimney, with its separate flues, made it possible for one dwelling to heat a variety of rooms. Small units could huddle together independently. The cohesion of the tribe in winter slipped way."

Where do you need to build chimneys, rather than bonfires, in the life of your congregation?

Affirm that a journey of many miles is taken in many steps.

Most change efforts need to be undertaken step-by-step, plank-by-plank. Three years worth of change can’t take place in 3 months. But it can be broken down into a series of smaller incremental changes. A sequence of multiple steps gives people time to adjust to each smaller change as it comes.

Affirm that one size does not fit all.

Congregations can be seduced by the notion that a successful change effort in one place will automatically work in their church.

Each congregation has its own unique identity and fingerprint, defined by its culture, systems, and temperament. Church size affects the programs and ministry approaches a leader should attempt. For instance, it might not be wise to force highly structured programming on a smaller, relationally based, family church.

Affirm that addition is better than subtraction.

Change happens best as we multiply people’s options, rather than pulling the plug on cherished activities. Adding a Saturday morning small group for working women is preferable to disbanding the Tuesday morning sewing circle (no matter how gossipy they may have become).

Affirm that God’s provision accompanies God’s vision.

Dream the dreams, but count the cost. Challenge committees or task teams with a fundamental question: "Do we have the minimal resources necessary—in terms of time, money, people, and energy—to undertake this effort?" There will always be tension between vision and provision. Even the best idea, pushed at the wrong moment, can be a disaster.

Managing time

The term time management may seem like an oxymoron to most pastors. But meeting the challenge of time management is not impossible.

Pastors work with five resources: time, people, money, buildings, and equipment. Of these five, time is the hardest to manage because we cannot see it. Yet this invisible resource determines what we accomplish with the other four.

In recent years several effective time-management principles and methods have emerged from the business and church world. As you review the qualities/characteristics of thinking and behavior patterns for keeping control of the things that can be controlled in your schedule, ask yourself: Do my time-management habits help or hinder my productivity as a church leader?

Leaders often lament their need to find time to effectively accomplish their ministries. Finding time is a picturesque metaphor but a less than precise phrase. Time is never lost, only poorly used. If pastors see themselves as stewards of a precious gift and build on that perception with effective goals and habits, effective ministry results.

First, decide your life and ministry priorities. Second, decide to use your time to accomplish those priorities, instead of the dozens of other important matters that clamor for your time. Function from this perspective and you will find the time about which other people only dream.

Improving managerial skills

In a famous comic strip, Charlie Brown is forlornly explaining to Lucy the scientific details of why kites fly. As he’s busily winding up his kite string, he says that the ratio of weight to surface area is known as sail loading. Lucy listens to his technical explanation about kites and praises his knowledge. In the last frame, Lucy asks him why his kite is down the sewer.

Most pastors and church leaders recognize that, despite countless books and articles on the art/science of management, something is still missing. How do you keep your kite in the air and out of the sewer?

Many pastors may not know their management style and how if affects their role as pastor. Once they determine their style, pastors also need to understand how effective their style is and how to change their style to be most effective in every situation. To understand more about management styles and how to use them effectively, visit: http://business.baylor.edu/phil_vanauken/articles.html.

Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, presided over that company’s rise to become the largest corporation in the world. An interviewer in Harvard Business Review asked him how GE was able to maintain its growth momentum, given the complexities of the organization, its size, and the need to discipline spending.

Welch’s answer: "GE is big in its overall size but small in its execution."

Question: "What are three or four things I can do right now to make my company small in execution?"

Answer: "Get information from every person so each knows his/her ideas count. Celebrate small successes. Evaluate people down to the lowest units, so they know their achievements are constantly being measured and that they count. It’s critical that people know their contributions matter. It’s critical that they know what they do will be seen and rewarded."

Welch further said that you should "always overstaff an opportunity. If you believe a business is critical to your future, put better people on it than it seems to deserve. If it’s a $5 million business, put a $300 million person to work on it while it’s still $5 million, and they will make it $300 million. You put a $5 million person on it, and it will stay $5 million."

That same principle applies to church management. If your church is located in a community filled with young couples with small children, the most valuable staff person will be one whose expertise is ministry to young families with children. (Read the section "Hiring Eagles—One at a Time" in Dan Reiland’s article "The Art Of Managing Church Staff.) Good leaders/managers must point their knowledge toward the right goals.

"Talent, like muscle, grows through exercise," advises Kenneth Hilderbrand. "If we fail to extend ourselves and merely go through the motions while we wait for something more fitted to our abilities to come along, we are headed for continual frustration. We may think we have ability enough to warrant starting at the top, but the only chance most people get to start at the top is digging a hole."

God has never put anyone in a place too small to grow. Wherever our place may be—on a farm, in the office, behind a counter, at a teacher’s desk, in a kitchen, wearing a uniform, caring for a child, or behind a pulpit—when we fill that place to the best of our abilities, personal growth is inevitable. Three things being to happen:

We do a better job of what we’re doing.

We expand our talents through vigorous use.

We fit ourselves for larger responsibility and wider opportunity.

You reap what you sow. It’s a principle so elementary that all other factors, without exception, pale in comparison.

http://www.nlrcm.org/guidingPrinciples.htm

Guiding Principles

The work of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management is centered on three guiding principles. These principles are grounded in church teaching.

             1) The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management will provide an avenue for greater incorporation of the expertise of all the faithful, especially in the areas of church management, finance, and human resources. By virtue of baptism, lay people have not only the right but the duty to offer their gifts and talents in service of the church.

            "The freedom for lay people in the Church to form such groups is to be acknowledged. Such liberty is a true and proper right that is not derived from any kind of "concession" by authority, but flows from the Sacrament of Baptism, which calls the lay faithful to participate actively in the Church's communion and mission" (Christifideles Laici - Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation on The Vocation and The Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 1988, 29.)

                        "Christ's faithful have the obligation to provide for the needs of the Church, so that the Church has available to it those things which are necessary for divine worship, for apostolic and charitable work and for the worthy support of its ministers" (Code of Canon Law, Canon 222.1, 1983.)

                        2) The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management seeks to work in collaboration with the U.S. bishops and other church leaders, promoting dialogue and fostering the full utilization of the unique gifts of lay experts in management, finance and human resources.

            "Christ's faithful may freely establish and direct associations which serve charitable or pious purposes or which foster the Christian vocation in the world, and they may hold meetings to pursue these purposes by common effort" (Code of Canon Law, Canon 215, 1983.)

            "In the context of Church mission, then, the Lord entrusts a great part of the responsibility to the lay faithful, in communion with all other members of the People of God. This fact, fully understood by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, recurred with renewed clarity and increased vigor in all the works of the Synod: 'Indeed, Pastors know how much the lay faithful contribute to the welfare of the entire Church. They also know that they themselves were not established by Christ to undertake alone the entire saving mission of the Church towards the world, but they understand that it is their exalted office to be shepherds of the lay faithful and also to recognize the latter's services and charisms that all according to their proper roles may cooperate in this common undertaking with one heart'" (Christifideles Laici, 1988, 32.)

            3) The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management will seek to identify best practices in the areas of management, finance and human resources that can help address specific needs within the church. The organization will then work together with all of the faithful to further fulfill the church's mission by promoting, adapting and applying these best practices.

Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church. They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals." (Code of Canon Law, Canon 212.2-3, 1983).  "Christ's faithful have the obligation to provide for the needs of the Church, so that the Church has available to it those things which are necessary for divine worship, for apostolic and charitable work and for the worthy support of its ministers. They are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the Lord's precept, to help the poor from their own resources." (Code of Canon Law, Canon 222, 1983)

"The same spirit of personal responsibility in which a Catholic approaches his or her parish should extend to the diocese and be expressed in essentially the same ways: generous material support and self-giving. As in the case of the parish, too, lay Catholics ought to have an active role in the oversight of the stewardship of pastoral leaders and administrators at the diocesan level." (Stewardship: A Disciple's Response - The US Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, USCCB, 1993, pg. 35.)

http://www.nlrcm.org/default.htm

Welcome to the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management

View video clips from Wharton 2005 & 2004

On Monday, March 14, 2005 a press conference was held at the National Press Club to announce the formation of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management (NLRCM) and to release the final report of the Church in America Leadership Roundtable held at the Wharton School in July 2004. A hard copy of the report can be ordered using the Publications Order Form. NLRCM is an organization of laity, religious and clergy working together to promote excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resources of the U.S. Catholic Church by greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. Learn more about our history, mission, our guiding principles and how we are organized by exploring this web site.The following is a sample of quotes from the final report of the Leadership Roundtable. The report was released on March 14, 2005.

"Issues arising from various crises in recent years are not unique to the US Catholic Church. Organization after organization, both for-profit and not-for-profit, have had to come to grips with how to create a more open and sustainable governance structure while staying true to their mission and history." Dr. Patrick Harker, dean of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

"Issues of governance and accountability should prompt an open dialogue within a Church that has both human and divine elements. Members must seek to ensure that the Church's human structure does not impede its mission but rather promotes it. This can be accomplished by bringing the best of our ingenuity and experience to bear on the human tasks that support the divine purpose of the Church." Archbishop William Levada, Archdiocese of San Francisco

"The Church has some great opportunities to improve its effectiveness and efficiency by modernizing its approaches to governance and management." Frederick Gluck, former managing director of McKinsey & Co. Inc

 "Structure gives form to the vision of leadership. The structures and systems of modern business theory and practice, as well as the findings of the social and psychological sciences, have penetrated Church leadership and administration. Many of these contributions are helpful. However, a national study or critique is needed to evaluate which business structures, systems, and practices complement the Church's mission and ministries. By the same token, there may be national Church structures that would benefit from review, evaluation, and reorganization." Bishop William Friend, Diocese of Shreveport

 "Structures and processes currently available for interaction between bishops and the faithful can ensure the participation of the faithful, especially the laity, in the governance of the Church if the bishops and the laity choose to use them effectively." Sr. Sharon Euart, RSM, president of the Canon Law Society of America

 

 CHURCH GROWTH AND MANAGEMENT:

 

http://www.crossroad.to/glossary/church-growth-mission.htm

Antinomianism: The doctrine that it is not necessary for Christians to preach and /or obey the moral law of the Old Testament.... The Gnostics, in the first centuries of the Christian era, discounted the moral law because they felt it came from the Demiurge, not the true God." Modern Reformation

Authenticity: From "Becoming More Authentic - The Positive Side of Existentialism." SYNOPSIS: "Authenticity means creating our own comprehensive life-meanings.... When we re-center and re-integrate our lives around our freely-chosen purposes, we become more focused, unified, & decisive.
     "...before we can even consider inventing our own life-purposes, we must become well-integrated, thoughtful persons. Becoming adults persons requires years of learning and growing. Each of us grew up in a fully-developed human culture, replete with rules, regulations, & assumed life-meanings....
     "...thru a process of trial and error, we can decide how best to re-center and re-integrate our lives, this time around purposes we have freely chosen, rather than the values and meanings we inherited from the culture."

Chaordic: "The behavior of any self-governing organism, organization or system which harmoniously blends characteristics of order and chaos.” [book cover] A chaordic organization is formed by a process that begins 'with an intensive search for Purpose then proceeds to Principles, People, and Concept, and only then to Structure and Practice.'” [Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock]

Church Growth: (according to Ralph D. Winter) ..." http://www.missionfrontiers.org/1990/0610/jo902.htm

Collaboration: "...working together to accomplish more than any one person can do alone. It takes open, candid conversation about real, high-impact issues.... It is about bringing out the best in a group. A continuum of group work moves from connection to coordination, then to cooperation and finally to collaboration."  "It is the ability to multiply each other's strengths to produce a result that no one could achieve alone. Collaboration requires several different steps.... Companies or organizations that are collaborative have both an ability to put out ideas and to listen to input from others." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer
 

Community Building: "The servant-leader senses that much has been lost in recent human history as a result of the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives. This awareness causes the servant-leader to seek to identify some means for building community among those who work within a given institution.... Greenleaf said, "All that is needed to rebuild community as a viable life form for large numbers of people is for enough servant-leaders to show the way, not by mass movements, but by each servant-leader demonstrating his or her unlimited liability for a quite specific community-related group." On Character and Servant-Leadership. See also excerpts from Scott Peck's The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace
 

Conceptualization: Servant-leaders seek to nurture their abilities to dream great dreams. The ability to look at a problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day-to-day realities.... The traditional leader is consumed by the need to achieve short-term operational goals. The leader who wishes to also be a servant-leader must stretch his or her thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual thinking. ... Servant-leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and a day-to-day operational approach." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Conflict Challenges: "... occur when Transformation Movements reach a significant imbalance between Change Pathways and Transition Passages. Conflict is when significantly more changes takes place than there is time for the people involved to make personal transitions, when large amounts of personal transitions take place without anticipated changes occurring, or when changes and transitions happen faster than systems or people can adjust to them. The resulting Conflict Challenges must be dealt with in some manner for any system to remain healthy or return to a healthy state if it has become unhealthy.... Conflict Resolution, Conflict Mediation, and Conflict Management are different approaches that are appropriate at substantially different levels of conflict." See note: Conflict

Conflict Resolution: "...can occur only at low levels of conflict when the situation truly is a win-win situation, all parties want to resolve the situation, and there appear to be... good solutions. Resolution is something that happens on the inside of people as they truly forgive one another." Conflict

Conflict Mediation: "...dealing with conflict when it is at medium levels and a win-lose situation has developed. Mediation involves at least collaboration and persuasion, and probably moves on to involve negotiation of proximate conclusions." Conflict

Conflict Management: "...necessary when conflict is at high levels of engagement and in a lose-lose situation. Only negotiation and compelling will work at this level. The entities involved have now decided that the winning is more important than the good of the organism or organization." Conflict

Connection: "the ability to share information...." To "allow potential connection based on the amount of information someone was willing to share." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer

Cooperation: "...marked by the desire for mutual gain. It is just a little better than coordination.... One of the differences between coordination and cooperation is that cooperation becomes more proactive. ... In cooperation, people begin to look out for each other a little bit." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer
 

Coordination: "...the "ability to act in concert with one another.' This usually accompanies an agreement to share information." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer
 

Foresight: "...a characteristic that enables the servant-leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future. It is also deeply rooted within the intuitive mind." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Dialectic (or consensus) Process: A diverse group dialoguing to consensus toward a pre-planned outcome under the leadership of a trained facilitator. See The Mind-Changing Process and The Dialectic: Fomenting the Revolution

Dialectics: "In life there is duality: hot/cold; dark/light; new/old; tall/short, and so on.... And in most cases, when opposites unite, they form something new, such as combining yellow with red to create the substance 'orange,' and then orange takes its own place in the array of colors, and can mix again to synthesize yet another form or color, such as orange blended with blue to create black.

    "In the literal sense, the term dialectics means creating or coining something new from fusing opposites. It's like a pendulum swinging between two conflicting forces where the pendulum always strives for the perfect balance and hence settles dead center....  Based on opposites or dialectics, or duality, Hegel fostered the premise that if one ideology is presented (called the thesis) and another is posed in opposition to it (the anti-thesis [antithesis]), then the two would meld to form a new or combined construct (the synthesis). It applies to us today simply because we are seeing our country shift towards a socialist conviction through melding Capitalism and Communism...." Dr. Gianni D Hayes (author and radio hostess) in "Twisted Silhouette Government: Why the world is where it is." Website: www.thenazarzine.com

Dialectical: In Religion and Popular Culture in America, Bruce David Forbes & Jeffrey H. Mahan wrote (from a post-modern perspective), "I am also assuming that the relationship between culture and religion is dialectical; that is, they influence each other." (page 73)  In When Iron Gates Yield, Geoffrey T. Bull wrote about Communist interrogation in a Chinese prison (from a Christian perspective):

"These primary and nebulous questionings, I realized afterwards, are the 'dialectical' approach to interrogation. It is necessary to find out the whole course of development of a person's life from earliest days. The dominant influences and conflicts... his social position and class background.... Only after this ground is fairly clear, can the attitude of the Government be determined in regard to interrogation and 'brainwashing.' The first indication I had of the so-called 'thought reform' was when Yang said: 'Of course we don not really blame you for anything you have done against the people. Your government and Society must bear most of the guilt, although naturally you must bear some too.... The whole Capitalist structure is based on exploitation." 177-178

Discipling: Traditional context: A Spirit-led, committed teaching relationship in which mature Christians teach, model and encourage more recent converts who seek to understand and apply God's Word, to walk by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to be conformed to Jesus Christ.

       Context of CGM: Disciple (verb) means holding people “accountable” for the planned “results" or outcomes. In other words, manager set the outcome, and human resources must conform to that outcome or standard. The website, People Driven Software, explains: "

"PDS is designed to help you target lost people in your community and move them incrementally through a process until they are fully-devoted followers of Christ....    

·         Track each person’s status as they move through your church's disciple-development process beginning with their first visit to the church and then at each major milestone and then annually as they renew their membership covenants if you choose.

·         Member profile and covenant renewal forms are generated and mailed to members. This gives you updated data annually from your members.

·         Track each person's spiritual status prior to your church so that you can assess who your church attracts.

·         Encourage each person to keep growing using automated email and form letters to congratulate them on their commitments and invite them to the next level of commitment....

·         Detailed management of small groups: location, meeting time, leadership structure (division leaders, coaches, leaders.), maturity level... openness to new members, etc.

http://www.peopledrivensoftware.com/Features/developdisciples.htm


Doctrine cop: Those who use the Scriptures to discuss or debate issues not related to the central points in the stated (or written or understood) mission or purpose statements of a small group or church.

     The article "Wildheart" states, "[John] Eldredge downplays his changing image, and quotes Søren Kierkegaard: 'And now, with God's help, I shall become myself.'.... Eldredge has published a study guide for each of his books, and the Wild at Heart videos are packaged with a facilitator's guide for small-group leaders. Sample advice: Don't try to solve each other's problems, don't allow any man to dominate the group, and beware of the 'doctrine cop,' who wants to debate points that aren't central to the group's purposes." [by Douglas LeBlanc, Christianity Today, 7/23/04]

 

Emerging Church: The Emerging Church: "The Emerging Church is a label that has been used to refer to a particular subset of Christians who are rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of Postmodernism.... One observed phenomenon is that many Christians subsequently start to reconstruct their Christianity thus finding a faith that, while basically Christian, is very unique to them. One definition of the Emerging Church is that it is the collective noun for individuals who are emerging from this process of deconstruction and reconstruction of Christianity."

     This deconstruction assumes that God's Word can be redefined, adapted to changing times and interpreted according to man's subjective preferences. But God's eternal Word cannot be adapted to man's changing whims. See <>Psalm 119:11

Empathy: "People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and colleagues and does not reject them as people, even when one may be forced to refuse to accept certain behaviors or performance. The most successful servant-leadersr are those who have become skilled empathetic listeners." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Facilitator: (1) A non-directive, non-judgmental teacher/leader who creates an environment for group bonding and learning, records each member's "progress" toward planned goals, and motivates the group collectively to advance toward individual and group goals. (2) A change agent who leads hand-picked committees or groups toward the "right" predetermined conclusions or consensus using the dialectic process. This process is called "managed change."

Healing: "The healing of relationships is a powerful force for transformation and integration. One of the great strengths of servant-leadership is the potential for healing one's self and one's relationship to others.... In his essay, The Servant as Leader, Greenleaf writes, 'There is something subtle communicated to one who is being served and led if, implicit in the compact between servant-leader and led, is the understanding that the search for wholeness is something they share.'" On Character and Servant-Leadership

Intentional: Determined, purpose-driven -- as when you make up your mind and determine to follow a particular plan without deviation. "The tension between the sovereignty of God, on the one hand, and the creativity of evangelists and church planters to strategize for success is the most significant difference between Missional and Church Growth thinking. A balance is needed between these two perspectives. God does miraculously lead us forward in His mission. He, nevertheless, calls us to minister intentionality." [But God doesn't call for dialectical tension. That's Hegel's and Marx' way of driving people. God tells us to be always alert to His "voice" and ready to follow His direction in spite of our shortsighted plans and human visions.] "Contrasting Missional and Church Growth Perspectives"

 

Integral mission: "A number of phrases have been used to summarise that Biblical model of mission or express an organisation's part in it - holistic mission, holistic development, transformation, good news to the poor, Christian development, holistic diaconate, Mission Integral etc.... We suggest the phrase 'integral mission'... as a matter of practicality in network communication. So Integral Mission is ….
      " .. the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. If we ignore the world we betray the word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task."
     "The above is an extract from the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission developed by those present at the Micah consultation on Integral Mission held in Oxford during September 2001."
http://www.micahnetwork.org/About_Micah/29.asp


Law & Gospel: (from the Biblical, not postmodern, perspective) "When God gives orders and tells us what will happen if we fail to obey those orders perfectly, that is in the category of what the reformers, following the biblical text, called law. When God promises freely, providing for us because of Christ's righteousness the status He demands of us, this in in the category of gospel. ...The law comes, not to reform the sinner nor to show him or her the 'narrow way' to life, but crush the sinner's hopes of escaping God's wrath through person al effort or even cooperation. All of our righteousness must come from someone... who has fulfilled the law's demands. (Phil 3:7-10)... First comes the law to proclaim judgment and death, then the gospel to proclaim justification and life." (Galatians) "Modern Reformation"

Leadership Development and Leadership Network: "Both have take on new meanings in today's postmodern churches. Result-driven programs, pragamatism, management software, humanist psychology and the latest human resource development strategies seem to be replacing the still voice of the Shepherd, the power of the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  See http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=56&db=champsupdate

Learning Organization: "A learning organization is one that continuously adapts to a changing and interdependent environment. The Center's research shows that building learning organizations requires basic changes in thinking and behavior that overturn conventional and reactionary beliefs. Shifting from a fragmented, competitive and reactive organization to one that is systemic, cooperative and creative also requires a 'Galilean shift' toward building 'communities of commitment.' In this regard, commitment goes beyond personal loyalty to include a commitment to societal changes through one's organization. " Peter Senge and Fred Kofman, "Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations"

Listening: "The servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps to clarify that will. He or she listens receptively to what is being said and unsaid. Listening also encompasses getting in touch with one's own inner voice. Listening, coupled with periods of reflection, are essential to the growth and well-being of the servant-leader." On Character and Servant-Leadership

[Spiritual] Mapping: "Spiritual mapping is a term coined in 1991 by the Tacoma meeting's organizer, George Otis, Jr., but enthusiastic proponents say it is really the reprise of an old practice that can help propel the church toward fulfillment of the Great Commission. Spiritual mapping, says Otis, president of the research agency the Sentinel Group, is nothing more ethereal than creating a spiritual profile of a community based on careful research." Art Moore, Christianity Today.


Missiology: the systematic study of the theory and practice of Christian missions, combining such disciples as anthropology, cross-cultural communication theory, ecumenics, history, inter-cultural studies, methodology, religious encounter and theology."
     "Missiology is "the study of the salvation activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit throughout the world geared toward bringing the
kingdom of God into existence....  [The] missiology's task in every age is to investigate scientifically and critically, the presuppositions, motives, structures, methods, patterns of cooperation, and leadership which the churches bring to their mandate." Verkuyl, Contemporary Missiology: An Introduction (1978:5).
    "Gailyn Van Rheenen, from Abilene Christian University writes in Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies, "Missiology is made up of three interdependent disciplines: theology, the social sciences, and strategy." (1996:137).
http://servingthrougheducationandmusic.org/panama_project/4_research_and_missiology/4_3_definitions_of_missiology.htm

Missional (Notice the dialectical tension in the third paragraph): "Missional churches define themselves as bodies formed by the calling and sending of God and reflecting the redemptive reign of God in Christ. They are unique communities in the world created by God through the Spirit as both holy and human....

    "The Missional movement maintains that the gospel cannot be contained in a set of propositions. The mission of God must be communicated as the dynamic story of God’s relationship with his creation. ....

    "The tension between the sovereignty of God, on the one hand, and the creativity of evangelists and church planters to strategize for success is the most significant difference between Missional and Church Growth thinking. A balance is needed between these two perspectives. God does miraculously lead us forward in His mission. He, nevertheless, calls us to minister intentionality....

    "The Church Growth movement has focused on the uniqueness and distinctiveness of people groups and the contextualization of the Gospel among the ethne of the world. The Missional movement, on the other hand, believes that the gospel breaks socio-economic and ethnic divisions between peoples so that all become one in Christ. ...

     "The Missional Helix visualizes such an 'interdisciplinary and interactive' approach to the practice of ministry and provides a corrective to traditional Church Growth perspectives. It images the intertwining, inseparable nature of theological reflection, cultural analysis, historical perspective, and strategy formation within the context of the practice of ministry. ...The helix begins with theologies, such as Missio Dei, the kingdom of God, incarnation, and crucifixion, which focus and form our perspectives of culture and the practice of ministry. ...analysis forms the second element ...

     "This process of ministry formation must occur within an environment of spiritual formation in which the soul is being nurtured through a personal walk with God... advocate an adapted missional model, one which begins with and always returns to theological reflection while taking seriously cultural analysis, historical perspective, and strategy formation." From "Contrasting Missional and Church Growth Perspectives" by Gailyn Van Rheenen


People Driven Software: "an innovative tool of technology that will grow and greatly enhance the ministry of your church.  Our goal is to make this the best church management software available for churches committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment...  [L]everage the power of well crafted technology to expand the kingdom of God in your church.... Software building churches... because people matter to God

§         Do you know where everyone in your church is in their process of becoming a fully devoted disciples of Jesus?

§         Are you effectively assimilating them via small groups, ministries, classes & events?

§         Can you plug every person into ministry by assessing their giftedness?

§         Can you easily manage contributions & pledges?

§         Do you have full access to your data whenever and wherever you are?

§         Can you produce over 100 powerful and insightful reports on the health of your church that will help your leadership team make good decisions?"

"With People Driven Software YOU CAN SAY YES to all these and much more!"


Persuasion: "The servant-leader seeks to convince others, rather than coerce compliance. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant-leadership. The servant-leader is effective at building consensus within groups. This emphasis on persuasion over coercion finds its roots in the beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)--the denominational body to which Robert Greenleaf belonged." On Character and Servant-Leadership

 

Postmodernism: (one of many views) Postmodernism: "Whereas modernism is thought to be the culmination of the Enlightenment's quest for an authoritatively-rational aesthetics, ethics, and knowledge, postmodernism is concerned with how the authority of those would-be-ideals (sometimes called metanarratives) are subverted through fragmentation, consumerism, and deconstruction....

      Postmodern "philosophy is the critical study of the most fundamental questions that humankind has been able to ask. Philosophers ask questions such as Metaphysics: What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of those things? Do some things exist independently of our perception? What is the nature of space and time? What is the nature of thought and thinking? What is it to be a person? What is it to be conscious? Is there a god?" " <>2 Timothy 4:3-4  See also our charts, Postmodern thinking and Postmodern culture, and some examples: The Postmodern Church

 

Pragmatism: a philosophy that denies Biblical truth, sees truth as relative, and tests its validity by its practical outcome and measurable effects.

     Two familiar examples: "The ends justify the means." "Love is more important than truth or doctrine." Both sound good, but clash with God's Word. Neither can justify disobeying God and using evil means to meet what seems to be a good end. You cannot demonstrate God's holy, Spirit-given agapao love if you are not following His truth.   

PreChristians: a more "tolerant" and politically correct reference to unbelievers than the old, unacceptable words such as pagans or heathen. One problem: the word itself assumes that each unbelieving "prechristian" will be "born again" and become a genuine Christian. But God tells us that some will believe when they hear His message, while others will not.

Presencing: "Presencing is based on an inner change of location. Presencing means: liberating one’s perception from the ‘prison’ of the past and then letting it operate from the field of the future. This means that you literally shift the place from which your perception operates to another vantage point. In practical terms, presencing means that you link yourself in a very real way with your ‘highest future possibility’ and that you let it come into the present."

      (Dr. Claus Otto_Scharmer, co-founder and lecturer of the Leadership Lab For Corporate Social Innovation at MIT. He also is... a co-founder (with IN guest Peter Senge, also of MIT) of the Society for Organizational Learning and The Global Institute for Responsible Leadership.)

Servant-leader: put servant ahead of leader. "It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons: do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?" Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader. It is "viewed as an ideal leadership form to which untold numbers of people and organizations aspire. In fact, we are witnessing today an unparalleled explosion of interest in, and practice of, servant-leadership. ... Servant-leadership seeks to involve others in decisionmaking, is strongly based in ethical and caring behavior, and it enhances the personal growth of workers while improving the caring and quality of organizational life....  Many of the companies named to Fortune magazine's annual listing of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" espouse servant-leadership and have integrated it into their corporate cultures. " On Character and Servant-Leadership: Ten Characteristics of Effective, Caring Leaders (Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Community Building)

Spontaneous expansion: "the expansion which follows the unexhorted and unorganized activity of individual members of the Church explaining to others the Gospel which they have found for themselves; I mean the expansion which follows the irresistible attraction of the Christian Church for men who see its ordered life, and are drawn to it by desire to discover the secret of a life which they instinctively desire to share; I mean also the expansion of the Church by the addition of new Churches." www.newwway.org/The%20Spontaneous%20Expansion--ROLAND%20ALLEN.doc

Stewardship: "Peter Block (author of Stewardship and The Empowered Manager) has defined stewardship as 'holding something in trust for another.' Robert Greenleaf's view of all institutions was one in which CEO's, staffs, and trustees all played significant roles in holding their institutions in trust for the greater good of society." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Systems (General Systems Theory - GST): "...there exists a very logical explanation for the esoteric nature of the Drucker/Deming methodology. These individuals based their philosophies on 'General Systems Theory' (GST). GST was originally proposed by Hungarian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928. He proposed that 'a system is characterized by the interactions of its components and the nonlinearity of those interactions.' Kuhn (the originator of the “paradigm shift”) applied the GSP to culture and society, and he saw cultures as interlinking subsystems of a broader planetary society. In 1980, cosmologist Stephen Hawking then expanded systems thinking to the global platform by introducing the 'Chaos Theory' that claims the 'interconnectedness of all things'--- (i.e. the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Asia can affect the course of Atlantic hurricanes). As a result, GST becomes very esoteric when taken to its logical conclusions:
     “GST is symptomatic of a change in our worldview. No longer do we see the world in a blind play of atoms, but rather a great organization.” (13)

"...one can conclude that GST is an esoteric belief system based on a merger of Darwinism and eastern mysticism—much like what one would now term 'New Age'. GST contends that man is moving to the next level of evolution, but in order to reach this plateau, mankind must be ascribe to a common, universal consciousness, or belief system (“old beliefs” must transition to “new beliefs”). Drucker confirmed his adherence to this concept by the development of the '3-legged stool' model. The legs are representative of the corporate system, the state, and the 'private sector.  He top of the stool signifies the reaching of that which he terms as 'community' or consensus of these three separate sectors (or subsystems) of society. Drucker has spent the last half of his life concentrating on this “private sector” (churches and non-profits) because this segment offers the platform for the dialectical consensus to unite all of humanity to bring about the “jump phenomenon” (16) to the next level of “societal evolution”. According to the GST and the Gaia Hypothesis, the “old system” must break down in order for the “new system” to break through."

     From "Outcome-Based Religions: Purpose-Driven Apostasy" by Mac Dominick. Please read his complete article and find sources in his footnotes at http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1506ch13.html

 

Systems philosophy or general systems theory: "...we can create our future by building systems and leveraging those systems into balance with all other systems in a conceptually wholistic model, (also referred to as systemic change) using a system infrastructure that is analogous to all systems.  Scientists refer to systems philosophy as a syllogismhow to bring about planned change systemically.  Under systems philosophy, the system and leveraging of the system into balance with all other systems, is paramount above all else.  That leveraging is achieved via analyzing DATA FEEDBACK attained from the subjects of the system established, be it an agency, a classroom, or an individual.  This explains the privacy invasive databanks being built on all systems — health care, education, justice, military… [and churches]

"...you start out by developing your vision of the created future.... The vision is then defined in terms of exit outcomes. In the case of education reform, the exit outcomes are the state essential "academic" learning requirements (EALRs). [In the purpose-driven movement, it would be related to "purpose"]

      "In the Schools for the 21st Century (the foundation of education reform in Washington state and the basis of American 2000) resource document, content is defined as excellence in terms of the change agenda; process as the product … the destination … what learning is about; and emotionality and affectivity as the means by which content and process will be achieved....

      "The measure of that mastery is the assessment.... If a few children fail the assessment, they are remediated to bring them in line.  The assessments also assess classroom teachers.  The assessment provides DATA FEEDBACK to the system...." [Lynn Stuter,  http://www.learn-usa.com/er018.htm]

 

Systems theory: "...the world is a system of subsystems (also called systems), interdependent and interconnected, to form a wholistic or holistic system; that within any one system is an infrastructure that is analogous across systems, irrespective of physical appearance.
    "The Gaia Hypothesis, in different words but saying the same thing, adds a spiritual dimension to systems theory, stating that the world is a living, breathing, organism, irreducible to its parts; that what affects one part affects all parts; that in the name of saving spaceship earth, we must change our society.
    "These are the two hypotheses which undergird systems governance and the transformation of American society to the total quality, outcome-based, environment of a managed economy in a communist society in which every aspect of that society is micromanaged by the all powerful government to achieve goals established to attain a humanist 'created future' — the sustainable global environment.
     "This is happening nationwide, in every branch, office and department of government; in industry; in health care; in education at all levels; in property rights, growth management and land use planning; in ecology ... there is nothing that is not being affected by this. This is a total and complete transformation or paradigm shift of our society." Lynn Stuter,
http://www.learn-usa.com/sga.htm

 

Systems thinking: "...the idea that changes need to be conceptualized in the context of the total system. Most educators are no accustomed to thinking in a systems fashion. I suggest that Total Quality Management is a means by which systems-level thinking can be both encouraged and translated into action. Next outcome-based education is introduced, described, and analyzed as the framework within which systems redesign can occur....
    "Variations on the outcome-based model are appearing with ever-increasing frequency due in part to the fact that OBE is a systems approach to change. All elements of program and practice must be reviewed, reordered, and reinforced to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.
    "Outcome-based education, like Total Quality Management and systems thinking, requires a reconceptualization of the organization at a fundamental level."
David T Conley; Roadmap to Restructuring; Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon; ERIC; 1993.

 

Transformation: The mental and systemic change that occurs when people and churches emprace the new "relational" vision of "community." This transformation is accomplished through the latest psycho-social strategies and intrusive technologies for measuring change and individual compliance with the stated "vision."

       "When we open ourselves to the creating and recreating grace of God, transformation is exactly what we can expect. God is in the business of transformation. This is the great divine joy, God's project in the world! All God needs, in order for the Spirit to be about this labor, are open minds and expectant hearts -- persons who desire to be changed and conformed more to the likeness of Christ, our Life. The structure and process of Companions in Christ aims to create an environment conducive to such openness of mind and heart. It is the experience and witness of many thousands of small groups now that this resource helps people of faith take up the posture of receptivity to God's spirit." Marjorie Thompson, Spiritual Director, Companions in Christ, http://www.upperroom.org/companions/tools.asp?item_id=155397

 

Author Leonard Sweet challenges youth leaders to move away from what is familiar in order to reach a new generation of kids, Herring said. Sweet writes about the concept in his book, "Postmodern Pilgrims." "Sweet believes churches can be effective at reaching and discipling teenagers in a postmodern culture by becoming E.P.I.C. churches," he added. The concept of E.P.I.C. includes:

-- Experiential. "'If churches are to effectively disciple postmodern teens they have to help them experience God.' ... In M-Fuge camps, the youth go out and serve the community through volunteer efforts. 'Parents will pay for their kids to do something tangible and make a difference,' Herring said."

-- Participatory. "'Postmoderns are not going to simply transmit the tradition or culture they've been taught. They want to transform and customize it.' An example, he said, is the popularity of praise music, which has dramatically affected worship. 'They want to be a part of the process, not detached from it.'"

-- Image-driven. "Think about how many churches today have logos. The best tool religious leaders can give postmoderns is a metaphor on an image."

-- Connected. "The paradox is this. The pursuit of individualism has led us to this place of hunger for connectedness to communities, not of blood or nation, but of choice."

REINVENTING THE WORLD

   "The intent of Consensus Democracy is to reformulate how local democracy operates in the 21st Century.... Only by recognizing the need for new ways of thinking about how we build the common good in a world of constant change can our democracy survive"[3]  Consensus Democracy: A New Approach to 21st Century Governance

     "The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living."[4] UNESCO

     "Change your whole way of thinking, because the new order of the spirit is confronting and challenging you."[5] Millard Fuller, Founder of Habitat for Humanity, at 1996 UN Conference in Istanbul 

     "... we are, of course, refashioning the British constitution and our system of government, decentralizing power, reinventing government, promoting a new and different partnership between public and private sector. It is indeed as Al Gore has just said to us, a third way, not all left nor new right, but a new centre and centre left governing philosophy for the future."[2] Transcript of a speech given by the British Prime Minister at a breakfast with Vice President Gore


Strange new labels have begun to define our schools, workplaces, clinics and other institutions. We all hear them, but few understand them: OBE, STW, TQM, CGM, PDC, HMO, Third Way.... What do they really mean? How will they change our institutions and affect our lives?  Are they part of a local agenda or do they point to a global management system? Finally, the most important question, who defines the terms and sets the standards?  

The answers are complex, but these true stories offer some simple views of the problem: 

·         Schools: A California teacher told seven-year old Sallie to stop talking with her friends about Jesus in order to "keep [church and state] apart." Her censure makes sense when we remember that the "outcomes" of UNESCO's worldwide Outcome-Based Education (OBE) system include politically correct attitudes. Sallie's loyalty to the Biblical God didn't fit the new standards.  Today's systemic transformation includes rewards for schools and teachers whose students demonstrate -- on the new student "assessments" -- that they have conformed to the beliefs and values of a global citizen.  (See Don't Mention Jesus and Zero Tolerance For Non-Compliance)

·         The workplace:  A Christian manager in an Illinois company lost his position because he refused to renounce the Biblical absolutes that formed the basis for his convictions. God's unchanging truth didn't fit TQM (Total Quality Management), which demands "continual change." Contrary facts disturb the consensus process and God's values could offend team members who live by another standard.[6]

·         The church: A Colorado mother told her pastor about her concern over multicultural curricula and sex ed programs that introduced her son to contrary values. But the pastor equated any criticism of public schools with "politics" and showed no sympathy. He explained that the church's new "mission" statement didn't include "political issues" which might offend people -- especially unbelievers, the potential members now viewed as "consumers" in the new church management system.[7]

We are in the midst of a global transformation, and few of us saw it coming. Silent and unseen half a century ago, this social revolution grew like a stream of water below the surface of our culture for decades. But now, at the dawn of the new millennium, the benign current has become a malignant torrent flooding the land. Too powerful to be ignored, it challenges us to respond before the old pathways and guideposts have been swept aside in its wake. 

Those who want to look back, can trace the silent triumphs of a diverse army of social "change agents" loosely linked by a common vision of a united world, social solidarity and a Global Spirituality. (Scan the Chronology in Brave New Schools) Few books show the heartbeat of this movement better than The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 bestseller:

A leaderless but powerful network is working to bring about radical change in the United States. Its members have broken with certain key elements of Western thought.... This network is the  Aquarian Conspiracy.... Broader than reform, deeper than revolution, this benign conspiracy for a new human agenda has triggered the most rapid cultural realignment in history.... 

The Aquarian Conspirators range across all levels of income and education, from the humblest to the highest. There are schoolteachers and office workers, famous scientists, government officials and lawmakers, artists and millionaires, taxi drivers and celebrities, leaders in medicine, education, law, psychology....

There are legions of conspirators. They are in corporations, universities and hospitals, on the faculties of public schools, in factories and doctors' offices, in state and federal agencies, on city councils and the White House staff, in state legislatures, in volunteer organizations, in virtually all arenas of policy-making in the country.... They have coalesced into small groups in every town and institution.[8]

It's true. Below the familiar structure of our communities, new rules and systems are paving the way for a transformation few Americans dare even consider. Behind the familiar words and seductive slogans lurk meanings, promises and visions only known in the inner circles. 

Those new words and meanings are vital to this revolution.  Carried by global information networks and planted among people everywhere, strategic new terms are taking root in the public consciousness and changing our thinking. You may have learned them -- words such as stakeholder, partnerships, facilitator, accountability, assessments [see Solidarity], win-win, empathy, synergy, consensus, continual or managed change.... They are becoming familiar around the world.  Seemingly harmless, they provide the "seamless" framework for  managing and monitoring the global community.

This revolution has three major but inseparable parts: 

1. SYSTEMS: a network of "seamless" management systems or organizational frameworks that link all the pieces and manages the global transformation.  [See systems thinking]

2. A mind-changing PROCESS: a standardized but flexible process that conforms each human resource to his or her place in this vast network of global systems. 

3. STANDARDS: a set of universal standards that holds all people accountable, forcing them to adapt to the changing aims and needs of the system. 

Building a Global Framework

"... the structure of democracy needs new scaffolding--a new concept of how decisions are made, a new approach to the role of leadership and new methods and techniques to build shared vision....

"It assumes that there is a need to rethink what it means to be a 'civil society' and that the concept of the "common good " must be more than an aggregation of individual rights...

"Any 21st Century approach to democracy will need a flexible framework in which diverse people can dialogue and not debate; in which systemic thinking replaces a linear project mentality...."

  Consensus Democracy: A New Approach to 21st Century Governance

Most house construction begins with a framework which outlines the main shape of the building. Other parts are fitted into this framework. Pieces that don't fit must be adapted or left out. The manager coordinates the gas, electrical, telephone and computer lines, not just within the building, but also with the various providers and regulatory agencies. Everything must be integrated. 

So must the systems that manage the world's natural, social and human resources. The basic framework for this global network has already been built, and more parts are being added with each month. The resources (including people and facts) that don't fit must be remediated, adapted or left out.

This integrated network is well planned. "Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together," said Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO during a day-long dialogue on Solidarity at the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements. "The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity.... We have to redefine the words... [and write a new] social contract." His words echoed those of former President Clinton and countless other change agents around the world.

"Cities are the vectors of social change and transformation," added Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of The World Bank. "Let's just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction." [emphasis added]

British Prime Minister Tony Blair put a nice, politically correct spin on this global management network and its intent:

"But our job is to help people with that change. Not to resist it, and so suffocate opportunity. But not just to let change happen, regardless of the consequence. Our approach, what I call the Third Way, is to manage that process of change to extend opportunity and prosperity for all. To find a way which provides for efficiency in the knowledge economy, and ensuring that everyone feels its benefit.... We have to democratize the new economy."[9] The Knowledge Economy  [emphasis added]

As Total Quality Management (TQM) reaches out -- far beyond the promise of quality products -- to manage human and social development, this transformation is almost certain to go "in the right direction."  If our national and global managers have their way, no one will escape the never-ending assessments, evaluations, corrections and demands for compliance with all kinds of standards.  In the more intrusive systems, their regulations will hold the minds and actions of every person accountable to international standards for mental health, citizenship and service, cooperation or compliance.... 

Individual thinkers won't fit.  Their quest for vocational success will be blocked by various gatekeepers: teachers, local workforce boards and literacy centers, universities.... These guardians of the new solidarity will measure and monitor compliance, shutting doors to economic benefits and social privileges to dissenters who disturb the new consensus.  

Shaping the Future

Management guru, Peter F. Drucker, offers a glimpse of this vision in The Shape of Things to Come. He writes,

"All institutions, including governments, churches, universities, and so on, will become more interdependent, more market- and customer-driven. Today it is a world of infinite choices. With churches, it used to be that you were born into a denomination and stayed there. In the fast-growing pastoral churches, which are the most significant social development in this country, 90 percent of the members were not born into the denomination. So competition in all realms is acute.

"And yet there are new monopolies which we haven't yet taken into account. For example, we let one institution control access to careers and livelihood in a way no earlier society would have -- the college and university are major gatekeepers. That's why you have all those fights about admission." [10]

Those monopolies are fast falling into line. Teaching and testing the new way of thinking and understanding reality, they quickly sort the adaptable students from the uncompromising students. Those who conform are rewarded with good grades. Others will fail, and their lack of cooperation and understanding will be recorded in their personal, permanent data file for use by future employers.  

Ponder this part of the "General Education Course Criteria" to be met by students at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. It shows the basic philosophy behind the new way of thinking: the systems thinking that sees all things as interconnected or holistic. This requirement would surely match the World Health Organization's standards for the right way of thinking:

"The overall goal of this area is for students to understand the complex interdependency of our world. All individuals are part of and impacted by multiple systems: family, cultural, economic, political, philosophical, technological, environmental, linguistic, educational, etc. These systems are interdependent, overlapping, and each is in turn part of a larger system. Because of the resulting complex causality, decisions and actions taken locally may have far-reaching, even global, effects. Seemingly isolated events can often be explained only in terms of complex, wide-ranging causes. A non-systemic view can lead to dangerously simplistic and myopic explanations.

"Students will learn to employ multi-theoretical perspectives (systems thinking, systems perspective) and multiple methods of analysis. The intent is to teach 'ways' to think, not 'what' to think, and competing views of existing systems and institutions will be openly expressed and explored, along with competing alternatives to existing systems and institutions. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of various kinds of evidence in performing rigorous analysis and synthesis of issues and situations. [11] [emphasis added]

The preferable types of "evidence" and sources will be selected by the professor or class facilitator, and the assaults on contrary data and the old logical ways of thinking will intimidate students who might otherwise voice their objections. If anyone dares take a contrary stand, their opinion will be ignored or synthesized into the pre-planned consensus through the dialectic process.  This is a "win-win" program for globalist visionaries and their quest for solidarity. (See Part 2: The Mind-Changing Process)

Like Fort Lewis College, all the older systems must change in order to survive in this new world order. And the changes will be ongoing, for "continual change" is the nature of TQM. 

These evolving systems will be "customer-driven", but the managers who define the terms and write the rules would only provide options compatible with their vision and mission. Consider how such guidelines would limit the gospel in the new Purpose-Driven Churches. What will happen to solid Biblical teaching, when pastors and church leaders view unbelievers in the community, not believers in the church, as their main "customers"?  

Gaining Control through Partnerships 

In a revealing 1997 editorial, The New Order of the Day, Frances Hesselbein, the president and CEO of the Drucker Foundation, and former chief executive of the Girl Scouts of the USA, gives an overview of the tangled webs of shared leadership we can expect in the future. Add the strings attached to government funding, and you see the framework needed for socialist controls over nearly all areas of human needs and services:  

"For the first time in recent history, government is saying it cannot, alone, provide the social services our people need. Business is saying it cannot deliver the services government is relinquishing, and the nonprofit/social sector is telling us it cannot single-handedly meet the societal needs being ceded to it by government and business.

"The meaning of this monumental change is clear: partnership, alliance, collaboration -- call it what you will -- is suddenly the order of the day. Alone, no one sector -- government, business, or social -- can meet the needs of family, children, and community. But together, in new kinds of equal partnerships, each addressing a specific need, we can begin to rebuild cohesive communities...."[12]

President Bush's Faith-Based Partnerships fit right in. While promoted as a better means to serve the poor, they also provide the social links and associations needed to build those "new communities" of Solidarity and oneness touted by former President Clinton and  the United Nations.  

For many years, our leaders have been constructing this new global management system -- more recently labeled the Global New Deal -- behind the backs of an unsuspecting public.  

For example, back in 1996, the Drucker Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund hosted a two-day dialogue between a diverse group of people from public [professor, local and national politicians], private [author, CEO, corporate president] and nonprofit [theologian, chief executives of major voluntary organizations] institutions. This seemingly diverse group found "common ground" in their joint quest for "new and effective avenues of cooperation and change."[12]

Like most facilitated consensus groups, they agreed on a basic crisis. They found "significant obstacles to cross-sector partnership."  One of the obstacle was the "differences in language and culture among the three sectors" which could "make simple communication, let alone genuine collaboration, difficult." [12]   

This crisis was important. Social managers can't motivate the masses to invest time and resources in a planned solution unless the people perceive a crisis. In the absence of a genuine serious problem, an imagined or manufactured crisis might serve just as well. It provides the needed excuse for various pre-planned solutions. 

The standard UN solution to the above crisis is simply to bring everyone into the system by involving all of them in the dialiectic (consensus) process. Each person would be trained in a group setting to think and speak the new language. In other words, everyone -- as President Clinton often said -- must "participate" in the integrated systems. And each system would have the technology to monitor all participants.

"Clearly," the Drucker-Rockefeller group concluded, "if we are to succeed in forging partnerships that will make a difference in society, we will be stronger for the involvement of all the players who help build strong families, healthy children, good schools, decent neighborhoods, work that dignifies, and cohesive communities...."[12]

Yet, they had some reservation. For example, the leaders and supporters must be carefully selected. Only those who were committed to pursue the new vision could serve on the leadership teams: 

"...do not necessarily have everybody participate from beginning to end. Teams work best with broad consensus on overall goals, well-defined roles, clear delegation, and flexible implementation."[12]

Universal Participation

Their message echoes the sentiments of a former master at social change and manipulation: Adolf Hitler. "The most striking success of a revolution," he wrote in Mein Kampf, "will always have been achieved when the new philosophy of life as far as possible has been taught to all men, and if necessary, later forced upon them." [13]  But He told his followers to gather the leadership teams with caution: 

"...sift the human material it wins into two large groups: supporters and members.... A supporter of a movement is one who declares himself to be in agreement with its aims, a member is one who fights for them.... and corresponds only to the minority of men."[14]

The United Nations' master plan for implementing the envisioned statist management system is outlined in a manual for social change titled, The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide. It repeats the same basic message:

"The proper selection of participants for the Stakeholder Group and its Working Groups is perhaps the most critical step in establishing a partnership planning process. The composition of the participants will determine...consensus for action.... Include... representatives of groups who are traditionally underrepresented" including "special groups of people (women, youth and indigenous people)... media, environmentalists...." But also consider "the inclusion of individuals with credibility...."[15]

There is a reason for such selectivity. "Groups who are traditionally underrepresented" are less likely to appreciate our political system, Constitution, traditional values or academic education. Many would gladly trade the "free speech" for "free sex" -- especially since they now stand on the side of political correctness. 

Eventually, all social sectors must be involved in this quest for consensus. The Drucker Foundation's summary of the above dialogue emphasized that very point:

Twenty-eight leaders from around the country... reached remarkable consensus about the need and the means to achieve effective social partnership. All recognized that the challenges facing government, business, nonprofit organizations, and society as a whole are too great to be addressed by any one sector. All leaders, to succeed, must build bridges. To provide a framework for such efforts, the group, acting as partners, delineated the following principles.... [16]

You can read their list of principles in Emerging Partnerships: New Ways in a New World. Each principle is cloaked in nice sentiment designed to inspire confidence and consensus but carries a subtle warning. One principle stated, "the three sectors of society have different needs and objectives, but must work together."

The word "must" is important. It affirms the need to engage all the diverse elements of the community in the process. The planned system of overlapping controls demands total compliance and the absence of dissent. But with the news media's strategic silence and television's distracting thrills, the masses will hardly notice the changes. 

In the end, the master framework would integrate all systems, all partnerships, all knowledge, and all private, public and non-profit institutions. Every person would be socialized for their place in the massive global system. Each human resource would be continually assessed for the proper Mental Health. Everyone would be held accountable to global standards for every facet of life: beliefs, attitudes, values, health, practical safety, community service, and group participation.

In addition, every citizen would be monitored for their conservation of energy, food and water -- or any other natural resource to be guarded by the elitist managers at the various pinnacles of these massive integrated or "seamless" systems.  [See total transformation

But in the midst of these radical changes, our God reigns. Three thousand years ago, His follower, King Jeshoshaphat, knew that well. So when overwhelming enemy forces threatened the nation, he turned for help to the God He loved. We would be wise to join in his prayer:

"O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?

...O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."  2 Chronicles 20:6-12

God answered his prayer in a wonderful way. He may show us a different kind of victory, for our times are different. To understand the consequences of our nation's shifting beliefs, see America's Spiritual Slide. But those who trust God's unchanging Word rather than man's changeable visions can count on this promise: 

"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, 

for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

REINVENTING THE CHURCH

"The Church seems afraid to invest in new modes of being the Church, breaking free from antiquated models and irrelevant traditions toward living the gospel in a twenty-first-century context."[1] George Barna, Leaders on Leadership

"Our common future will depend on the extent to which people and leaders around the world develop the vision of a better world and the strategies, the institutions, and then will to achieve it."[2] The UN Commission on Global Governance

 

"...there is a substantial critical mass of people and churches that are already moving.' ...While acknowledging that there are still many unhealthy churches, there is a justified 'change in basic premises, basic attitudes, basic mind set... on the whole, we are on the march...."[3] "Peter Drucker on the Church and Denominations," Leadership Network.

 

"Thus saith the LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk therein.'" Jeremiah 6:16


 

A strange distortion of truth has spread like a grass fire on a windy day through churches around the world. It calls God's people not just to understand our changing times from the world's perspective, but to actually blow with the wind and help fuel the transformation. This Church Growth Movement (CGM) uses familiar old words to persuade the people, but it conforms God's Word as well as human thinking to politically correct views of unity, community, service and change. 

 

Behavioral laboratories, schools, UNESCO and liberal churches all helped light that fire during the 20th century. Hidden from sight, their subversive efforts seared America's Biblical foundations and prepared the masses to believe a lie.

 

Now, at the dawn of the new millennium, "conservative" and "evangelical" churches are following suit. Worldwide "Christian" networks provide trained leadership and management consultants to guide God's people along this alluring superhighway to a new world order. Forget the old narrow way that leads to life. Today's "change agents" hope to popularize Christianity so effectively that whole nations will join their crusade.

 

Forget solid  Bible teaching and "the offense of the cross." To win the masses "for Christ", the church must be re-cloaked in a more permissive and appealing image. It must be marketed to the world as "a safe place," purged of the moral standards that stirred conviction of sin and a longing to separate from the world's immorality.  So they re-imagined a feel-good church stripped of offense - one the world could love and claim as its own.

 

Their march to a "better world" is well under way. In this new church, group thinking, compromise, conflict resolution, the dialectic process and facilitated consensus are in.  Uncompromising conviction and resistance to group consensus are out.  For God's way seems far too intolerant to fit the managed systems of the new millennium. [To better understand these terms, please read Brainwashing in America and The People's Church

 

 

Guiding the revolution

 

Hard to believe? Then listen to the leadership team chosen by George Barna, founder and president of Barna Research Group, to write his revolutionary 1995 book, Leaders on Leadership. I call it revolutionary because it is. It actually invites a revolution in the Church and shows a new brand of leaders how to manage it.

 

Doug Murren, then senior pastor of Eastside Foursquare Church, wrote a chapter titled, "The Leader as Change Agent." In it, he explains the first step in the psycho-social process of "managed change." Notice that he takes his cues from an experienced "change agent" at Stanford University which -- like MIT, Harvard and Teacher's College at Columbia -- is a major research institution in the area of social change, persuasive propaganda and psycho-social manipulation:

"Arnold Mitchell, a social psychologist from Stanford, has spent years studying the attitudes and behaviors of Americans. He contends that three ingredients are necessary for change to occur. First, Mitchell notes that change comes from dissatisfaction.... Effective change agents assess the chances for change by evaluating the level of dissatisfaction within the group. If dissatisfaction is strong, the potential for change exist....

 

"To be effective, a leader must also deliberately develop dissatisfaction."

 

"Preparing people for change sometimes takes what seems like forever.... I shared startling or even embarrassing statistics about where we were as a church body and where we needed to be, seeking to create the right level of dissatisfaction."

 

"Positive change rarely intimates 'returning to the way it used to be.' Most positive change I have witnessed has been about creating a better future rather than returning to a cherished past."[4]   

The Stanford psychologist's second and third ingredients are "a terrific amount of emotional and physical energy" and "insight" evidenced by "a well-conceived strategy for making things better."

 

Notice that Pastor Murren's "three ingredients" for changing people have nothing to do with God's guidelines or standards. They have everything to do with deceptive human visions of how elite "change agents" can control the masses. Their manipulative methods have become so familiar that their subjects barely notice what is happening. Lest you forget, take another look at the initial steps:

 

1. Assess (survey) the attitudes, values and wants of the people. Your personal assessment will be the benchmark for measuring planned change in the months and years ahead.

 

2. Stir dissatisfaction with the old ways so that the seeds of revolution can grow without regrets. Actually, the survey itself initiates the "dissatisfaction", since a "good" church survey would contain anxiety-producing questions that suggest internal problems and prompt public dialogue and complaint.

 

This tactic was explained in a 1951 manual on "group development" written by such infamous psycho-social change agents as Kurt Lewin. Titled Human Relations in Curriculum Change, it includes a chapter on "Utilization of Dissatisfaction, which states:

"Dissatisfaction with existing conditions seems to be a prerequisite for intentional change.... Yet, it is not a simple matter to make dissatisfaction function actively as a motivating force in our complex modern society. ... In utilizing dissatisfaction as a factor in producing change the student of society must learn to deal with these two types of conservatism, the conservatism with those with a stake in the present arrangement and the conservatism of those who do not wish to be bothered with change....

 

"Fortunately for human progress, thee is a fourth group of persons in whom already exists dissatisfaction of such nature that they are ready to be utilized at once as motivation toward action.... This group can be counted on a nucleus for hasting the process of change....

 

"... dissatisfaction should not be regarded merely as a factor operating to furnish initial motivation. It should be utilized at all stages of the process to keep crystallization from setting in. Groups should be encouraged to make use of valuable solutions to problems only so long as they serve a useful purpose." [pages 58-59, 63. Emphasis added]

3. Offer an inspiring vision of "a better future." That better future must be a here-and-now future -- one that man can create with his imagination. It's the opposite of the glorious future God offers us for all eternity. In this context of worldly change, heaven serves no earthly purpose. Only visions that motivate collective efforts and drive transformation can advance the revolutionary plan.

 

To guide this process, well trained leaders are needed. That's why Mr. Barna gathered "a team of experts that is as awesome as any of you can imagine" to write his manual for the church. "Fifteen people have contributed chapters to this book," he wrote. "I believe that the cumulative efforts of this team have demonstrated the meaning of synergy."[5] emphasis added

 

Mr. Barna wrote the chapter on "The Vision Thing" himself. In it, he explains that vision "is a view of the kind of world God wants us to live within, a world He can create through us if all those He has called as leaders would lead according to the guidance provided by His Spirit."[6]

 

Does that statement sound like an oxymoron? It is. Mr. Barna seems to imply that God will recreate the world around us if today's "change agents" would walk by the Spirit. But these leaders of "managed change" have been trained to follow a formula never given by Holy Spirit. Man may shoot himself in the foot, but God will not give us tools that clash with...

·         Biblical absolutes (Isaiah 40:8)

·         His call to trust Him, not human ways and philosophies. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

·         His call to share in Christ's suffering and persecution (John 15:18-21)

For example, Mr. Barna calls for "evaluative tools prepared so you can assess how well you are doing along the way, fine-tuning your implementation efforts as you go along....." But God doesn't tell us to continually assess and evaluate our progress. He tells us to love Him, study His Word and follow His ways, then leave the result with Him. He will produce the fruit. He knows that if we continually measure our successes, we may shift our focus from His will and sufficiency to our own vision and achievements. That's why David was punished severely when he disobeyed God by measuring (assessing) the size of his victorious army. (2 Samuel 24)

 

God's Word and Spirit must guide our daily steps, not our human standards and measurement for success. And His ways tend to clash with the world's vision of prosperity, numbers and success. But that matters little to mentors of "managed change" whose minds are tuned to effective methods rather than to their Maker.

 

 

 

Molding Truth to fit the vision

 

Mr. Barna introduced Jim Van Yperen, another change agent on his team of experts, as "a marketing strategist and creative communications consultant." Van Yperen has "worked with a wide variety of churches, parachurch ministries and non profit organizations in the areas of vision development, strategic planning... resource development and conflict resolution." 

 

Note those buzzwords. They help us identify the change process whenever we see it.  

 

Mr. Van Yperen is consultant, not a pastor, but he has been "serving several churches as Intentional Interim Pastor." He hires himself out as Interim Pastor after leading a church through the initial phases (assessment, dissatisfaction, vision, etc.) of the change process. Using his strategic surveys to assess church attitudes and needs, he facilitates group dialogues and "diagnoses" the health of the church.

 

Since he speaks persuasively and manages this process well, he can soon inform the members that their church has some good qualities yet current conflicts and dissatisfaction demand drastic measures. To become a "healthy church," it needs new leadership, new structures, new schedules, a new way of thinking and a new emphasis on spiritual growth through group relationships. 

 

He also teaches a new way of understanding the Bible. His chapter in Mr. Barna's book, "Conflict: the Refining Fire of Leadership," contains a section called "Affirm Truth in Community." It helps set the stage for the consensus process by suggesting that the Bible can best be understood in groups where members pool their thoughts and shape their consensus. Notice how his guidelines minimize the New Testament emphasis on a personal love relationship with Jesus and maximize the world's view of the collective:

"Nearly all of Scripture is written to and for groups of people, not individuals. We must learn to read our Bibles this way. Instead of asking, 'What is God saying to me?' we need to ask 'What is God saying to us?'

 

"Responding to power with truth places Christ at the center and builds bridges with our brothers and sisters. It acknowledges that no one person knows the truth completely, so we need each other. It opens up the opportunity to own our assumptions honestly, state our convictions directly and allow others to give perspective openly."[7] [See Creating Community - a New Way of Thinking]

Today's change agents don't really want everyone to "give their perspective openly." Some facts and group observations can topple their plan. They want "dissatisfaction" but not dissent. They want tolerance toward the things of the world, but they stir intolerance toward "uncooperative" or "divisive" church members. Those who are found to be enemies to their manipulative process must be disciplined, expelled or changed. [See Dealing with Resisters]

 

I have talked with many humble and faithful Christians who were labeled "divisive" or "critical" by the new leadership in their beloved church. Some were given a simple choice: leave or stop asking hard questions. Others were told that "confession" (including confessing the "sin" of questioning the change process instead of submitting to it) and counseling under an assigned change agent would be a prerequisite for permission to stay and continue their ministry.

 

In contrast to the critic, the perfect group member is flexible, cooperative and open-minded -- especially toward new and different ways of interpreting the Bible.

 

 

Thinking outside the box and Bible

 

Church reform, like education reform, calls for "critical thinking," but few church members know the real meaning of this phrase. To pacify parents, public school teachers might define it as "teaching students to think for themselves." They know that the revolution in education will proceed far more smoothly if parents never realize that "critical thinking" means criticizing and challenging traditional beliefs, values and authorities.

 

Former pastor, Kenneth O. Gangel, is academic dean and Vice president of Academic Affairs at Dallas Theological Seminary. A prolific author, he wrote "Competent to Lead" and is considered an expert on this topic. A natural choice for Mr. Barna's book team, he wrote a chapter titled "What Leaders Do."

 

One of the six tasks of a leader, says Pastor Gangel, is to "think." Of course, we all think. But, in the context of managed change, thinking isn't really thinking unless your thinking fits the new formula.

 

Pastor Gangel quotes Stephen Brookfield who, for ten years, was Professor in the Department of Higher and Adult Education at the liberal Teachers College at Columbia University. While traveling as keynote speaker to national, and international education conferences around the world, Brookfield continues to serve as Adjunct Professor at Columbia. The statement Pastor Gangel used to support his own teaching came from Brookfield's book, Developing Critical Thinkers:

"Central to critical thinking is the capacity to imagine and explore alternatives to existing ways of thinking and living. ... Critical thinkers are continually exploring new ways of thinking about aspects of their lives....

"Critical thinking is complex and frequently perplexing, since it requires the suspension of belief and the jettisoning of assumptions previously accepted without question."[8]

Did you catch the message?  "It requires the suspension of belief and the jettisoning of assumptions previously accepted without question."  That's the essence of "critical" thinking! Church managers can't establish the new view of "reality" without first undermining the old Biblical beliefs. Before they see success, the group must let go of the old absolutes and dare to flow with the winds of change.

Linking the old mental hindrances to negative feelings speeds the process and brings lasting change. That's why each group member must learn to associate the "poor thinking" of the past -- including Biblical absolutes that can't be bent to fit our times -- with something unpleasant or unacceptable. [See illustration] On the other hand, "good thinking" must feel good and be linked to the "right" things such as unity, small group fellowship, or fun entertainment such as Harry Potter. This illusion of freedom without consequences is illustrated by a set of Middle School lessons published by the curriculum branch of the mighty, liberal National Education Association:

                                    Good Thinking vs. Poor Thinking

            "This model helps us make some valid and useful distinctions between good and poor thinking. Here we wish to distance ourselves from those who equate good thinking with a long list of discrete mental operations and those who describe poor thinking in terms of several logical errors.

            "Good thinkers are willing to think and may even find thinking enjoyable. They can carry out searches when necessary and suspend judgment. They value rationality, believing that thinking is useful for solving problems, reaching decisions, and making judgments. Poor thinkers, in contrast, need certainty, avoid thinking, must reach closure quickly, are impulsive, and rely too heavily on intuition."[9] Emphasis added

[See New Beliefs for a Global Village]

Does the phrase "suspend judgment" remind you of Dr. Brookfield's call for "suspension of belief." It should! The two phrases make the same point. They also show that the new breed of church leaders are simply taking the world's pedagogic formulas and psycho-social strategies and peppering them with Christian words to veil the unbiblical sources and diffuse opposition. 

Do you wonder how Pastor Gangel, the academic dean at Dallas Seminary, could use Dr. Brookfield -- a globalist change agent -- as a model and authority? I do, and it grieves me to see such deception in high and trusted places.

It's no secret that Columbia's Teachers College embraces the UNESCO education agenda and leads the world in training teacher-facilitators for the new global management system, which has no tolerance for Biblical truth. As in the former Soviet Union, the education goal is nothing less than developing a new kind of person -- not with facts and logic but with the latest high tech versions of the mind-changing strategies first used to manipulate and monitor the Soviet masses.

Taking our stand

 

 

This is spiritual war, dear friends. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood," writes the apostle Paul, "but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

 

Paul tells us how to "stand" in the victory Christ won for us on the cross: "...take up the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth...." Ephesians 6:12-14

 

The main truth has to do with the nature of God Himself. We need to know Him as He has revealed Himself through His Word. We need to know...

·         His justice in order to understand His mercy

·         His wrath in order to appreciate His amazing love

·         His mighty power so we trust Him in our weakness

·         His wisdom so we can let Him be our guide always.

The second truth of the armor deals with our imputed righteousness in Christ. If you indeed have "been crucified with Christ" and filled with His Holy Spirit, you belong to Him. You are already a "new creation"[10] blessed with a personal relationship with the King of the universe! As you set your heart to follow Him, He will speak to you through His Word and guide you by His Spirit through the challenges of each day.

 

Jim Van Yperen may tell us that the Bible must be understood in groups -- as something "written to and for groups of people, not individuals."[11] Don't believe it.

 

Like the serpent's deceptive arguments in the garden, those misleading words sound believable because the message is cloaked in a half-truths.[12] We do need each other, but each of us can best encourage others when we know Jesus as our life and His Word as our guide. Then, even if we must stand alone for His name's sake, His loving presence will be enough. Many tortured and persecuted martyrs can testify to the sufficiency of Christ when all other help is gone.[13]

 

What we don't need is dependence on a group that would divert our hearts and attention away from Jesus to hollow alternatives.  The facilitated group consensus that Van Yperen promotes trains people to compromise their understanding of truth under the noble banners of relationship, "conflict resolution" and "common ground." While God wants us to practice standing firm in our faith, such groups press members into oppressive re-learning sessions which force everyone to practice -- over and over -- conforming their convictions to that of the group.

 

As His ambassador and earthen vessel, I must follow His narrow and rocky way. But it's easy and sweet when He takes my hand. I must refuse to compromise, but I'd rather have Jesus than the world's fame and fortune. An old hymn summarizes the disciple's walk well:

 

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
 

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

 

 

CREATING COMMUNITY

 

"Families need rebuilding. Jobs are scarce. The cost of living is increasing. ... Children do not have a level playing field for every intellectual, social and emotional development. We are flooded with evidence of the need for societal transformation everywhere we look.... Peter Drucker, in The Age of Transformation, says that this age is far from over and predicts it will reach well into the next century. This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders...."[1] Erik Rees, Minister of Life Mission at Saddleback Church. "Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership -- Creating A Synergy of Energy"

"Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together. The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity.... We have to redefine the words... [and write a new] social contract."[2] Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO, "The UN Plan For Global Control."

Emphasis has been added through italicized or bold letters.


You probably won't discover Rick Warren's vision for the 21st century community by simply reading his top-selling books. Yet, many have sensed that his five familiar motivational purposes hide a more complex mission. Some have noticed that his transformational strategies match those of UN globalists and the world's leading change agents. No wonder, since today's  management gurus -- Peter Drucker, Peter Senge, Bob Buford and others -- are shaping the same strategic pathways for churches as for the rest of the world.

Their clever use of words and the complexities of today's transformational management systems tend to blind our eyes to the strange alliances and manipulative strategies. Who would know the philosophy and tactical power behind labels such as "systems thinking," "facilitated learning" or "transformational leadership"?  As with educational buzzwords, the old familiar words take on new meaning when used in the context of planned social change. [See also New Age Terms in the Church] 

I first glimpsed the UN vision for the 21st century community during the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul. At a day-long panel presentation on "solidarity" and social change, I heard the world's political, spiritual and social change agents share their common goals and guidelines on human resource development and global oneness: They would gather people together in communities within cities, then use the latest psycho-social strategies, including the dialectic process, to train the masses in "a new way of thinking," living and relating to one another.

"Change your whole way of thinking, because the new order of the spirit is confronting and challenging you," said Millard Fuller, President of Habitat for Humanity.

"Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together," said Federico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO. "The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity.... We have to redefine the words... [and write a new] social contract."

"We should stop bemoaning the growth of cities," added Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of The World Bank. "It's going to happen and it's a good thing, because cities are the vectors of social change and transformation. Let's just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction." Later he added, "The media must act as part of the education process that counters individualism."[2]

Individualism is out. Collective thinking, strategic leadership and facilitated learning are in! And no group of transformational leaders are more effectively pioneering the process and pushing the transformation "in the right direction" than Saddleback Community Church.

Consider an article posted on Rick Warren's website, pastors.com, titled "Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership." The author, Erik Rees, is one of Saddleback's influential pastors. In his article, he bases his vision of social change on the experimental plans touted by the world's cutting-edge leaders -- secular, pagan and Christian -- all linked by the common vision of "transformation:"

"This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new levels of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached.

"We have not, however, developed the leaders we need for this noble task. To reach such heights, we will need to un-tap the leadership potential of skillful leaders who are successfully directing various organizations and systems. Some of these men and women, knowledgeable and committed, to their profession, will be the transformational leaders we need to create the needed synergy of energy."[1]

Notice that Pastor Rees calls, not for Christian leaders, but for cutting-edge leaders who share the vision and skills [systems thinking and transformational methods] needed for transformation. Nor does He suggest dependence on the Holy Spirit. In the next paragraph, the focus is on the process, not God or His Word. In fact, the Biblical truths that would counter this process must be left out or reinterpreted to fit the new context. [See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven]:

"This new paradigm of transformational leadership is not just for the marketplace but also for the local and global movement of Christ. One of the most influential movements, for the advancement of the church, is the Purpose-Driven model developed by Rick Warren, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. Leaders of Purpose-Driven churches not only are called to authentically model the five Biblical purposes... they depend on the seven principles of transformational leadership to create a synergy of energy within their flock."[1] [emphasis added]

As you read those seven principles, remember that these summarize some of the transformational strategies used by UN leaders, corporate executives and "progressive educators" as well as pastors around the world. They generally "make sense," therefore we tend to accept them without considering the unbiblical process central to the new context. [See The Mind-Changing Process] Each nice-sounding principle is followed by self-assessments, which helps steer the transformation and its change agents "in the right direction:"

"1. Principle of Simplification – Successful leadership begins with a vision, which reflects the shared purpose. The ability to articulate a clear, practical, transformational vision which answers the question, 'Where are we headed?'"

"2. Principle of Motivation – The ability to gain the agreement and commitment of other people to the vision. ... A common way to motivate others is to challenge them, provide ample opportunity to join the creative process, and give them the credit."
[Not God?]

"3. Principle of Facilitation – The ability to effectively facilitate the learning of individuals, teams.... Peter Senge in
Fifth Discipline says the primary job of leadership now is to facilitate the learning of others."

"4. Principle of Innovation  – The ability to boldly initiate prayerful change when needed. ... Team members successfully influence one another to assimilate change because the transformational leaders have built trust and fostered teamwork."

"5. Principle of Mobilization – The ability to enlist, equip and empower others to fulfill the vision. Transformational leaders... desire leadership at all levels, so they find ways to invite and ignite leadership all levels. They introduce simple baby steps to enlist larger participants."
[That's what 40 Days of Purpose is: "baby steps" toward the new solidarity. 40 Days of Community is simply the next, higher level in this process]

"6. Principle of Preparation - The ability to never stop learning about themselves.... Rick Warren says, 'Leaders are learners.'  ... This is such a rigorous path of learning that transformational leaders must be in thriving relationships with others pursuing transformation. It is within these vital relationships, life opportunities and obstacles get saturated in love and support."
  [Keep in mind, this promise of "love and support" applies whether the group forms under a secular or Christian banner. Facilitated togetherness, not the Holy Spirit, is the glue that creates success.]

"7. Principle of Determination – The ability to finish the race. ...  Transformational leaders have to develop spiritual, emotional, and physical disciplines to sustain their high level of commitment to their cause."
[1]

Erik Rees's bio statement at the end of his 2001 article tells us that "Erik starts his doctorate next year in Strategic Leadership at Regent University," which was founded in Virginia by Pat Robertson. "Erik's life purpose is to help organizations focus their resources by creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence."

Mr. Rees is likely to take some of his courses from Jay Gary, an affiliate professor at Regent University's School of Leadership Studies. Mr. Gary is a visionary leader who has designed a theological formula and historical timeline that strays as far from Biblical truth as the revived Gnostic "gospels." A Senior Associate with The World Network of Religious Futurists and a member of the World Future Society (WFS), his involvement with the supposedly "Christian" Regent University defies any Biblical logic. Though relatively unknown in churches, Jay Gary has become a forceful leader in today’s vast and vital effort to evangelize the world -- but not for the Biblical Jesus. [Read more about him in "The call to global oneness"] 

Other members of the WFS include occult author Barbara Marx Hubbard, UN leader Maurice Strong and futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler. In their book, Creating a New Civilization, the Tofflers wrote an appropriate summary of the ungodly direction of today's transformational leadership. The fact that Newt Gingrich wrote its foreword makes it all the more alarming:

"A new civilization is emerging in our lives, and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it. This new civilization brings with it new family styles, changed ways of working, loving, and living, a new economy, new political conflicts, and beyond all this an altered consciousness as well."[3]

Might you and I be counted among those "blind men?"

Listed among the resources at Regent's School of Leadership Studies is a report co-authored by Dr. Peter Senge titled "Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations." In Part 2 of this short series, I will compare Dr. Senge's outline for strategic "learning organizations" with Rick Warren's new book, Better Together, the workbook for 40 Days of Community. While Warren freely expresses faith in our Lord and His truths, the imbalanced use of Scriptures and the misleading paraphrased interpretations follow the same pattern that was outlined in Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven, Part 1. And behind the Biblical words you will find a system and a process designed to move every participant away from any firm position on the Rock of Biblical absolutes to the shifting sands of systems thinking, transformational learning, and "continual change" within the enticing new "learning organization."

Remember, traditional thinking, discernment and worldviews based on God's unchanging Truth will clash the vision of the 21st century community.

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."  Colossians 2:6-9

NEW WAY OF THINKING

"Welcome to another exciting chapter in the history of Saddleback Church as we begin 40 Days of Community this weekend! We anticipate the next 6 weeks to be a... turning point in the life of your small group and in your life personally."[1] Rick Warren

"But all this is not about us.... It's all about the global glory of God! We intend to leverage the attention that the Purpose Driven Life has garnered to bring about a whole new way of thinking and acting in the church about our responsibility in the world."[2] Rick Warren

"Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved -- they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved.  The solvent we propose is a new way of thinking, feeling, and being: a culture of systems. Fragmentary thinking becomes systemic when we recover 'the memory of the whole,' the awareness that wholes actually precede parts."[3] Peter Senge and Fred Kofman

"The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living."[4] UNESCO


"It changed our church!"  "It's amazing!"  "Transforming!  "The fellowship is awesome!"  "We're growing!"...

The chorus of praise for Rick Warren's "40 Days" programs sounds impressive, but it's not surprising. The dynamics behind the facilitated small group -- the heart of the 40 Days process -- are both exhilarating and transformative. But they're neither new nor Biblical.  They are merely postmodern adaptations of the old Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Esalen-based encounter groups and all the other expressions of the Human Potential movement that helped transform western culture in the 60s and 70s. 

This social transformation had been planned decades earlier. [See Steps toward Global Mind Control] By 1948, when the World Health Organization (a UN agency) had established its anti-Christian "Mental Health" program, globalist visionaries in both Europe and North America were experimenting with behavioral psychology as a means to eradicate traditional values and Biblical absolutes. They hoped to "un-freeze" minds and release them from the old values, promote open-mindedness to their revolutionary ideas, fill minds with pluralistic values, and then "re-freeze" the new collective views in the public consciousness.

They succeeded! Working through UNESCO's education program, WHO's global mental health program, national and local governments around the world, the mainstream media and countless private and non-governmental agencies around the world, they fueled the social forces that shaped today's postmodern mind and culture. Liberal churches were among the first to embrace the postmodern thinking, but soon evangelical churches began to accommodate the rising cultural resistance to absolute truth and moral boundaries. To grow, they argued, churches must trade God's unchanging Word for feel-good adaptations.

A website focused on "Organization Development" gives us a brief glimpse into the dark history of government mind control:

"In 1947, the National Training Laboratories Institute began in Bethel, ME. They pioneered the use of T-groups (Laboratory Training) in which the learners use here and now experience in the group, feedback among participants and theory on human behavior to explore group process and gain insights into themselves and others. ... The T-group was a great training innovation which provided the base for what we now know about team building. This was a new method that would help leaders and managers create a more humanistic, people-serving system....

"Success in these goals depends, to a large extent, on the implied contract that each participant is willing to disclose feelings... and to solicit feedback."
[5]

What's new in group dynamics is mainly the feedback technology and marketing. Today's corporations hide their manipulative psycho-social strategies behind nice-sounding organizational buzzwords, while church leaders mask them with Biblical terms and pleasing euphemisms. The guiding assumption seems to be that the ends justify the means. As Rick Warren points out in Purpose Driven Life, "The importance of helping members develop friendships within your church cannot be overemphasized. Relationships are the glue that holds a church together."[6]

Andy (my husband) and I discovered the seductive power of encounter groups back in 1970, when we were invited to join a "Quest for Meaning" group in the home of a respected business acquaintance. We had no idea what to expect, and we saw no reason to reject the offer. After the first group meeting, we were hooked. The friendliness of the leader/facilitator and the openness of the dialogue disarmed us and made us feel more than welcome. So we returned to this virtual "family" week after week for the next few months. By then, foreign names such as Teilhard de Chardin had been introduced, and our topics included some strange notions about spiritual evolution toward a utopian world of peace and oneness.  We began to feel uneasy but were reluctant to turn our backs to this satisfying fellowship. Finally, after a weekend retreat designed to seal the group relationships, we were asked to sign a pledge and formalize our commitment to a common vision. By now, our eyes were opened and we left.

1. A changing church for a changing world.

Not long after our departure, I became a Christian. God immediately led me to a local veterans hospital where I volunteered as part of the chaplain service. Longing to share God's love and hope with lonely and needy patients, I began my Spirit-led training in speaking His truths and answering challenging questions.

One day, the chaplains told me about an encounter session (a form of  Gestalt therapy) recently started for both patients and staff. It called for authenticity, self-disclosure, sensitivity to diverse views and all the other interpersonal skills so important to contemporary group synergy and transformation. Seated in a circle, everyone would vent their feelings and empathize with each other.  Any expression -- no matter how extreme -- would be tolerated and respected. "It really freed me up," said one of the chaplains one morning as I arrived. "I'm a different person. More open.... You ought to try it."

I did -- without checking with God or my husband. Seated in the circle, I heard the same profanities that bombarded me daily on the medical wards as young veterans tried to shock and challenge me. But something was different. I had entered a spiritual battle zone without wearing my
spiritual armor. Since God didn't send me, He allowed me to face the consequences of my foolish choice. Driving home, I kept hearing in my mind the same vulgar words that had been spoken by the members of the group. I felt polluted and horrified. Though I confessed my sin and prayed for His cleansing, He allowed those profanities and suggestions to torment me daily for nearly three months. Then He suddenly caused them to disappear, but I had learned my lesson.

I know that the process works! Facilitated dialogues, based on a strategic set of well-tested ground rules, feel good to group members who commit themselves to the process. Whether these psycho-social strategies are marketed under business labels, New Age forums, or Christian terminology, they transform the thoughts and values of cooperative participants. Christian or not, people feel they are becoming "better" people because they have chosen to set aside their former assumptions and divisive beliefs in order to empathize with contrary views. They learn to tolerate, accept, respect and appreciate behaviors and expressions that earlier seemed wrong or unjustifiable. They judge nothing [other than people who seem divisiveness or uncooperative] and identify with everything. They praise each person who transcends the old barriers, and they celebrate each new step toward unconditional conformity and unbiblical unity. 

Pastors and church leaders seem as eager to implement the new management strategies as schools, community groups, corporations, government and the United Nations. Across the board, leaders and followers are learning the same new ways of thinking, acting, speaking, listening and serving. The "UN Report of The Commission on Global Governance," titled Our Global Neighborhood, illustrates this worldwide march toward an integrated global management system based on these psycho-social practices:

"By leadership we do not mean only people at the highest national and international levels. We mean enlightenment at every level -- in local and national groups, in parliaments and in the professions.... in small community groups and large national NGOs, in international bodies of every description, in the religious community and among teachers... in the private sector and among the large transnational corporations, and particularly in the media....

"The new generation...[has] a deeper sense of solidarity as people of the planet than any generation before them.... On that rests our hope for our global neighborhood."[7]

Pastors and management gurus such as Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Bob Buford and Peter Drucker are promoting this new organizational model around the world. One of Pastor Warren's Ministry Toolbox Issues commends an influential book by Dr. Peter Senge (the secular/holistic founder of MIT's Society for Organizational Learning) titled The Fifth Discipline. Rick Warren's website calls it "one of the best books of the last 10 years on the subject of organizational transitions.”[8] It has nothing to do with Christianity, but it has everything to do with social transformation and the new way of thinking.

2. Systems thinking

"It is interesting that the words 'whole' and 'health' come from the same root (the Old English hal...)," wrote Dr. Senge in The Fifth Discipline. "So it should come as no surprise that the unhealthiness of our world today is in direct proportion to our inability to see it as a whole." With that revealing introduction, he goes on to define systems thinking:

"Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationship rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static 'snapshots.' It is a set of general principles.... It is also a set of specific tools and techniques.... [T]hese tools have been applied to understand a wide range of corporate, urban, regional, economic, political, ecological and even psychological systems....

"I call systems thinking the fifth discipline because it is the conceptual cornerstone that underlines all of the five learning disciplines of this book. All are concerned with a shift of mind from seeing parts to seeing wholes...."[9]

Dr. Senge also co-authored the report, "Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations," which summarizes the key parts of his highly praised book. This report focuses on the "fragmentation" that keeps us from trading our old Biblical view of reality for a more systemic or holistic perspective:

"Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved -- they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved. The solvent we propose is a new way of thinking, feeling, and being: a culture of systems. Fragmentary thinking becomes systemic when we recover 'the memory of the whole'.... Competition becomes cooperation when we discover the 'community nature of the self'.... 

"In the new systems worldview, we move from the primacy of pieces to the primacy of the whole, from absolute truths to coherent interpretations, from self to community....  

"Thus the nature of the commitment required to build learning organizations goes beyond people's typical 'commitment to their organizations.' It encompasses commitment to changes needed in the larger world and to seeing our organizations as vehicles for bringing about such changes."[10]

Today's purpose-driven church movement fits right into the worldwide transformation envisioned by secular leaders ranging from community facilitators to the highest levels of national and international management. And two of our earlier articles, "Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 2: Unity & Community and Part 3: Small Groups and the Dialectic Process," show how the purpose-driven model matches this vision of social change and facilitated oneness. Please read them, since I won't repeat the same information.

Then ponder the following slogans and statements from Saddleback's 40 Days of Community campaign. These affirmations of collectivism may sound true, but -- as you will see in a moment -- they imply unbiblical absolutes that clash with actual truth. As you read the quotes below, please remember that (1) the word "we" refers to two or more people, not you and your Lord; and that (2) "lone ranger Christian" in this context would include God's faithful disciple who is rejected or excluded by a compromising church (see "Dealing with Resisters"):

"'WE' is more powerful than 'me.'"[11, pages 44, 46]

"There is power in partnership.... Evangelism is always a team effort." [11, pages 44]

"There's no such thing as a lone ranger Christian.... We're better together and we belong together."[12 - CD #1]

"The Bible says we're better together. We were created for community."[12 - CD #3]

"Why are we so reluctant to admit our need for each other? There are two powerful reasons: First, our culture glorifies individualism.... Second we have pride.... But there is absolutely no shame in needing others. God wired us that way! He wants his children to depend on each other."

     "We were designed for relationships. We were formed for fellowship in God's family and created for community."[11, pages 68]

 

"God hates loneliness.... You're not just a believer, you are a belonger....

     "...when God calls the church 'the Body of Christ,' he has a human body in mind where every part is interconnected and interdependent. ... Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body' (Romans 12:5a, Msg). And like parts of any living body, it's impossible for believers to thrive without each other."

     "You must be connected to a church fellowship to survive spiritually. More than that, you need to be in a small group of people where you can love and be loved, serve and be served, share what you're learning and learn from others."[11, pages 69]

"We must continually remind ourselves that we belong to each other and need each other."[11, pages 70]

"Love requires community. We cannot obey Christ's command in isolation. We have to be connected to each other in order to 'love one another.'"[11, pages 17] 

[Note: Remember the  testimonies of persecuted saints both in Roman catacombs and Communist prisons. Those faithful believers proved God's gracious sufficiency in the midst of solitary confinement and unthinkable pressures to conform to socialist thinking and communal values.]

Pastor Warren wrote the foreword for a fast-selling book by Erwin McManus titled  An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church GOD had in Mind. "To get the most out of this book," wrote Warren, "pay close attention to the metaphors and stories.... If you change the metaphors, you can change the world! Jesus did.... This book models what a postmodern, purpose-driven church can look like.... I love this book because Erwin loves the Church." 

With such a glowing endorsement, Pastor McManus has caught the attention of church leaders around the world. Ponder his view of unity:

"When God creates, he creates with relational integrity. Everything is connected and fits together. This is not only true in the physical realm, but even more so in the spiritual. The Bible tells us that when man sinned, all creation groaned.

"Those who study science have told us that a butterfly fluttering its wings in South America could, in some sense, be the primary cause of an avalanche in Antarctica. This level of complexity strikes us as new and innovative, and yet the Scriptures have advocated this kind of interconnection for thousands of years....

"According to Scripture, everything is connected, and every action has at least some effect on the whole. In the same way the church is part of the whole...."
[13]

Those supposed absolute truths taught by Pastors Warren and McManus sound good, don't they? But there are at least four Biblical reasons why the above affirmations twist our understanding of God and present one important part of the Christian life as being only option and absolute truth.

(1) Our wise and wonderful Lord wants us to "depend on" Him, not on people. Sometimes He separates us from people so that our reliance will be on Him alone. He is our strength and sufficiency -- now and forever! See Psalms 18, 23, 45, 73 and 75.

That's how God trained David, the shepherd boy who became Israel's king. His youth was spent herding the family sheep alone in the open pastures of the land. There, in those lonely places, he learned to know and trust the Lord as his Rock and Refuge, Shepherd and King. David was still a solitary shepherd boy when he faced the mighty Goliath and the trembling armies of Israel. Taught by God Himself, the young shepherd had the wisdom to reject the ungodly counsel of those who doubted that a boy with a sling could kill a giant with a sword. Confident that God was with Him even if all others turned away, he spoke the memorable words recorded in 1 Samuel 17:37 -- "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!”

(2) While God will never fail us, people will. That's why Jesus "did not commit [or entrust] Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." (John 2:24-25) He alone knows our hearts and all of our spiritual needs; therefore He tells us to trust Him rather than human strength or wisdom. While He can work through human friends and counselors, our ultimate confidence must rest in Him, no one else. (See Guidance)

(3) We belong to God, not man, even when we commit ourselves to serve, work, love and live with one another. He who created us also holds our future in His hands. "...do you not know," asked the apostle Paul, "that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." 1 Corinthians 6:19  "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s." Romans 14:7

(4) There can be no Biblical unity between sin and purity, between pagan myths and God's truth, between our holy Lord and the opposing forces of darkness. See 2 Corinthians 6:12-18 and "Loving evil more than good."

3. Unity in Diversity?

On the other hand, Pastor Warren's affirmations of unity would generally be true, if the small groups were made up of committed, regenerated Christians who were truly one in Christ through God's saving grace -- and who loved and followed His Word (including the less acceptable passages about sin, guilt, and self-denial). 

But such Bible-focused groups would be incompatible with today's dialectic groups, for the purpose-driven groups must be diverse and open-minded (free from non-negotiable absolutes) in order to fulfill their hidden purposes. The synergy that supposedly energizes group members is fueled by the dialectic process of reconciling opposing views and values.

Since these strategic small groups are designed to (1) meet felt needs of the unbeliever and (2) build common ground, they cannot meet the true spiritual needs of the believer. Individual freedom to share and delight in Scriptures must be limited, since the very nature of God's Word is considered divisive. You can't speak Scriptures that might offend other group members. Since church growth is one of the driving purposes (though it's not among the official five), you cannot walk in the footsteps of Jesus and risk exposing "the offense of the cross."

Yes, God does call us to share His love and truth with non-Christians. He also tells to encourage us through fellowship with other believers who love His Word and long to serve Him. But those are two separate functions.

When outreach to unbelievers and fellowship with believers merge into a single practice (the dialectic experience of the mixed group), the Biblical fellowship naturally yields to politically correct, cross-cultural dialogue. The demand for a "safe place" where unbelievers can feel unconditionally affirmed rules out all those precious Bible truths that might bring conviction or sin or sound too inflexible. 

Yet, Rick Warren tells us that these small groups that draw thousands of unbelievers into seeker churches are also designed to meet the believer's need for Biblical fellowship. But he can't have it both ways! That is, unless his real purpose is more aligned with the world's purposes than with God's purposes. Maybe our spiritual "eyes" are so blinded that we no longer notice the direction the world around us is headed. If so, it might be good to consider what UNESCO wrote in Our Creative Diversity, the report from its Commission on Culture and [human] Development: 

"The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living.... We have not yet learned how to respect each other fully, how to share and work together.... It means an open mind, an open heart, and a readiness to seek fresh definition, reconcile old opposites....

 

"Extreme doctrinaire views look to an imagined past, seen as both simpler and more stable, thus preparing the ground... for the intimidation of individuals and indeed entire communities....

 

"Education everywhere,' says David Hamburg, president of the Carnegie corporation....'needs to convey an accurate concept of a single, highly interdependent, worldwide species -- a vast extended family sharing fundamental human similarities.... The give-and-take fostered within groups can be extended far beyond childhood to relations between adults and to larger units of organization....'"[14]

In the mid-eighties, few of us realized that David Hamburg, President of the globalist Carnegie Corporation, was using his authority to negotiate a binding US - USSR Education Exchange Agreement with the Soviet Union. Signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan in 1985, its terms required that we trade our education technology for the brainwashing strategies (primarily the dialectic group dynamics) used to indoctrinate Soviet children, change thinking, modify behavior, and monitor the masses to ensure compliance with Soviet ideology.[15]

Thanks to Peter Senge, Peter Drucker, John Maxwell and Rick Warren, today's world leaders know that their quest for solidarity -- which requires freedom from the old Biblical restraints -- can be met through facilitated small groups that join Christians, Muslims, skeptics, pagans, atheists, and all the rest who are simply caught up in the excitement of unconditional acceptance and a sense of belonging. Ponder these statements by Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, who claims to have become a Christian:

"Incorporating the dark and the light, the sacred and the profane, the sorrow and the joy, the glory and the mud, its conclusions are well rounded.... Be fully aware of human variety, and you will recognize the interdependence of humanity."

 

"Community is a spirit-- but not in the way that the familiar phrase 'community spirit' is usually understood. ... The members of a group who have achieved genuine community do take pleasure -- even delight -- in themselves as a collective."

 

"The spirit of community is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that community is solely a Christian phenomenon. I have seen community develop among Christians and Jews, Christians and atheists, Jews and Muslims, Muslims and Hindus."

"Community is integrative. It includes people of different sexes, ages, religions, cultures, viewpoints, life styles, and stages of development by integrating them into a whole that is greater—better—than the sum of its parts.... Community does not solve the problem of pluralism by obliterating diversity. Instead it seeks out diversity, welcomes other points of view, embraces opposites.... It is 'wholistic.' It integrates us human beings into a functioning mystical body."[16]

That mystical body that integrates moral and spiritual opposites is not God's Church, the Body of Christ. As His people, we cannot trade the spiritual unity we have in Christ for today's systems thinking and an extra-biblical view of a human "family" and a humanistic interconnectedness. He makes that very clear to us in His Word:

"...what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

      "Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you....”  2 Corinthians 6:14-18

"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing.... From such withdraw yourself." 1 Timothy 6:3, 5

Spiritual growth occurs when we feed on God's word, hide it in our hearts and walk in the light of its unchanging truths by the strength of His Spirit. God may lead us in many lonely paths as He did with Paul, Joseph and David as well as Jesus Himself. Or He may surround us with people. Wherever He leads, we must trustfully follow! And when we do, we can count on this wonderful promise:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39.

AN ANALYSIS OF COMMUNITY

  There is a myth that communism is dead and that the cold war is over.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The problem is that few people today understand what communism really is and just where the cold war battle lines are actually drawn.  Crack open a dictionary and look up the term “Dialectical Materialism.”  You should find something like this:

A philosophy founded by Karl Marx… which forms the basis of Communist doctrine:  it combines the materialistic idea of matter over mind with the Hegelian dialectic in which opposing forces are constantly being reunited at a higher level.”  -- Lexicon Webster Dictionary

But that definition might beg the question, “What is the Hegelian dialectic?”  For modern man, the answer to that question is epic.  The Hegelian dialectic has profoundly impacted the world in which you live.


 

 

 

 What is communism?

The Dialectic: Fomenting the Revolution

            The concept of the dialectic has been around for a long time.  It is simply that of opposite positions:  Thesis (position) vs. Antithesis (opposite position).  In traditional logic, if my thesis was true, then all other positions were by definition untrue.  For example, if my thesis is 2 + 2 = 4, then all other answers (antithesis) are false.  Georg W.F. Hegel, the nineteenth century German philosopher, turned that concept upside down by equalizing Thesis and Antithesis.  All things are now relative.  There is no such thing as absolute truth to be found anywhere.  Instead, “truth” is found in Synthesis, a compromise of Thesis and Antithesis.  This is the heart and soul of the consensus process.

      This is diametrically opposed to the Judeo-Christian world-view prevalent in the Western world for the better part of two millennia that held that God existed, that He existed outside of the material creation and that man had a moral obligation to Him and His laws.  God was transcendent and thus truth was absolute and transcendent, outside of our ability to manipulate it.  This all changed with Hegel and modern man was born.  Man could now challenge any authority and position, even God.  Since there is no such thing as absolute truth, “my truth” is just as good as “your truth”, so don’t tell me what to think or how to behave.  As Nietzsche, the “God is Dead” philosopher, would later say, “There is absolutely no absolute.”  Now 2 + 2 can equal 5, or 17, or whatever you feel is right.  (Hint:  This is why our schools are failing.  All teachers are certified on Benjamin Bloom’s work.  He said “…we recognize the point of view that truth and knowledge are only relative and that there are no hard and fast truths which exist for all time and all places”).

      At about the same time that Hegel was passing from the scene, Karl Marx caught the revolutionary fever.  He drew heavily from Hegel (the dialectic) and Feuerbach (materialism). He picked up where the other philosophers left the discussion, but with a twist.  He scornfully stated, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways.  The point, however, is to change it.”  To CHANGE the WORLD was to become the warp and woof of Marxism.    In the Marxian interpretation of reality, God had been abandoned.  Alone in his universe, man was to fill the vacuum left by religion with materialism.  Religion was the enemy of all progress.  As he wrote in 1843, “Religion is the opium of the people.”  No longer bound to a relationship with his Creator, the social relationship of “man to man” became the principle of Marx’s theory.  It followed that these social relationships, which necessarily involve conflict, cause the changes in human progress.  As the opening words of the Communist Manifesto announce:  “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”  Note the dialectic reasoning:  the clash of opposites produces synthesis and change.  Man, freed from religious restraints will carry the revolution (change via conflict) forward until all are equal in a man made utopia on earth.  To that end, the Manifesto concludes, “Working men of all countries, unite!” 

To summarize Marxism: 

·         It is Dialectical Materialism, or, in simpler terms: a God-expunged human reasoning process.

·         REVOLUTION is its goal, to “change the world”, Marx said.

·         The CHANGE is to be from a Theistic World View (Old World Order) to a Humanistic World View (New World Order).  The term New World Order was a popular euphemism for world communism for years.  Conspiracy kooks did not invent it.  When it started to take on negative connotations, it was dropped for the nicer sounding label, Global Governance.

·         Change is to occur through CONFLICT, (Crisis/Problems/Issues).

The Cold War.  Where is the battlefield?

Change Happens:  The Re-culturing of America

          Even as the worldwide communist revolution got underway in earnest around the globe, a rift was forming within Marxist intellectual circles.  Around the turn of the century there was a growing trend within this movement that a better way to change the world is not abruptly and violently at the point of a bayonet, (traditional Marxist revolution), but rather it should be done slowly and incrementally by transforming individuals and their cultural institutions.  Then you can control a country as effectively as if you conquered it militarily.  In fact, this method is preferred because one does not have to rebuild bombed out cities and dig all those mass graves!

The home for this new wave of dialectical Marxist thinking became the emerging “science” of socio-psychology.  It may come as a surprise to many to discover that virtually all of the pillars of modern psychology were humanistic utopians who believed that there is no God, that mankind can and should be manipulated (for its own good, of course), and that all social problems can be solved by the proper reprogramming of man’s mind.  This would lead to an era of peace and prosperity based on diversity, tolerance and unity.  Most of their work dealt with the details of human behavior, but their over-arching view was that of transforming society (echo the revolution).  Hence, they came to be known as “Transformational Marxists”.

One such group was the Fabian Socialists, who took their name from the Roman general, Fabius.  Fabius, it will be remembered, was confronted with Hannibal’s invasion of Italy.  Hannibal with his elephants held the advantage of superior forces, but was far from home and supplies.  Instead of confronting his foe head on, a battle he would have certainly lost, Fabius utilized hit-and-run tactics.  Harassing his enemy and wearing him down incrementally piece-by-piece over time until Hannibal capitulated, Fabius won the war.  The Fabian Socialists adopted this strategy in their goal of world socialism.  In a similar vein, the transformational Marxists advocated a “slow march through the institutions,” as famous Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci would say.  Gramsci’s theories cannot be overstated in this regard, as this strategy has become synonymous with his name.  The Gramsci Strategy is the “War of Position”, (i.e. the battle ground is for the mind and culture) vs. the “War of Maneuver”, (i.e. traditional battlefield warfare with guns and bombs).  Gramsci engendered the anger of his communist counterparts in Moscow when he basically told them they were doing it all wrong.  Gramsci died in prison under Mussolini’s regime, but his strategy has become the strategy for changing society.[1]

Meanwhile, in Germany, a group of some 21 Marxist socio-psychologists gathered in Frankfurt and formed the Institute of Marxist Research.  Perhaps that was a little too obvious for their opponents and they renamed it the Institute for Social Research.  When Hitler rose to power, most of these men fled to America and continued their work here.  Kurt Lewin, J.L. Moreno, Theodor Adorno, Erik Fromm, Max Horkhiemer and others found positions in American universities and had their work funded by pro-Marxist foundations.

Kurt Lewin is of special interest for this discussion because it was he who went to M.I.T. and conducted the research involving group dynamics that laid the foundation for Total Quality Management.  At the risk of oversimplifying how the process of group dynamics works, it could be summarized as a method of belief and behavior modification, using dialectic-reasoning skills (remember, all truth is relative), in a group setting.  It utilizes the inherent fear an individual person has of being alienated from the group.  By use of a change agent, or “facilitator”[2], individuals are herded toward “consensus” by compromising their position for the sake of “social harmony.”   According to Lewin,

 “A successful change includes, therefore, three aspects:  UNFREEZING the present level, MOVING to the new level, and FREEZING group life on the new level.” [3] 

 This is precisely the technique with which the communists brainwashed American POWs, the only difference being they could accelerate the “unfreezing” phase with physical torture.[4]  In group dynamics the pain is not physical, it’s emotional.  Do not underestimate the force of emotional pain.  POWs frequently described their long periods in isolation as worse than some of the most brutal physical torture.  Isolation from the group is a powerful behavior modification weapon.  Transformational Marxists such as Kurt Lewin refined their weapon for the new battlefield:  Using group dynamics to invade the culture to affect the paradigm shift.  The weapon looks like this:

·         A Diverse Group   (“Diversity” needed for conflict)

·         Dialoging to Consensus   (Dialectic process)

·         Over a Social Issue  (Problem/Crisis/Issues)

·         In a Facilitated Meeting  (Controlled environment using facilitator /change agent)

·         To a Predetermined Outcome   (Paradigm shift)

  

The Marxist Trojan Horse: Total Quality Management (TQM)

 TQM is an organizational transformation strategy that uses: 

·          Group Dynamics

·          Facilitator/Change Agents (“Strategic Planning” occurs in councils)

·          “Problem Solving”

·          Systems Management (ISO 9000)

Decoding the term “Total Quality Management” is impossible without an understanding of the Marxist foundation upon which it was built.  I use the word “decoding” because so many of the dialectic concepts are masked by nice sounding double-talk.

TOTAL = Holistic, Gestalt, Global

QUALITY[1][5] = People. (Also slang, short for TQM systems in general, e.g. “We have a Quality organization”).

MANAGEMENT = The facilitators, the agents of change.

With this background we arrive at our current application of the dialectic in our nation.  I would like to now focus on the role that your local law enforcement agency has in the “re-culturing of America.”  Your local beat cop has a special part to play, and he doesn’t even realize it.  Not only has TQM change agents restructured many of the police departments in America, they are now in a position to turn the police themselves into the facilitators of the community through a program called COPs, or Community Oriented Policing.  COPs is a federally funded program administered through the U.S. Department of Justice.  What is COPs?  The most succinct definition I found was in a DJ brochure:

COMMUNITY POLICING WHAT IS IT?  

Shift in philosophy about police duties vs. community responsibilities to a team concept of TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT of the community.  Reidentifying the police role as a FACILITATOR in the community.  (Emphasis mine).

Translation: Transformation from a constitutionally empowered local police force performing their duty to keep the peace to that of a change agent working within the community to affect a Marxist paradigm shift.  Pay close attention to what the influential German Marxist Georg Lukacs had to say about who the facilitators are in the community:  “The institutions in socialist society which act as the facilitators between the public and private realms are the Soviet. They are the congresses [diverse groups], which facilitate the debate [dialoguing to consensus] of universal problems [social issues] in the context of the everyday.”[6]

·         Leaders of the community (law enforcement, government, business, education, health, civic, non-profit, medical, religious, etc.) collaborating to identify problems in the community, what the significant impact on people will be, and suggesting solutions to those problems.  (This is POP, or Problem Oriented Policing.  See footnote).[7]

·         Identifying common ground, where all factions of a community can work together for the COMMON GOOD of the community in a broader problem-solving approach.  Forming a partnership between police and the rest of the community where each is accountable to each other and the community as whole.  (Emphasis mine.  End of COPs definition).

     Note the reference to the “common good”, the ever-present ideal in the communist state. Individual rights become subordinated to the so-called greater good. This raises serious concern over the role of the police officer in society as a “partner” with community groups and social service programs, which, due to the blurring of lines of responsibility, are unaccountable to the public [voters]. 

To further understand the philosophy of COPS, one does not have look further than the late socio-psychologist Dr. Robert Trojanowicz.  Formerly the director of the National Center for Community Policing at the University of Michigan, he is considered the father of Community Oriented Policing.  Consider the following selections from his writings.

 “Social control is most effective at the individual level.  THE PERSONAL CONSCIENCE IS THE KEY ELEMENT in ensuring self-control, refraining from deviant behavior even when it can be easily perpetrated.” [8]

 “The family, the next most important unit affecting social control, is obviously instrumental in the initial formation of the conscience and in the continued reinforcement of the values that encourage law abiding behavior.” [9]

This is an astonishing admission of the fundamental dynamics of crime prevention and social disorder.  The most conservative thinkers alive today couldn’t have better articulated what makes for domestic tranquility in any society.  Our founding fathers were keenly aware of this fact.  James Madison cited the fact that our form of limited government is “wholly inadequate” without personal conscience as the internal social control.  So then, in an effort to solve America’s moral chaos, we are going to restore the personal conscience by encouraging accountability to a higher authority (ten commandments) and strengthening the family, right?  Don’t be silly, says Dr. Trojanowicz.

“Unfortunately, because of the reduction of influence exerted neighbors, the extended family and even the family, social control is now often more dependent on external control, than on internal self-control.”[10]

         Oh, darn, he says.  Since that “unfortunate” breakdown of conscience and the family structure, the social order is now dependent on “external control”.  Read that, “The State”.  Unfortunately indeed!   Dr. Trojanowicz ponders the dilemma of the current state of affairs in his paper Community Policing and the Challenge of Diversity:

“In addition to raising questions (dialectic reasoning questions all absolutes) about our national identity, increasing diversity also raises questions about how we define American “values’ and “morality.’  (Absolute values of right and wrong vs. relative values). Many strongly held traditional beliefs derive from Judeo-Christian traditions, blended with faith in the intrinsic virtues of family and the American Dream of the United States as a meritocracy where those who are willing to work hard will succeed.  Can this model encompass the experience of the growing number of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists among us? (What, Muslims Hindus and Buddhists aren’t willing to work hard?)  Does it reflect sufficient sensitivity to the concerns of people of color, women and gays?”[11]

Got that?  Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs (with their absolute truths and morals) are out, diversity and relative values are in.  If we are not to restore the personal conscience and the family, what is his solution?  He continues:

 “The community of interest generated by crime, disorder and fear of crime becomes the goal to allow community policing officer an entre into the geographic community.” [12]

 If you did not fall out of your chair with that line, you weren’t paying attention.  Social chaos is the GOAL for the transformational Marxist. The crisis of crime and disorder is the door for the police officer as facilitator/change agent to enter the community (the “client”, or the latest term, “customer”)[13] and to initiate the paradigm shift!  Even though these social architects plainly admit what is most vital in making for a crime free community, they have absolutely no intention of restoring “individual conscience” or going back to repairing the traditional family.  On the contrary, for the past sixty years these socio-psychologists have been introducing these very dialectic concepts into our school system with the intent on demolishing personal conscience.  Is there any doubt they have succeeded?  For them, there is no going back:

They (Americans) may not yet recognize that there is no ‘going back to basics’ in education.”  Training manual for Goals 2000.

"If ‘Equality of Opportunity’ is to be become a part of the American Dream, the traditional family must be weakened."  Socio-psychologist James Coleman.

In order to effect rapid change, one must mount a vigorous attack on the family lest the traditions of present generations be preserved.”  Socio-psychologist Warren Bennis in his book, The Temporary Society.  Bennis’ book “Leaders”, was recommended reading at one time when one was promoted to sergeant on the S.D.P.D., wherein he identifies the leaders in any organization as “agents of change”.

Dr. Trojanowicz admits in no uncertain terms that is what his research is all about: 

 “It should also be noted that the continuing interest in finding a viable definition for the term community has not merely been an intellectual exercise.  The theme underlying much of the research is that once you can identify a community, you have discovered the primary unit of society ABOVE the level of the individual and the family that can be mobilized to take concerted action to bring about POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE.” [14]

Just in case you doubt the Marxist nature of their concepts of community transformation, Trojanowicz quotes Saul Alinsky, the extreme Marxist change agent of the ‘60’s who authored Rules for Radicals.  Alinsky proposed “we begin viewing community through the prism of issues (Issues=problems=crisis=conflict) which, in essence, constitutes the most urgent kind of community of interest.” [15]

 “What community policing does is put an officer in daily face-to-face contact with the community, so that he or she can have the input of the community in setting priorities.  Unlike police programs of the past where police administrators or so-called community leaders set the police agenda, the community policing movement encourages average citizens to become involved.”[16]

Formerly, the police administrators were accountable to the elected officials who were accountable to the voters (representative democracy).  This new paradigm that Trojanowicz describes is exactly what Marxist George Lukacs termed “participatory democracy” and is nothing more than the Soviet style council.  The United States Constitution was the law of the land (absolute authority) restraining government intrusion into the rights of the individual.  The framers designed it to insulate the private realm (the individual) from the public realm (government).  Allow me to repeat Lukacs:

"The institutions in socialist society which act as the facilitators between the public and private realms are the Soviets.” 

By practicing the dialectic, we are removing the only barrier between a tyrannical government and the private citizen.  Your neighborhood cop is now that facilitator, the Soviet.  Why a police officer?

 “In the role of the community ombudsman/liaison (i.e. facilitator), the community policing officer also acts as the community’s link to other public agencies.  The police are the only governmental agency open 24 hours a day, which makes them the ideal public agent to begin regenerating community spirit.” [17]

The Soviet:

·         A Diverse Group

·         Dialoging to Consensus

·         Over a Social Issue

·         In a Facilitated Meeting

·         To a Predetermined Outcome

 

Conclusion:  Useful idiots?

            When Lenin was consolidating the Bolshevik revolution, he wrote how he would implement the communist bureaucracy without hardcore Marxist believers.   While the elite rulers of his inner circle understood the structure he was building, Lenin said he would exploit the natural vanity and ambition of people to forward his agenda without them knowing what they were really doing.  Eager to gain his favor and to enhance their political careers, they would fall all over themselves trying to promote his agenda.  He called these types of people “Useful Idiots.”  Before you brand every police officer you see as an undercover Marxist, understand that most of them comprehend little of what they are participating in.  In reality, most officers intuitively know that something is wrong in their organization, but they play the game rather than risk damaging their career.  Sadly, they constitute a vast army of “useful idiots.” 

I’m all for “promoting mutual trust” and “cooperation between the people and the police” and “empowering neighborhoods.”   These “positive social changes” are the selling points for Community Policing.  But in reality, those appealing ideals camouflage the vehicle of Marxist change.

Who asked the citizenry if they wanted their communities “transformed” and their government “reinvented?”  Who asked parents if they wanted their children to learn with their feelings instead of learning facts?  Who asked your local police officers if they wanted their beliefs and attitudes manipulated?  No one asked because if someone did, they would have been run out of town.  Instead, using dialectic-reasoning skills, they have schemed to seduce, deceive and manipulate every community in the land into a utopian vision of so-called “unity in diversity.”  These social engineers have no intention of taking America back to individual conscience within the family structure in order to preserve domestic peace and tranquility.  That would mean a return to recognizing and submitting to the Higher Authority.  This “vision” has failed wherever it has been tried.  By participating in the dialectic, we have deified human reason; traded in God and truth for relative values and consensus; and abandoned individual liberty and inalienable rights for the common good and diversity. In the final analysis, we are destined for Totalitaria, and worse, the loss of our souls. 

The terms “communism”, “socialism”, “Marxism”, “New World Order” etc., may be worn out and abandoned.  The names change, because deception is one of the rules of the game.  Many erroneously believe that the cold war is over and that we actually won.  But the revolution is still very much alive and America is losing.  The culture war is raging in our schools, our workplaces, our media and our churches.  Antonio Gramsci would be very pleased if he could see just how effective his strategy has been.

http://fm2.forministry.com/article.asp?Record=3531

10 Spiritual Principles of Church Health

by Dr. Philip Van Auken

The Book of Acts is the most frequently used Scripture for church growth. It records the explosive beginnings of the church in Jerusalem at Pentecost (see Acts 1-2), its continuing growth through the witness of Peter and John (see Acts 3-5), the enduring impact of Stephen's martyrdom (see Acts 6-7), the scattering of the church of Jerusalem under Paul's persecution and Philip's consequent impact in Samaria (see Acts 8), and the subsequent spread of the church through Paul and Barnabas (see Acts 9-28).

Luke was the author of both Acts and the Gospel of Luke. The two books actually are one account, stretching from the birth of John the Baptist in Luke 1 to the death of Paul in Acts 28. The Gospel of Luke is less frequently used as a reference for church growth. In Luke, however, the foundational ideas are laid that support the growth found in Acts.

The Gospel of Luke is prescriptive, whereas the Book of Acts is descriptive. The Gospel of Luke focuses on why things happened in the church while the Book of Acts focuses on what things happened in the church while the Book of Acts focuses on what things happened in the church. The Gospel of Luke turns our attention to principles, while Acts turns our attention to practices.

Much literature has been developed on the phenomenon of church growth. Its focus has been to develop positive prescriptions by describing the practices or actions necessary for managing church growth. Its thrust has been on what the church must do to be successful. By contrast, our focus is on the phenomenon of church health—on determining what the church must be to be successful.

Church Growth vs. Church Health

Church growth and church health are related concerns but deal with different agendas. Church growth requires a sensitivity to the organizational dynamics of planning, communicating, motivating, controlling. Church health requires a sensitivity to the spiritual dynamics of service, holiness, outreach, and worship.

The Gospel of Luke provides a number of insights into the spiritual principles of church health. Beginning in Luke 11, Jesus turned his attention to the church of his day—the synagogue—and leveled a variety of charges against that church. So strong was his condemnation that one of the synagogue leaders remarked to Jesus, "Teacher, when you say this, you insult us too," (11:45, NASB).

Jesus' charges all pointed to a sick, unhealthy church. The church was accused of being internally corrupt (see 11:39), being oblivious to its own faults (see 11:40), wasting energy on trivia (see 11:42), getting caught up in ego massaging (see 11:43), being spiritually dead (see 11:44), being rule-bound with excessive bureaucratic baggage (see 11:45), being hypocritical (see 11:47-51), and stifling personal growth (see 11:52).

10 Key Principles of Church Health

Let's direct our attention to ten key principles of church health developed by Jesus in Luke 11-12.

1. The healthy church is characterized more by the quality of its spirit than the quantity of its success (see Luke 11:24-26, 12:4-5).
Here Jesus focused attention on the spiritual battle of the church. Jesus warned of the threat the church faces from the malevolent spirits of Satan. Earlier, in Luke 4:1-13, Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness. Satan made three appeals: turning stones to bread, ruling over the world, and protecting him in leaping off the Temple. These appeals speak to the spirit versus the success dilemma facing the church:

2. The healthy church is characterized more by what it waits for than by what it works for (see Luke 10:38-42, 11:5-10, 12:35-38).
We live in an era that prizes activity and motion. The assumption is that a healthy church is busy. Yet Jesus' call is to a quiet anticipation, a reaction to God's will rather than an anticipation of it. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus commented on the busyness of Martha versus the waiting and listening of Mary: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things:, but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part," (NASB).

In Luke 11:5-10, we read of Jesus' command to ask (and keep on asking), to seek (and keep on seeking), and to knock (and keep on knocking). It is instructive to note that Jesus began with the word "ask" (the Greek word used is aiteo, suggesting the attitude of a humble supplicant) and closed with the phrase "the door shall be opened," (NASB). The implication is that we are first the requestors and recipients of God's action and only secondarily initiators of our own action.

In Matt. 25:1-13, Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps and went to await the coming of the bridegroom. The five foolish virgins had not brought sufficient oil; and while they had gone for more oil, the bridegroom came. The door was shut as the wedding feast began. When they returned, the foolish virgins were not admitted to the feast. Jesus admonished: "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour," (v.13). In a reference to a wedding feast (Luke 12:35-40), Jesus implored, "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect,"( v.40).

In Luke 12:42-47, Jesus told about the trusted servant who was unprepared for his master's return: "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes," (v. 47). The waiting implied in these verses is from the Greek word prosdechomai, which means "to look for with a view to favorable reception." It is the waiting of one who knows the master will act and waits for clear and specific direction from the master. The healthy church waits for God to reveal his will and exercise his power in his time and in his way.

3. The healthy church is characterized more by what it proclaims than by what it programs (see Luke 11:23; 12:8-9, NASB).
We have a tendency to evaluate a church in terms of how much it is doing—in the numbers and variety of its programs. In Luke 12:8-9, Jesus focused the church's attention on its call to proclaim: "And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God," (v. 8).

The primary role of the church is to proclaim the gospel. That purpose must permeate everything the church does. Each program and activity must clearly and directly contribute to that purpose. The church is not first of all a social or charitable organization; it is the proclaiming body of Christ. While the church does engage in social and charitable programs, it does so as a vehicle through which to reach others with the message of grace and forgiveness through Jesus.

4. The healthy church is characterized more by its compassions than by its passions (see Luke 10:27-37: 11:45; 12:6-7, NASB).
There is a tendency to judge a church by the intensity and favor of its people and programs. Particularly in charismatic circles there is an equating of church effectiveness with the degree of emotion with which worship is carried out.

In the three passages cited above from Luke, we catch a glimpse of the quiet compassion that Jesus taught should characterize the church. In Luke 10:27-37 (NASB), we read the parable of the "good Samaritan" who met the needs of his "neighbor" quietly and compassionately. In Luke 11:45, NASB, Jesus condemned the religious leaders for their lack of compassion: "For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers." And in Luke 12:6-7, Jesus gave some idea of the depth of God's compassion by noting that God cares even for the sparrows sold as temple sacrifices and cares so much more for us that he knows the very hairs on our heads!

The healthy church has at its heart two responses, to love God and to love other human beings (see Luke 10:27, NASB). Neither of these responses need be characterized by loud, emotional displays. God's call is to a caring, sharing ministry—an intimate compassion for others. The depth and breadth of that compassion are the measure of the healthy church.

5. The healthy church is characterized more by what it is confident of than what it is competent in (see Luke 11:11-13; 12:32).
As churches grow in size, they tend to put greater emphasis on training and developing skills. A greater premium is placed on placing "competent" people in the right slots so that the church's performance will be guided by topflight, proven "experts."

Jesus chose as his core leaders men who were not "competent" in the usual sense. Peter, whose sermon on Pentecost so stirred the city of Jerusalem, was chosen as a relatively inarticulate Galilean fisherman. Perhaps as revealing was Jesus' choice of Judas, his eventual betrayer. What led Jesus to select these "incompetents" as his allies? We find in John 2:23-25 this observation: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, beholding his signs which he was doing. But Jesus, on his part, was not entrusting himself to them, for he knew all men, … for he himself knew what was in man," (NASB).

Matthew Henry commented on this passage: "He [Jesus] knew all men, not only their names and faces, as is possible for us to know many, but their nature, dispositions, affections, designs, as we do not know any man, scarcely ourselves….We know what is done by men; Christ knows what is in them."

Jesus focused on what he was confident that God could do through his people. In Luke 11:11-13, Jesus spoke of God's readiness to give "good gifts" to his children if they would ask, seek, and knock. And in Luke 12:32, Jesus again affirmed God's desire to give to his children: "Your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom."

The healthy church is fully confident of God's provision. God can and does use talented people. But God's ability to work through a church is dependent not only on available skill or competence but also on faith. We should never forget that God's chief desire is to reveal himself—not to display the talents of his spiritual children.

6. The healthy church is characterized more by prayer than by its performance (see Luke 11:1-4).
A church in prayer is in its most distinctive state. Prayer is both the distinctive act and the distinctive attitude of the church. In Luke 11:1-4, Jesus' disciples made this request, "Lord, teach us to pray," (Luke 11:1, NASB). Jesus' response was short but offers a model of the healthy church at prayer:

"Father."—The healthy church is born of and dependent on the grace and power of God.

"Hallowed be Thy name."—The healthy church exists to glorify God's being and God's activity.

"Thy Kingdom come."—The healthy church is an instrument of God in the world. Its loyalty is to God; its charter is from God.

"Give us each day our daily bread."—The healthy church is in no way self-sufficient. It is totally dependent on God's purposes, on God's provisions.

"And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us."—The healthy church is an instrument of God's power to heal relationships—between God and persons and, therefore, between persons. Forgiveness is the church as peacemaker.

"And lead us not into temptation."—The healthy church is every mindful of its own tendency to err apart from God's grace. It acknowledges its fundamental weakness yet knows that in that weakness God can and will reveal his strength.

We live in an era that prizes performance and achievement. The healthy church understands that its role is to be a channel for God to perform through and for God to achieve his purposes through. Prayer positions the healthy church to be God's instrument.

7. The healthy church is characterized more by its discernment than its decisions (Luke 12:54-57).
Often we find ourselves evaluating a church by how wise or timely its decisions are. The budget committee is praised if its budget projections come close to actual gifts and expenditures. The personnel committee is praised for its insightful handling of a new staff insurance program. We are sensitive to the results of the decisions made in a church.

Less visible is the church's capacity to discern—to spot spiritual challenges, to establish spiritual priorities. In Luke 12:56-67, Jesus clearly articulated the church's primary need to discern: "You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?" (NASB).

The word "analyze" in this passage comes from the Greek word dokimazo, which often meant to assay metal, to test or scrutinize so as to ascertain a basis for approval. In particular Jesus seems to be calling for the church to discern those things which are of God's intent and action, and which are not.

8. The healthy church is characterized more by its commitment to openness than by its concern for operational efficiency (see Luke 11:33-36; 12:2-3).
Secular organizations have a driving need for efficiency; communication is used to ensure uniformity and compliance. In the church, communication serves not to force uniformity but to enhance interaction. The church is not a religious mechanism; it is the organic body of Christ. For the church, openness in all it does is to be an essential characteristic. Such openness may well result in what appears to be much useless discussion and much wasted time. But the church exists to do God's will not to be simply a goal-oriented, efficiency-driven organization. God is much more concerned with transparency in our dealings with one another and with the world.

In Luke 11:33-36, Jesus called for the church to "be full of light," (v. 36, NASB). In Luke 12:2-3, He noted that there will be a time when "whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light," (v. 3, NASB). Christ himself was called by John "the light of men," (John 1:4, NASB), perhaps hearkening back to Isaiah's prophecy, "I will also make you a light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth," (Isa. 49:6, NASB). In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, he called for his disciples to be "the light of the world," (Matt. 5:14, NASB).

The healthy church maintains an openness that maximizes visibility and sharing. It is not willing to sacrifice participation merely for the sake of smooth operations. Its primary concern is not operational efficiency; rather, it is openness. The church is a community not a company, an organism not an organization.

9. The healthy church is characterized more by its godly priorities than by its human popularity (see Luke 11:43; 12:49-53).
A church's success is sometimes gauged by the crowd drawn to its programs. Since the growing church is customarily viewed as an effective church, it is easy to get caught up in the process of developing more and more activities to appeal to the varied congregational segments. The assumption in many churches is that more is better—more space, more people, more budget, more programs.

In Luke 12:49-53, however, Jesus addressed the inherent conflict between God's priorities and human popularity: "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division," (NASB).

The church today is called upon to place a priority on God's holiness. In a real sense the church stands opposed to the worldly system. Too often the church announces a one-sided message of love and forgiveness while avoiding its calling to confront the world's sinful and hostile rebellion against God. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul spoke of the battle line drawn between the church and the world: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness," (NASB).

Today more than ever the healthy church must be characterized by what it stands against. It must champion causes of holiness, sacrifice, and justice in a world increasingly hostile to such a message. Seeking to be popular and acceptable must inevitably compromise the church and damage its capacity to be used of God.

10. The healthy church is characterized more by the quality of its motives than the quantity of its money.
Many churches show a noticeable concern for money—getting it and spending it. Church programs for the year are often tagged to expected revenues. Wise stewardship, we are told, demands that churches be fiscally conservative. Luke 12 contains a rather long discourse concerning Jesus' view of money. "Be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions," (v. 15, NASB). "But seek for his kingdom, and these things shall be added to you," (v. 31, NASB). "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," (v. 34, NASB).

The church must be aware of any tendency to spend too much time and energy on issues of financing. While the church needs to handle money responsibly, there is a tendency to elevate, for instance, the finance/budget committee, to the place of the most important committee. In too many churches the finance committee acts de facto as the program committee, making decisions as to what the church's program agenda will be.

The healthy church is sensitive to the spiritual implications of financial matters. Too often budget decisions are made without real spiritual discernment. Budgets should reflect spiritual priorities. Furthermore, when a church is experiencing financial difficulties, it ought to trigger the prayerful search for spiritual as well as fiscal causes.

The healthy church knows that its handling of money sends a message to the world. A church that piles up debt beyond its ability to pay "advertises" that the Christian community is irresponsible and out of control. A church that spends 90 percent of its budget to finance internal operations "advertises" that the Christian community has little vision and limited faith.

Churches are healthy to the extent that they serve God spiritually. Even though numerous organizational measures of church health can be cataloged, it is the spiritual attributes that really matter to God.

Jesus was speaking to churches as well as individual Christians when he entreated us to seek first the kingdom and righteousness of God. In so doing, the local church will thrive spiritually in the body of Christ and will indeed have all things added to it.

Records Management Policy

Purpose

This policy defines principles and standards for the management and retention of records of the Community of Christ. It provides a framework for other directives, procedures, and retention schedules that pertain to specific types of Church records and record keeping practices.

Policy Statement

The records of the Community of Christ are valuable assets that contain information pertaining to the Church’s mission, initiatives, activities, operations, heritage, and legacy. Stewardship of information assets is an important responsibility of all World Church employees, Mission Center officers, and Congregation officers. Records with lasting legal or operational value or those that document the Church’s history and accomplishments must be identified and preserved. Other records are to be discarded in an orderly manner when no longer needed.

Definition of Church Records

Church records include any and all recorded information that is created, received, or maintained by the Community of Christ or its World Church employees, Mission Center officers, and Congregation officers in the course of Church business and that relate in any way to the Church’s mission, goals, objectives, organization, initiatives, operations, activities, heritage, or legacy. This definition of church records is applicable in all countries where records are created, and encompasses both originals and copies of recorded information in all formats and media, including but not necessarily limited to:

• Paper documents, including office documents, engineering drawings, architectural plans, and maps

• Photographic films and prints

• Microfilm, microfiche, aperture cards, or other microform media

• Computer files and databases stored on magnetic or optical media

• Audio recordings

• Video recordings

 

This definition of Church records encompasses notes, working papers, and drafts of documents that are created, received, or maintained in any format or media.


 

 

Ownership of Church Records

All records created, received, or maintained by World Church employees, Mission Center officers, or Congregation officers in relation to the Church’s mission, goals, objectives, organization, initiatives, operations, activities, heritage, or legacy are Church property. No World Church employee, Mission Center officer, or Congregation officer has, by virtue of his or her position, any personal or property right to or property interest in such records, even though he or she may be named as the author, recipient, or custodian of them.

Records developed in the course of the church’s ministry are the property of the church. This includes material such as lists of members or participants in church programs and letters written by persons acting in an official capacity for the church. Personal information about church members, including their addresses and telephone numbers, is maintained for use in official church functions only.

Official Record Copy

The official record copy, which serves the documentary needs of the church, is, in most cases, a printed copy, which is also known as a “hard copy.” This means that the document is printed on paper and filed accordingly. The Church has designated a paper document to be the official record copy for most retention purposes. There are only a few exceptions to this policy; they include Shelby, some accounting records, and some electronic media records (video tape, etc.).

Official record copies are not necessarily original records. They may be photocopies, for example. The Church does not always have original records to serve as official copies. This is obviously the case with outgoing correspondence, where the original is sent to the addressee and the writer retains a copy.

Retention Standards

All Church records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with the following standards:

• The Church’s Records Retention Schedule specifies how long specific types of records are to be kept for legal reasons, to satisfy the Church operational requirements, and to document the Church’s values, history, and accomplishments.

 

• The Church’s records retention policies and practices will comply fully with all applicable laws and regulations. The Church will make and keep adequate records to document its compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.


 

 

• Where the same information exists in multiple copies, the Church’s retention schedule designates one copy as the official copy to satisfy the stated retention requirements. The schedule lists records by department or other functional groupings. Unless otherwise specified, the official copy is held by the office that corresponds to the functional group under which the record is listed in the schedule. All other copies are considered duplicate records.

 

• The Church will never alter or destroy records that must be kept for pending or ongoing litigation, government investigations, tax audits, or other legal actions until those matters are resolved. When circumstances warrant, the Legal Services department will issue written directives that formally suspend the destruction of specific records until further notice.

 

• Records will be destroyed promptly when the time periods specified in the Church’s retention schedule elapse in order to reduce the cost of storing, indexing, and handling the large quantity of records that would otherwise accumulate.

 

• The records will be destroyed in a manner appropriate to the contents of the records and to the media on which the records are made. Safety and security are also required elements in the destruction process.

 

• The Church will take all reasonable precautions and prudent actions to identify and safeguard records that are vital to the Church’s mission, goals, objectives, organization, initiatives, operations, activities, heritage, or legacy.

 

• Privacy and security of Church records must be appropriately assured.

 

The church’s Records Retention Schedule is developed by the World Church Records Manager in consultation with church offices and is also reviewed by Legal Counsel and the Church Archivist. Changes to the schedule are made if needed during its periodic review or as new or special conditions arise.

The foregoing retention standards apply to any and all records that are created, received, or maintained by all headquarters departments, mission centers, and congregations and also apply to Church records that may be maintained in the homes of employees or officers or other offsite locations.

Responsibility for Records Management Program

The World Church Records Manager is responsible for establishing and implementing the Church’s records management program, including a


 

 

comprehensive retention schedule that is based on the standards delineated above. The ultimate authority and responsibility for the World Church records management program resides with the World Church headquarters Executive Coordination Team (ECT), which is guided by recommendations presented by the Records Manager.

Compliance

All World Church employees, Mission Center officers, and Congregation officers must comply fully and consistently with this policy for all Church records in their custody or under their supervisory control. Retention schedules should be implemented, and obsolete records discarded, at the earliest practical opportunity.

Exclusions

The following information-bearing objects are not considered records and, as such, are specifically excluded from the Church’s retention policy:

• Books, periodicals, catalogs, and other publications or library materials acquired solely for reference purposes

• Memorabilia and museum materials acquired solely for exhibition

• Unused or undistributed stocks of church publications

• Blank business forms

• Unused copies of form letters

• Unsolicited brochures, flyers, advertisements, mass mailings, e-mail messages, or other records that are unrelated to company business

• Personal papers of Church employees (i.e., papers of a private nature that pertain solely to an employee’s personal activities and interests and have no relationship to the employee’s assigned duties or to the Church’s mission, goals, objectives, organization, initiatives, operations, activities, heritage, or legacy)

 

Interpretation and Assistance

At the mid-level, the Mission Center Financial Officer is responsible for implementing the records management program at the mission center, congregation and campground association level in her/his area, and submits questions relating to compliance to the Records Manager.


GENERAL STRESS MANAGEMENT:

 

Here are several general stress management principles that can help you manage the everyday stress you encounter more effectively.  One of the keys to effective stress management to remember that your body is a machine with a limited supply of energy. It needs proper nutrition, exercise and regular rest just as a car needs periodic repairs and maintenance. The source of stress over which you have the most control is the stress that is the internal stress generated by your beliefs, expectations, and habitual thinking patterns. Work to reduce the amount of "should/must" thinking you use and reexamine your beliefs and expectations to make sure they are reasonable and realistic. Use decompression routines to "unwind" after a stressful event or day.  A good sense of humor is one of your greatest allies against stress. It helps you see your limitations as simply an aspect of your humanness instead of a sign of your inadequacy. Play is essential for good mental and physical health. In fact, your ability to play and relax correlates directly with your productivity. People are social beings who need emotional support in order to maintain mental and physical health. Loneliness and isolation are two of the most destructive forms of stress. Seek emotional support from family, friends, coworkers, pets, church membership, support groups, clubs, organizations, or therapy.
People need something in their lives that helps them make sense out of the world in which they live. It helps give a positive meaning to events within the context of a universe much larger than yourself or your immediate surroundings. There are many ways in which you can fulfill the spiritual side of yourself that is so often neglected in our modern world. Traditional religions are the most commonly used form of spiritual support. Philosophy, taking time for private meditation, or the reading of inspirational books are other common sources. If you do not create traditions and structures for those things you care about, eventually you loose them. Do something fun with your partner or significant other at least twice a month, hopefully once a week

http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/ecumenical/cc-e.html 

COUNCILS OF CHURCHES

A council is a voluntary association of churches within a defined geographic area which, without compromising the distinctive identity and authority of its members, enables their sharing in common reflection and action on matters of Christian unity, faith and ethics, and in programs of common Christian witness and service.

 

Councils are among the most pervasive and significant expressions of the ecumenical movement. They vary greatly in size, number of members and staff, and scope of program, and the terminology used of them is inconsistent. Historically, many local and national councils have included cooperative missionary organizations, interchurch or non-denominational Christian organizations such as the YWCA or Bible Society, or Christian “action groups” working on specific issues such as world hunger. Such broadly based bodies are properly (though not always in practice) termed “Christian councils” or “Christian federations” rather than councils of churches.

Because councils are, properly speaking, the churches joining together in reflection and action, the tendency today is to emphasize the unique authority and role of the councils’ member churches, with other bodies having associate membership or observer status. Most regional councils refer to themselves as “conferences” of churches; their membership may include also national councils and other Christian bodies. Finally, the term “local” may refer to any level from suburb or town to federal state, while “regional” indicates a large, culturally coherent geo-political area such as Africa, Latin America or the Pacific.

 

In principle, councils exist as servants of their member churches and have no authority apart from that granted to them by these churches. For national and regional councils these are autonomous, usually national, churches; for local councils, congregations or city or local denominational structures. The various levels of councils are structurally independent; they do not form a hierarchy in which local councils are “branches” of their national councils, which in turn make up the regional ecumenical bodies.

Modern councils must be distinguished from the “ecumenical councils” of the ancient church. These were authoritative deliberative and decision-making bodies, among churches which understood themselves to be one, on matters of doctrine and practice; modern councils are organs for common reflection, consultation and joint programming among still-separated churches. (In French and German the first meaning of the English word “council” is indicated by the terms concile and Konzil respectively, the second by conseil and Rat.)

 

The origin and development of modern councils
Several essential elements of modern councils were heralded by Philip Schaff in his address on “The Reunion of Christendom” to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago; he called for a “federal or confederate union” between churches, each retaining its independence “in the management of its internal affairs” but recognizing the others as having “equal rights”, and all “cooperating in general enterprises” in areas of evangelism, apologetics, social services, and social and moral reform.

The earliest national council-like structure appears to have been the Protestant Federation of France, formed in 1905; this added the dimension (crucial to councils in difficult cultural and political situations) of providing a channel for the churches’ common action to preserve freedom of religious expression, and “to uphold with public authorities, where necessary, the rights of the churches in the federation”. The formation of a council in Puerto Rico in 1905 is also reported.

 

The modern council with the most extensive program and largest staff was also founded in this era: the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, founded in 1908. Its constitution was typical of those of many later councils: it sets careful limits to the council’s activities; it seeks actively to promote the “spiritual life and religious activities of the churches”; and it “recommends a course of action in matters of common interest”. By 1910 its membership of 31 denominations encompassed the majority of Protestants in the USA. Its successor in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, subsumed the Federal Council and seven other national religious bodies (such as the National Protestant Council of Higher Education and the United Council of Church Women).

The origins of many national councils are rooted in the efforts in the early 20th century to strengthen the identity and independence of missionary-founded churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Cooperation between mission agencies and the new national councils enjoyed the enabling support of the International Missionary Council (IMC) at its founding meeting in 1921. (Indeed, John R. Mott considered his greatest contribution to the IMC to have been enabling the formation of these national Christian councils.) The IMC also provided the newly formed national councils with access to other international ecumenical structures.

 

For example, in India in 1922 the National Missionary Council became the National Christian Council of India, Burma and Ceylon, which required that 50% of the churches’ representatives be nationals of their countries. In Japan a federation of churches, continuing impulses from the Conference of Federated Missions (1902), led in 1922 to the National Christian Council, which soon became an IMC member. The need for a common Christian voice in dealing with governments often provided a powerful impetus towards the formation of councils. Thus in Indonesia a “missions consulate” (1906) represented virtually all Protestant mission bodies in the Netherlands Indies in their relations with the state, and this proved to be the forerunner of the National Council of Churches in Indonesia, founded in 1950.

The number of national councils has grown steadily from only 2 in 1910 to 23 in 1928 and at least 30 by 1948, including 9 in Asia, 3 in Africa and the Near East, and 5 in Latin America. By 2001 there were at least 103 national councils, including some 25 in Africa, 15 in Asia, 10 in the Caribbean and Central America, 20 in Europe, 2 in North America, 4 in Latin America and 8 in the Pacific.

 

Local councils of churches exist in most towns or rural areas with a sizable mix of Christians. They have often developed to provide a more structured cooperation among local church leaders, or to sustain the initiative of laypersons who, impatient with denominational divisions, sought broader forms for fellowship and cooperation with other Christians. Such councils have played a vital role in enabling - and sometimes legitimizing - contacts across denominational lines: indeed, for many Christians, “ecumenism” means the annual Week of Prayer observance or the “interchurch food pantry”, both typically sponsored by the local council of churches. Far more than national or regional councils, local councils offer opportunities for lay ecumenical leadership. One can only loosely estimate the number of such councils by “tens of thousands”.

 

Regional councils exist in all major geo-political areas except for North America, where there are separate councils for the US and Canada. Their principal aims include helping their members to shape a common Christian response to issues of regional concern and serving as a bridge between churches and national councils in the region and global issues and worldwide organizations.

Many regional councils also have roots in the contacts fostered by the missionary and Christian youth movements in the early decades of the 1900s. On the basis of regional encounters through the World Student Christian Federation in 1907 and 1921, Asian Christians called at a 1922 WSCF meeting (Peking) for a regular “international conference in the Far East... to promote cooperation” and mutual understanding. In response to this need, the IMC proposed an East Asia regional committee; but the Asian Christians themselves preferred a more independent “East Asia conference, whereby representatives of the church can share their experience and concern, join in meditation and prayer and make common plans for participating more fully in the life of the ecumenical church”. Such a conference met first in Bangkok in 1949; from its second meeting in 1957 in Prapat, Indonesia, its three secretaries worked each from their home countries of Burma, New Zealand and Ceylon, and in 1959 the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC) held its inaugural assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In recognition of its true scope its name was changed in 1973 to the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA): now headquartered in Hong Kong, it encompasses nearly 100 churches and 14 national councils of churches in 18 countries from Korea in the north to New Zealand in the east to Pakistan in the west. Its traditional concerns include justice and the healing of divisions in the human community; since 1990 it has increasingly been concerned with (the related!) issues of church unity.

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), inaugurated in 1963 and based in Nairobi, has focused on issues of worship and evangelism, the search for a Christian family life in the African context and indigenization of the gospel (e.g. in 1966, a first consultation of African theologians on biblical revelation and African belief). In recent years it has worked extensively on issues of violence (especially in relation to regional wars) and justice (particularly in relation to debt relief and slavery).

 

The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), founded in 1966 and headquartered in Suva, Fiji, has emphasized themes of education, citizenship, and the relation of gospel to culture, with an increasing engagement with issues of justice (especially immigration and nuclear testing) and the protection of the environment. The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC), founded in 1973 and based in Barbados, includes 34 “Christian denominations” and works in 32 countries in the pan-Caribbean region. It has focused upon “the decisive action of God in Christ in terms of [Caribbean] culture, experience and needs”, and the search for both unity and renewal among the churches. The Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), founded in 1982 and based in Quito, Ecuador, culminates a long history of cooperation among Protestant missions and then indigenous churches. Including more than 150 churches and “Christian organizations” (working in areas such as youth and theological education) from 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, it has supported its members especially in evangelism and in their search as Christians for “a system based on justice and brotherhood”. The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), founded in 1974 and based in Beirut, with regional offices in Cyprus, links some 27 churches in a “[confessional] family” structure. It has emphasized promoting understanding and cooperation among its member churches, inter-religious relations with the predominant Muslims, and links with the global ecumenical family, as well as making a common Christian witness on issues of regional concern such as violence and justice, as well as the need for a common date of Easter. The special calling of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), founded in 1959 and headquartered in Geneva, has been enabling the churches’ common participation in the spiritual and material rebuilding of a Europe shattered by the second world war. It includes some 123 churches and 25 associate organizations in all the countries on the European continent. Since 1999 the European Ecumenical Commission on Church and Society, with offices in Brussels and Strasbourg, has been integrated into CEC.

 

In some regions, councils with a sub-regional focus have become an important part of the ecumenical scene (e.g. the Nordic Ecumenical Council, based in Uppsala, Sweden). These help groups of churches linked by historic and cultural factors to express their distinctive identity and witness within the larger regional framework.  Regional councils have also been an important factor in indigenizing the church and developing a Christian identity rooted in local culture. Thus in 1959 retiring EACC general secretary D.T. Niles spoke of the EACC as an expression of the “growth of the church in Asia into selfhood..., the instrument of our resolve to be churches together here in Asia”. And voicing their sense of “coming of age” over against the Western missionary agencies which had “planted” them, Niles called this regional council “the means by which we [Asian churches and Christians] enter into a meaningful participation in the missionary task of the church”.

 

Membership, organization and program of councils
Most councils began as pan-Protestant organizations (though there are early examples of Orthodox membership, such as the four Eastern Orthodox churches which entered the Federal Council in the US in 1940). Councils today typically encompass the classic “ecumenical” Protestant churches (from Brethren through Methodists, Disciples and Presbyterians to Lutherans and Anglicans) and often Orthodox churches. Others, such as Seventh-day Adventists and the Salvation Army, are also sometimes involved. There is often a significant presence of churches whose members are predominantly from minority groups (for example, the black-led churches, with their Caribbean roots, within the former British Council of Churches). Many councils today are making serious efforts to include a broader range of members, particularly from the Pentecostal and evangelical churches.

 

The formal basis for membership in most councils reflects the Christocentric orientation of the Protestantism of the first half of the 20th century, broadened by a Trinitarian allusion and by references to the scriptures and to the churches’ divine calling to common witness and work. The following statement (used by national councils in such diverse countries as Zambia, Tonga and Austria) is typical: “The council is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. Other themes may be mentioned, such as the imperative to work for unity (as in the basis of the Council of Churches of Malaysia).

 

Two negative principles have helped many councils to encompass churches with very diverse theological, ecclesiological and cultural profiles. The first is that council membership does not imply that a church accepts the doctrinal positions - or even full ecclesiological status - of other member churches: councils exist precisely to help the still-divided churches understand one another and work together. Second, membership does not commit a church to specific statements and actions taken by the council: the churches retain their autonomy of judgment and action in each case. In practice, the process for shaping common statements on public issues and determining their status remains among the most complex and difficult issues faced by councils.

 

Though there were occasional instances of cooperation, Roman Catholic membership in local, national and regional councils was out of the question before the recognition, heralded by Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, that other churches are in some sense “ecclesial communities” and that it is imperative to seek cooperation with them. Roman Catholic participation is defined by the 1975 text Ecumenical Collaboration at the Regional, National and Local Levels: initiating “formal doctrinal conversations” is the prerogative of the churches themselves in their “immediate and bilateral contacts”; procedures for making public statements must leave room for member churches to define their own distinctive positions; representatives of churches “should be clearly aware of the limits beyond which they cannot commit the[ir] church without prior reference to higher authority”. Within these limits, there is clear approval for the fullest possible RC involvement in councils. The decision whether to join rests with the “highest ecclesiastical authority in the area served by the council” (for national councils, the national bishops’ conference); in reaching this decision there “must necessarily be communication” with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism emphasizes that RC membership is not possible in councils “in which groups are present who are not really considered to be ecclesial communities”.

 

In 1971 there was RC membership in 11 national councils; this had increased by 1975 to 19, by 1986 to 33, and by 2001 to no fewer than 58, including membership in NCCs in 16 countries in Europe, 12 in Africa, 12 in the Pacific and 11 in the Caribbean, with the remainder divided across Asia, Latin America and North America. The RCC has observer or consultant status in four countries. In addition Roman Catholics are members of three regional conferences of churches (the Caribbean, the Pacific and, as of January 1990, the Middle East). There is increasing Roman Catholic involvement in local councils of churches; for example, in 2001 an informal survey of 21 of the 41 state councils of churches in the US revealed that the Roman Catholic Church had membership in 13 and observer status in 6.

 

Nevertheless, councils which actively relate to the ecumenical movement incorporate only a portion of the churches within their area (for example, in the 1980s the AACC - with its 117 member churches and 19 associate Christian councils in some 38 countries - encompassed about 35% of African Christians.) Most Pentecostal, evangelical and fundamentalist churches have not sought membership, fearing inevitable association with council statements or actions with which they disagree, or generally distrusting the ecumenical movement as being “too progressive” theologically in matters of social witness, or believing that councils tend towards the creation of a “super-church”, so that membership would inevitably compromise their own freedom of judgment and witness. Often such churches form their own organs for agreed forms of Christian witness and action, and these may cooperate selectively with councils and with other churches in specific areas, for example in making a common Christian representation on matters of religious freedom (e.g. the Christian Federation of Malaysia, which includes the Council of Churches of Malaysia, the Roman Catholic Church, and an alliance of evangelical churches).

 

Councils have adopted many forms of governance. Typically there is a general assembly, meeting every one to three years to set broad programmatic guidelines; a governing board of church representatives meeting every year or two for detailed programmatic and personnel oversight; an executive committee; and steering committees in such areas as faith and order, evangelism, world service and family life. Council staffs range from a few volunteers to 100 or more full-time ecumenical professionals. Councils are usually financed by contributions from their member churches, though some receive significant funds from government or other secular sources in support of “community service” programs. Most councils receive insufficient support to provide the programs and services which their member churches ask them to provide.

 

Council programs and activities vary greatly. Almost every council promotes common worship and spiritual life among their members. A few councils in the most affluent countries conduct extensive national and even international operations; they have a larger program and staff than some of their member churches. Others with more limited financial and personnel resources restrict themselves to specific areas. Many councils emphasize programs of aid or relief in the face of natural disasters, or the continuing social disasters of chronic poverty and unemployment, drug abuse or juvenile delinquency. Councils have been very active in common witness where a divided Christian voice would be less effective (e.g. prison and hospital chaplaincies). Many councils encourage evangelism (though its practice is understood to be the prerogative of the churches themselves, hopefully working in consort); and many have publishing programs, particularly of worship materials and Christian analyses of local issues. Some councils promote interfaith dialogue, helping their churches relate responsibly to other faith communities; others are called upon to represent their member churches in dealings with the government. Sometimes councils feel duty-bound to speak out in support of human rights, or to criticize unjust social structures; such prophetic witness often has its price (a dramatic example being the 1987 expulsion of the CCA from Singapore).

Some councils have traditionally dealt more zealously with the divisions of society than with the theological and cultural divisions within and among their own member churches. But recently, many councils are giving more attention to the “difficult” questions of faith and order, and to helping members to discuss their differences of doctrine, church order and moral teaching. This has been an important point of contact with the broader ecumenical movement, as for example many councils have used the WCC’s Faith and Order text Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry as a basis for shared reflection.

 

Councils have developed extensive contacts with one another for sharing of information and for mutual support. Regional councils have sought close working relationships with the WCC; and many national councils have sought “associate council” status with the WCC. Three international consultations for national councils of churches have been held, in Geneva in 1971 and 1986, sponsored by the WCC, and in Hong Kong in 1993, held under the auspices of the national councils themselves, with strong WCC and RC participation. In 1982 the WCC, together with the Roman Catholic Church, held an important consultation on the ecclesiological significance of councils.

 

Enduring issues and future challenges
Councils at all levels face certain enduring issues. First is the nature of their relationship to their member churches: do the councils exist only to serve the churches, enabling their more effective witness in certain carefully defined areas; or must they sometimes lead the churches by calling them prophetically back to the search for unity, common witness and service? The churches have an essential and legitimate concern for their unique ecclesial status, and the councils must remain their servants. But if the churches cling to their present structures and divided identities or fail to bring a common Christian witness to bear on crucial issues of the day, then is it not the councils’ duty - precisely as their faithful servant - to challenge them to a deeper and more costly ecumenical commitment?

This issue often comes to sharp focus on issues of participation in councils (e.g. the controversy in the early 1990s around the application of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches for observer status in the US National Council of Churches) or over council statements on controversial public and ethical issues such as abortion.

 

A second, related issue is that of the ecclesiological significance of councils of churches. Recent ecumenical discussion has placed this squarely within the context of the churches’ search for unity. The first international consultation of national councils in 1971 emphasized that theological work for unity is not an “extra” beside the practical work of councils, but is “the real basis for their common witness and action”; and that although councils lack an independent ecclesiological status, they are nevertheless “instruments” which enable crucial ecclesiological developments to occur among member churches. The 1982 consultation emphasized the role of councils as instruments of the churches’ “irreversible” commitment to unity among themselves; councils are but “interim expressions of unity” shared by churches already committed to each other and to their common search for unity. The subsequent consultations of councils of churches have re-inforced these ideas, emphasizing the need for common reflection and action appropriate to the local context.

Councils, then, offer an environment in which churches and ecclesial communities “provide each other with the means to grow together towards full ecclesial status, each helping the other to acquire what it lacks”; in their “communion of mission, witness and prayer the full koinonia [of the churches in a truly conciliar state] is seen in profile and forecast”. This means that membership in a council “expresses a commitment to practice some real measure of mutual recognition and reconciliation at every level of church life”. This ascribes to councils a real, though carefully limited, ecclesiological significance, one unthinkable a few decades ago. But such a purely “instrumental” understanding does not satisfy those Christians who have experienced their foretaste of unity through the life and work of councils rather than - if not in spite of - the structures of their still-divided churches.

 

A third issue confronting councils is the continuing search for a truly adequate form for their life and work. In the past 25 years several national councils have entered adventurous schemes of re-organization. For example, in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Canada, one major aim was to enable the fuller participation of the Roman Catholic Church. In some cases, most strikingly the USA, the need to re-align programmatic and financial aspects of the council’s life has been an insistent factor.

Such re-organizations may yield creative new insights for councils of churches. In Britain, for example, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is the coordinating body for regional ecumenical instruments in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. This grew out of a broadly inclusive process, “Churches Together in Pilgrimage”, launched in 1985 as a response to the failure of several church union schemes and the positive experience of many Christians worshipping and working together across denominational lines in local ecumenical projects (now partnerships). It is rooted in churches’ resolve to move, in Cardinal Basil Hume’s words, “quite deliberately from a situation of cooperation to one of commitment to each other”. Given this, the new ecumenical instrument need not be a force “outside” the churches, but an expression of their own will towards unity. It was suggested that the new instrument would not develop its own “programs”, but rather ensure that the churches’ existing programs were pursued together rather than separately. Thus there could be a shift from “ecumenism as an extra which absorbs energy” to “ecumenism as a dimension of all that [the churches] do which releases energy, through the sharing of resources” (Robert Runcie).

 

The new Conference of Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand (1987) raises a fourth issue: the proper participation of the whole people of God in their life and work. This was a major theme at the second international consultation of national councils (1986), which went so far as to refer to an “imperative towards participation” and to identify as an “urgent challenge” the need “to create a context within which their member churches may challenge each other [towards] fuller participation... in their koinonia of confession, worship and action”. This challenge was taken up boldly in Aotearoa New Zealand; its new ecumenical body sought a much greater participation of persons normally under-represented in church decision-making structures, particularly laypersons, women and youth, and has committed itself to inclusive and participatory styles of work, to consensus styles of decision making, and to a decentralized structure.

The results and implications of these new ventures are not yet clear. The British scheme has been very successful in expressing the churches’ desire for unity and their understanding of councils as servants of their members (to the point that the new council should not issue public statements in its own right at all, but only “enable” the churches themselves, when they agree, to speak a common word). This raises the question of how independent a council must be in order to maintain its own identity, and to challenge its members should their enthusiasm for unity and prophetic witness falter. The new body in Aotearoa New Zealand has been very successful in expressing the desire of the people of God for fuller participation (to the point that its first three presidents were all laypersons, and its first three co-general secretaries women), but through the 1990s this bold alignment has come under severe strain. This raises the question of how independent a council can be and still maintain sufficient contact with its members’ traditional structures to be taken seriously by them.

 

In a complex and changing ecumenical situation, three developments are of special interest for the future. First, many councils are emphasizing anew the fact that they “belong to”, and exist “for”, their member churches; councils understand more clearly that their role is not to exist apart from the churches but to encourage and enable them to express their common faith, life, witness and action within the local, national or regional context. While councils continue, and indeed intensify, their engagement with issues of justice and witness, this has been complemented by an increased concern for related issues such as church unity and common worship. Second, in a few cases, particularly in Europe and North America, a council’s diaconal programs of social relief and development work have separated themselves from the council, forming a new structure. These function increasingly as independent aid agencies, with the council on longer serving to channel and coordinate the churches’ efforts in this area. It is unclear whether this trend will spread, and what its long-term implications will be. Third, many councils are finding interfaith issues to be an increasingly important part of their agenda. Depending on the context this may involve engagement in interfaith dialogue, working with other living faiths to promote reconciliation, or seeking common cause on issues of mutual concern (for example, freedom of religious expression, human rights, or the protection of the environment). In some contexts, particularly in Europe and North America, this has re-opened the debate about the nature – and membership – of councils of churches.

 

The future of councils of churches is at once uncertain and hopeful. They often face unclear or even conflicting expectations about their identity and role. They may become frustrated at what seems the snail’s pace of the churches towards unity. And finally they are dependent upon the ecumenical enthusiasm, commitment and (sometimes severely) shrinking financial means of their members. Particularly since about 1990 many councils have faced increasing, sometimes severe pressure as their member churches could not maintain earlier levels of support. This has led some councils to “re-structure” or “rationalize” their finance and operations, often according to then-current secular management principles, usually with the result that the same programmatic load has to be carried by fewer staff.

 

Yet councils are an essential expression of the ecumenical movement. Ecclesiological speaking, they embody (in however imperfect a form) the divided churches’ calling to be together the church in each place. Practically speaking, they enable the divided churches to reflect together on issues which divide them, and to work together day-by-day. They will remain necessary as long as the churches remain divided, for they provide a precious “space” in which the churches’ common life, reflection, witness and work is “normal”, and it is their continuing state of division which is the “problem”. They confirm the words of the great ecumenical pioneer J.H. Oldham, who wrote in 1922 of the nascent national Christian councils around the world: “If our unity is real, and we have a common purpose, these must express themselves through some visible organ.”

http://wordtruth.com/conflict13.htm

 Biblical Principles for Managing Conflict

What are God’s rules for relating to one another in the church?  This is the theme of Matthew 18.  In a series of analogies and parables, our LORD Jesus instructs us in how we should relate to other believers.  He covers the importance of putting others first, avoiding those things which cause us and others to stumble, realizing that every person is important and needed, the power He provides when we are in agreement, and the need to forgive freely.  In regard to conflict, this chapter provides application for us in preventing conflict in the first half and for managing conflict in the second half.

Conflict Prevention

"The best defense is a good offense."  This is a wonderful approach to football.  I believe it reflects also a strategy for preventing conflict in the church:  Focus on the treating others as you want to be treated rather than putting in elaborate measure to stop conflict which you know is inevitable.  Our LORD Jesus gives us three jewels in the area of relationships among believers.

1) Put Others First (Matthew 18:1-6)

God’s kingdom has no place for self-exaltation.  The disciples wanted to receive honor for themselves.  Jesus said they must change: "be converted" (Matt. 18:3, NIV). and become like children.  The child simply trusted Jesus when He called.  The child responded in obedience to Jesus, even though it meant standing in a great assembly of adults.  Like us, the disciples had to repent of self-will and turn to the LORD Jesus.  This is what allows us to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Having done this, "whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest" (18:4, NIV).  So greatness in God’s kingdom has to do with humility.  We must put off our desire for self-rule and submit to the LORD’s authority over our life.  Rather than seek the recognition of men, we must seek to recognition that comes from our Creator through humility.

Further, Jesus put this child first.  He called the child and had him stand among the adults, giving him a place of honor.  Jesus received this child.  His admonition (18:5) is that whoever is willing to honor others ahead of himself according to the call of the LORD, then that person honors our LORD in so doing.  Jesus is welcome in the home of a heart that honors Him.  The heart that honors Him puts others first, even if they are little children.  And perhaps especially if they are little children because of the tremendous influence it has on their future life.  This point is drilled home in verse 6 with a grave warning to anyone who would abuse or weaken the faith of a believer.

2) Allow No Stumbling Blocks (Matthew 18:7-11)

Jesus exhorts us cut out of our life completely the things which cause us to sin.  As fallen creatures, we are weak when it comes to temptation.  Though the Spirit of God lives in the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14), we are each susceptible to sins of the flesh (1 John 2:16-17, Matthew 26:41, Romans 7:19).  Therefore, avoid completely those things which tempt you.  Also consider the awesome impact our sin has on the lives of others.  The blight of AIDS born by illicit sexual encounters has left its mark on many innocent lives.  An abusive father passes on a heritage of domestic violence to his sons and daughters who learned it from him.  Such things are inevitable in a fallen world, says our LORD Jesus, but cursed is the one who is responsible for causing others to stumble.  So we must examine our lives and rid ourselves of all stumbling blocks for ourselves and for others.  This will prevent conflicts, unnecessary offenses, and strengthen the church.

3) Each Person is Important (Matthew 18:12-14)

We must always realize the extreme importance of just one life.  Jesus relates the parable of the shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep just to find the one who is lost.  The joy of finding the little one is greater than the joy he receives from the ninety-nine who did not stray.  This points out the tremendous redemptive love that our LORD has for us.  Moreover, it emphasizes to us that we must not turn away from the task of reaching our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen or strayed.  We must exercise redemptive love.  Each person we encounter must have this same preeminent spot that Jesus has for us.  He gave his life for us.  We must treat others with this same unconditional, redemptive love.  How many conflicts can be avoided if we treat others with this kind of overriding love?  "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8, NIV).

Conflict Management

The most disheartening thing to find out about a brother or sister in Christ is that they disagree with you about something.  When you really love someone, it hurts when they dispute something you did or said or believe.  Because of this, conflict in the church exacts an especially heavy toll on people.  Our LORD Jesus knew that we would act in the flesh at times and provided a process for handling it.  He also emphasized the need for unity and forgiveness in the reconciliation process.  These two admonitions are vital for a constructive approach to conflict management.

1) The Power in Unity (Matthew 18:15-20)

Disagreements and offenses are going to happen in the body of Christ.  But our LORD wants unity so He provided an approach to dealing with conflict.  A brother or sister in Christ who has sinned against another must be reproved.  This means that when we realize what someone has done to us, we must also make them realize it.  Putting this in context with 1 Peter 4:8 and similar passages, I believe we must take this to mean a blatant offense or continued offense by the other person.  The details of this process are something that apply not only to the church but to any organization:

a) The one offended should meet privately with his brother (18:15) to discuss what has happened.  Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) will usually win a brother or sister in Christ back.

b) If this does not work, we are told to take two or three other believers with us and confront him with the facts (18:16).

c) If he still refuses to listen, the church assembly is to hear of this (18:17).  This is intended to put his true motives on the line.  If he is unwilling to repent of the sin when the whole church is aware of it, then he is to removed from the fellowship.

d) Even at this point, though, the purpose is not to condemn him forever.  The hope is that in losing the opportunity to worship and fellowship with his brothers and sisters he will eventually repent and return.

The important thing to keep in mind is the power we have in unity.  In verses 18 Jesus emphasizes that this process is the one prescribed by Him for the church.  If we bind it up (withhold God’s word on this) then the situation will remain bound without divine influence.  If we loose it (proclaim and practice God’s word on this), then we unleash the power of heaven to influence the people involved.  Verse 19 and 20 go on to proclaim the power of God which is available for the asking when we are in agreement with our brothers and sisters in Christ. "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3, NIV).  So this is how we are to walk in fellowship with one another.  The beautiful thing is that when believers are together, the LORD is there with us (18:20).

2) Perseverance in Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)

The question naturally arises and, as usual, Peter is the first to speak up.  How many times do we do this?  How many times should I forgive my brother?  The answer from our LORD is amazing -- forever.  Always offer forgiveness to your brother whether he takes it or not.  In conflicts, problem resolution is not the only end in mind.  Forgiveness and reconciliation must also be our goal.

Jesus then tells the parable of the servant with the great debt.  His master confronted Him about this debt he could never repay.  As the servant begged for mercy, the master felt compassion and canceled the debt completely.  When the servant then went out and demanded payment from his debtors, the master heard about it and became infuriated.  Why should the servant receive forgiveness of his own debts when he was unwilling to forgive the debts of others?  The point of the story is that this is how our LORD has offered forgiveness to us -- complete, unconditional forgiveness of our sins through His death of the cross.  Can we forget our own canceled debt by refusing to forgive others?  Forgiveness is critical to our own future in eternity.  It is extremely important in our relationship with one another as this parable from our LORD shows.  From the standpoint of conflict management, problem resolutions will never last unless each party is willing to forgive and get on with the mission of the church.

These are just a few of the insights from the Word of God regarding conflict management.  Imagine how strong the church could be if  just these principles of prevention and resolution were implemented.

TWENTY KEY BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES

FOR MANAGEMENT 

 Introduction to the Twenty Principles of Biblical Management.

 

Expressing The Rule and Reign of Christ...................................

Giving Dignity to All Men.............................................................

Creating Out of the Voice of God...............................................

Creating Out of the Vision of God ..............................................

Making Unity Your Primary Focus..............................................

Expressing Overcoming Faith.....................................................

Receiving and Releasing Finances..............................................

Being a Servant Leader................................................................

Receiving Counsel.......................................................................

Committed to Excellence.............................................................

Receiving and Giving Life ............................................................

Practicing Personal and Interpersonal Wholeness ....................

Multiplying Talents.......................................................................

Discipling, Delegating and Accountability...................................

Maintaining Proper Priorities.......................................................

Not Unequally Yoked...................................................................

Celebrating!................................................................................,

Evangelizing by Living It Out.......................................................

Planning........................................................................................

Praying..........................................................................................

The Brainstorming Process.........................................................

How to Prepare a Business Plan.................................................

Appendix A - The Brainstorming Process.................................

Appendix B - A Business Plan...................................................

Working Together as God Intended

Why this manual?

How to use this manual

As I reached to set up rny first corporation, I realized I had never studied biblical principles for management and had no idea of what biblical principles I was supposed to be obeying. How could I possibly set a corporation up properly without knowing these key biblical principles? How could It possibly grow without the anointing and blessing of God that comes with obedience to God's law and God's voice? What if 1 took a stab at It and obeyed half of the key principles and didn't know about the rest? Would the corporation still survive or prosper? 1 doubted it

I needed Information. I needed to know the key biblical principles that God wanted me to form the various aspects of the corporation around. I

needed to be able to consider each of these principles and how they would apply to the formation and continuing development of the corporation. I needed an application worksheet so I could constantly evaluate myself and our corporation to these principles This manual came into existence to meet these needs This in not the final word on management. There is much more detail that can be added. However, there are many fine books that will give the manager on-going insight Into the ways people apply these concepts in the management of their corporations and businesses I highly recommend the vast number of excellent books on management in the market. I have drawn many Ideas from
Re-Inventing the Corporation
by Nalsbltt as well as the book Management: A Biblical Approach by Myron Rush. Both are recommended reading. I also highly recommend The Art of Management for Christian Leaders by Ted W Angstrom and Edward R. Dayton

As God distilled these 20 key Biblical principles of management through my heart, I realized that these were just as applicable for pastors who managed churches as they were for businessmen who managed businesses or corporations. Therefore the following 20 key principles are for

all who find themselves in positions where they manage other people Each church, business and corporation should evaluate itself at least annually. in light of the following principles of business management. Evaluation sheets have been provided after each principle which may be

photocopied and used. The management should see that all employees\ also fill in an evaluation worksheet for the corporation and that a time of brainstorming is provided in which creative solutions and applications of these principles can be made to improving the corporate life. An

employee who is also the head of a department or division will need to fill in two sets of this evaluation form: one to evaluate how he feels the principles are being carried out by those above him and a second evaluation on how well he feels he is carrying out these principles toward those who are under him.

May God's glory shine through His churches and businesses!

Each principle is set up according to the following outline:

1. Biblical Principle

2. Key Verse (s)

3. Foundational Concepts Underlying Principle

4. Reflections on the Principle

5. Examples of Practical Outworkings of the Principle

May God illumine your heart and mind as you study. May the application

of these principles bring blessing unparalleled to your church or business.

God's Promise from the Logos

Deuteronomy 28: 1-2 NKJ - (1) "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. (2) "And all these blessings shall

come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God"

Deuteronomy 28: 15 - "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you" (NKJ) Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 NKJ - (15) "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, (16) "in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His

statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. (17) "But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, (18) "I announce to you today that

you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong {your} days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. (19) "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, {that} I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; (20) "that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He {is} your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

God's Promise Through Rhema

People have dealt with business;

Churches have dealt with business;

Ministries have dealt with business;

Now,

I, the Lord, shall deal with them through business.

Sound the trumpet call. The ground that was called business shall now

be Mine and My enemies shall surrender and My adversaries retreat, and

the spoils of battle are divided among the victors as a trophy of their inheritance.

4

Biblical Principle

Expressing The Rule and Reign of Christ

Key Verses

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof..." (Ps. 24: 1)

"Disciple all nations..." (Matt. 28: 19)

Foundational Concepts Underlying Principle

God created the heavens and the Earth.

God redeemed the earth through His Son Jesus Christ.

God rules the earth through His Church.

All that is on the earth is God's.

God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus' prayer commanding God's kingdom to come.

The kingdom is like a seed that grows until the whole earth is full....

Reflections on the Principle

There is no sacred/secular split.

All is spiritual.

We need full time Christians giving their full lives to activities outside the

organized church. That is where the rubber meets the road. That is

where the kingdom comes. That was primarily where Jesus lived and ministered.

The church is to infiltrate all areas of society with the principles and

power of Almighty God, causing each area to become a demonstration of

divine principles and power.

Examples of Practical Outworking of Biblical Principle

LeTourneau building giant earth moving equipment

Mother Teresa feeding the hungry

Oral Roberts University training tomorrow's leaders

CBN University training tomorrow's leaders

Pat Robertson running for President of the United States

John Templeton developing global investing strategies

Setting up franchises and reproducing yourself

Training others to follow your steps

The worksheet on the following page should be copied and filled-in.

You might desire to complete this evaluation more frequently in the

early stages of development. Use the back of the sheet for extra space

if needed.

Principle Being Evaluated

Application Worksheet Year

Church/business _

Division/Department

Check one of the following:

___ 1. Being done with excellence!

___ 2. Being done acceptably.

___ 3, Scarcely being done.

A list of the activities within the corporation/church which demonstrate this principle.

A list of suggestions of activities which could allow the corporation/church to more greatly demonstrate

this principle.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion every Christian Leader should ensure that he or she has a clear understanding and working knowledge of the key management functions such as

·        Establishing Objectives

·        Setting Goals

·        Planning

·        Organizing

·        Staffing

·        Controlling

·        Leading

·        Motivating

·        Coordinating

·        Budgeting

·        Communicating

·        Decision Making

·        Problem Solving

 

While performing the set of management functions listed above one should also practice good management principles which requires the following traits and characteristics such as

·        Faith

·        Compassion

·        Peace

·        Joy

·        Wisdom

·        Ability to Disciple

·        Knowledge of the Word of God

·        Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

·        Ability to Teach

·        Sacrifice

·        Being a Living Example

·        Speaking with authority and power

·        Ability to Transform Life

·        Genuine concerns for the needs of others

·        Boldness

·        Being full of Good works

·        Diligence

·        Ability to finish the work

·        Dreaming

 

We should remember that God, the creator of the whole universe is also managing and governing the whole world. You should realize that Church is nothing but the Spiritual Kingdom of God which is over laid on the planet earth. Therefore, we cannot strictly follow the management principles used in the business and government circles of the world to achieve success in the realm of finances, security, technology etc. alone. We have to be conscious of the fact that we are dealing with the spiritual courses on the real struggle in managing the Church is to counteract the evil forces and extend the kingdom of God by ushering into more sources. Further, we need to nature spiritually souls into the Kingdom of God and disciple them to become the future leaders with the attributes and characteristics of Jesus.

 

EVALUATION :

 

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. List 10 key General Principles on Church Management?

2.  List 10 key points in Managing local Church?

3. List 12 important principles in Time Management in governing a Church?

4.  Mention how one can reinvent and frame Global Church Management with at least 10 points?

5. List 10 Spiritual principles of Church Management?

6. List 10 key obstacles faced by the church in the Church Management?