CHURCH LEADERS SEMINAR
SUBJECT/THEMES: Mission, millennial change, multicultural ministry,
memes, diversity, unity, visionary leadership, reaching the unchurched,
memetics, spirituality, and social change.
rapid changes taking place in our world society are pushing leaders to
the realization that the old ways of doing business with a Flatlander
approach, running people through the same car wash, one-size-fits-all
method, and falling prey to the tempting solutions of the latest "flavor-of-the-month
consultants," will no longer do. As Clare W. Graves, late professor of
psychology at Union College (NY), declared: "Human beings exist at different
'levels of existence.' At any given level, an individual exhibits the
behavior and values characteristic of people at that level; a person who
is centralized at a lower level cannot even understand people who are
at a higher level."
In view of such situation, leaders
need to move from a Horizontal approach of leadership and doing ministry,
to include the Vertical dimension. This enables them to be cognizant of
the various deep-level, spiral forces that operate within people, organizations,
and systems, and how to help people at these various levels of existence
to work together for effective, proactive, and lasting change. The challenge
facing the Christian Church is that the church has become too diverse
for one single style of leadership, method for mission and ministry, and
way of preaching the Gospel. The Gospel is universal but the pulpit is
not. We tend to forget that.
TITLE OF SEMINAR:
"Mission, Millennium, Memetics&emdash;The Future of the Church in the
DEFINITIONS: Memes: Memes (analogous to genes) are cultural
units of information that self-replicate by means of thought-contagion,
using the human mind as a host, and attach themselves to individuals,
organizations, and entire cultures and societies. Christianity is a meme,
so also is the Sabbath, salvation, and all other doctrines.
Memetics: The study of ideas and their transmission.
DESCRIPTION: This seminar addresses the most basic challenge
facing the world's most diverse church&emdash;how to maintain a sense
of unity in the face of increasing diversity. This challenge can best
be described through a series of questions. These questions describe what
will be taught in the seminar, and how the seminar will benefit pastors.
- How does one communicate the
Gospel effectively across all the social barriers imposed by society?
- Why is the church having greater
growth in certain areas of the world field, or with certain people groups,
and not with others?
- Should the Church take a one-size-fits-all
approach to ministry, mission, and leadership?
- Since people occupy different
levels of existence, how do people at one level minister to people at
- How does one preach messages
that transcend levels of human existence, each with their own unique
perspectives, values, lifestyles, worldviews, and approaches to God
- Is the church, at both local
and global levels, too diverse for one style of leadership, worship,
and mode of ministry?
- What is the 'secular mind,'
and how does one go about reaching those dominated by such a mindset?
- What is 'spirituality'? How
does it differ from 'religion'?
- What are the challenges of
New Age religions and cults to the church? Why do these emerge? Who
joins them? What can the church learn from New Age religions to more
effectively reach the secular minded and unchurched in the next millennium?
- What really happened in Rwanda's
tribal massacres? How can the church avoid such catastrophes in the
- Why are both independent and
celebration churches increasing in Adventism? Is this the wave of the
- Is the Willow Creek Community
Church the 'model' for denominational Christianity in the 21st century?
If so, with what results?
- What is the basis of human
conversion? What is the most influential force, other than the Holy
Spirit, in the process of conversion?
- Why is the oldest method of
reaching people still the best one?
- How can racism and sexism cease
being the main socioreligious problems dividing the church?
- Where do values and ideas for
change come from? Why do some last and others, like seed on rocky ground,
fade with the morning sun? Why does one mind latch onto certain values
and ideas while another rejects them categorically, and another not
even recognize them in passing?
- Why is 'memetics,' the nascent
science of ideas and their transmission, and Spiral Dynamics&emdash;the
idea that we may live in many different realities, all at once&emdash;the
cutting edge of church leadership for the next millennium?
- How can Adventism move from
the sidelines of religious marginality in the 20th century, so as to
be the central spiritual force to be reckoned with in the 21st, in preparation
for the soon return of Christ in glory?
- How can our entire message
be reframed in language and concepts that speak to the social and spiritual
needs of a diverse world society in the third millennium?
- HOW should WHO manage WHOM
to do WHAT, WHEN, and WHY?
- Do new times demand not only
new thinking but also new methods?
- If Christianity were to have
its initial beginnings in the year 2000, what would it look like?
All these factors, concepts, and
questions comprise the content of this unified, integrative seminar.
TIME FRAME: The
length of the seminar is two-day, 16-hour training session
LANGUAGES: The seminar can be given in both English and
SIX "DO-ABLES": The
seminar will enable participants to:
- Determine at what level of
existence are their constituents and church members, and how to meet
their needs effectively.
- Develop a successful model
- Develop an effective style
of spiral leadership.
- Understand how to communicate
with the secular mind.
- How to effectively manage diversity
in a multicultural environment.
- How to be proactive rather
than reactive, by being a change-anticipator rather then a problem-solver.