What is TM?
What is Transformational Ministry all about?
The Church is forever but a congregation, like a person, tends to have a life cycle. Birth, adolescence, maturity, and old age all bring many of the same characteristics in a congregation’s life as into a person’s life. A pioneer spirit seems reserved for the young while older congregations may be more set in their ways and less likely to try new things or seek out new people. This isn’t a rule but it is common. Where is your congregation in this cycle?
The good news is that congregations may interrupt this cycle and the accompanying attitudes and behaviors through periodic transformation. Sometimes this happens smoothly when the congregation’s leadership, membership, or community change and life always seems fresh. More often these transformations require intentional help or intervention to break the natural cycle of birth, life, and death. Although change is necessary, it can also be difficult.
Intentional transformation is a serious step in the life of a congregation. It is born of the awareness that “staying the course” is leading to death. It draws on the discernment of the membership and leadership that the congregation is called by God to continue work in a community that desperately needs to hear the Word of grace made real because Christ is alive and working in our midst.
Let’s be clear. Transforming your congregation is not simply a new way to keep doing what is presently going on. It is not a “tune-up” for existing congregational programs. Rather, in a faith-filled manner, it enables congregations to evaluate and define anew the nature, purpose, and practices of life together in light of God’s mission. It offers you the opportunity to make the changes discerned to be necessary in order to become more faithful to God’s calling and purpose.
Transformational Ministry is:
- Strategic. It is a process for making direction setting decisions that will impact every aspect and dimension of congregational life in the long-term.
- Participatory. The process will intentionally involve mass participation of your congregation as together you become involved in Bible study, conversation, discernment, and action.
- Missional. The process is not based on market surveys. Instead, it engages the congregation in discerning God’s mission for you where you are.
- Spiritual. The process reconnects congregation members with the Word and strengthens their reliance on prayer and the power of the Spirit to get things done.
- Exciting & Enriching. Congregations that engage in intentional transformation find that it is a challenging but rewarding process. And it is fun!
The Northern Great Lakes Synod has a group of pastors and lay leaders that are standing by to help develop a Transformational Ministry Team in your congregation that can start you on the journey of transformation. The path you follow will be unique to your congregation and so there is no manual, cookbook, or checklist to give you. Instead, we will provide your team with the tools, skills, and resources they need to help your congregation take the first steps on the journey of transformation.