SHIFT: Three Big Moves For The 21st Century Church, Mark Tidsworth, Pinnacle Leadership Press, 2015

Making The Shift Field Guide, Mark Tidsworth, Pinnacle Leadership Press, 2016

This Field Guide is a Small Group curriculum, plus daily engagements designed for groups in congregations who want to make the shifts.

When you need 5 or more copies of either book, contact us. We are able to secure copies for less than the retail price you will find on Amazon.


Making The Shift Process

  • Pastors and Lay Leaders Read and Learn Together
  • Join a Community Of Practice
  • Making The Shift Weekend
  • Staff Learning Experience
  • Preparing Making The Shift Small Groups
  • Launching Making The Shift Small Groups
  • Discernment Team Identifying Making The Shift Moves
  • Implementing Making The Shift Moves

Certified Making The Shift Trainers

Mark Tidsworth, Author and Presenter


Ircel Harrison

Debra Griffis-Woodberry

David Brown

Alan Arnold  

Congregations And Denominations Making The Shift or Hosting Training

Hawaii District, United Methodist Conference, HA

Atlanta Metro Baptist Association, Atlanta, GA

The Village Presbyterian Church, Northbook, IL

St. Mark's UMC, Charleston, SC

St. Mark's UMC, Seneca, SC

First UMC, Pendleton, SC

St. John's UMC, Anderson, SC

Nazareth Presbyterian, Greenville, SC

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, SC

Park Road Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC

Forest Lake Presbyterian, Columbia, SC

Mt Tabor Lutheran Church, Columbia, SC

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

Wrightsville UMC, Wrightsville, NC
Resurrection Episcopal, Greenwood, SC
St Johannes Lutheran, Charleston, SC
Staff of Shandon UMC, Columbia, SC
Columbia District UMC, SC
Abundant Living Pastor Appreciation Luncheon, Baptist Hospital, Easley, SC
Charleston District UMC, SC
Union UMC, Irmo, SC
St Paul Lutheran, Columbia, SC
McGregor Presbyterian, Columbia, SC
South Carolina Lutheran Synod, ELCA
Webinar for ChurchNet, Attractional to Missional
St Paul’s Waccamaw UMC, Pawleys Island, SC
Faith Lutheran, W Columbia, SC
Fort Hill Presbyterian, Clemson, SC

Brook Hollow Baptist Church, Nashville, TN

Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Journey UMC, Columbia, SC

First Presbyterian Church, Anderson, SC

Foothills Presbytery, Greenville, SC

Holy Cross Episcopal, Simpsonville, SC

Episcopal Diocese Upper South Carolina

Bishop's School of Ministry (UMC), SC

Lebanon UMC, Eastover, SC

Anderson District UMC, SC

Prosperity Area Lutheran Churches

Methodist University Campus Ministry, NC

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship

Shepherd of the Sea Lutheran, Murrells Inlet, SC

South Central Synod, ELCA, Madison, WI

Trinity United Methodist Church, Anderson, SC

Participant Responses
"In one of my favorite books of his, the evocative, provocative author/preacher/theologian Frederick Buechner says this: 'let [the preacher] use words which do not only try to give answers to the questions that we ask or ought to ask...but which help us to hear the questions that we do not have words for asking.'
In so many ways, I think this is what my friend Mark Tidsworth does in his prophetic and invaluable tome entitled SHIFT.  The questions he raises in Chapter One alone should be required reading for every church, everywhere.  Period."
-Rev. Bob Bauman, Senior Minister
Edenton Street United Methodist Church
Raleigh, NC

"Just a quick note of affirmation for you and your leadership team. I have my Doctor of Ministry from Fuller, studying in the missional cohort with Al Roxburgh and Mark Lau Branson. Your book captures very succinctly and clearly the work many of us have been struggling with now for several years. My father is an elder in Aiken SC and sent me your book, having heard me talk about similar themes. I read it last week during my Thanksgiving vacation, and found it to be very helpful. Today I bought 15 copies for my annual Session retreat in January of next year. I wish you every blessing as you continue to help lead our churches to Make The Shift."
-Rev Dr Chris Adams, Pastor
 Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN

"Mark Tidsworth is both prophet and priest. As prophet, he reads the signs of these times and challenges the current church to adapt or perish.  As priest, he shepherds the church from today's declining reality to a positive future shape.  Three significant shifts have happened and are happening.  Mark Tidsworth understands that, proclaims it clearly and shows the way forward.  Those with ears to hear will hear and heed."
Rev. John Lepper, Intentional Interim Pastor
First Baptist Church, Winchester, KY 
and Former Coordinator of Kentucky Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

"For years missional theorists have been talking about the cultural changes in which the church finds itself.  Mark Tidsworth moves that conversation further into the capacity of the church by naming the three major shifts in language that is purposefully Christ-centered--disciple, missional, sacred.  The Shifts retreat introduces the context of the present culture that distresses the church and gives hopeful, faithful, meaningful language to begin moving through this time of uncertainty with intentionality.  Exploration of God, other and self, risk-taking with God, and experience of the holy in community provide pathways of growth instead of being bound by another era's way of doing church. Here's to being free to practice faith without the seven last words of church: 'We've never done it that way before.'  It is time to follow the Holy Spirit whom Jesus calls our teacher, our guide, our advocate."

-Rev. Mary Morrison, Associate Pastor, Fort Hill Presbyterian Church, Clemson, SC

"I did not realize the importance of the concepts of "Shift" until a couple of days after the workshop. I was having lunch with some parents who were very nice, intelligent, fun, and all things that you would want your church members to be. Only they were not involved in any church. They were not "nones" or "un-churched" or "de-churched," just busy parents living cluttered lives. Sunday morning services, or any other church related program, to them was just one more thing on their calendar that often gets pushed aside with no regrets. I then truly understood the disconnect between people and the institution of church. We have a task before us, but thanks to Mark's coaching and guidance, we will be better equipped to encourage others to be disciples and to be involved in what God is doing in the world."

-Rev. Scott Effird, St. Paul's Waccamaw UMC

"In The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina the vision of Making, Equipping and Sending Mature Disciples of Christ is central to our mission and ministry. What better way to strengthen our efforts than to engage in SHIFT: Three Big Moves for the 21st Century Church. This program will provide an  extraordinary opportunity for the communicants of our 61 congregations to participate in a diocesan wide Lenten study focused on discipleship development. Such a formative experience will only increase our capacity in sharing the gospel of Christ through enriched missional initiatives. It is with prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving that Mark Tidsworth has provided such a valuable resource."
~ The Rev. Canon d’Rue Hazel, Canon for Congregational Development and Administration in The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina     



See more SHIFT videos on our YouTubeChannel

Sometimes mental paradigms and cognitive understanding of what's happening lags on-the-ground experience. We post-modern Christ-followers realize that something has changed. Our experience tells us so. Our intuition and feelings tell us so. Yet our understanding of what's happening in congregations, and to congregations, often is the last to learn.

The purpose of Shift is to help our understanding catch up with our experience. We need input, insights, information, and examples to make sense of the changes around us. Shift provides this kind of learning for clergy, church staff, and lay persons.

How are 21st Century Christ-followers in congregations responding to the Shifts around us? We observe a variety of responses, some more optimistic, proactive, Christ-focused, and healthy than others. Shift describes three major movements congregations are making which lead to life and missional progress.

Member Identity to Disciple Identity
Church as we have known it includes organizational structure reflecting the Modern Period; using concepts and practices like membership. No longer does this concept communicate something of significance to post-modern disciples. Many disciples participate in congregations for years without becoming a member. On the other hand, there is great energy and growing enthusiasm around living as disciples of Jesus Christ. The spiritual hunger permeating Christian churches finds food for the soul through becoming a discipleship culture. Shift describes this movement, along with examples of congregations living the Shift, followed by opportunities to explore application to one's ministry context or congregation.

Attractional Church To Missional Church
Let's face it – most of our congregations really want people to come to the church campus. Being the hands and feet of Christ in the world is a nice thought, but we judge ourselves successful by how many people are in worship this Sunday. The attractional church model is the prevalent model for being and doing church. For better or worse, the Christian culture and Modern world-view upon which the attractional church model was built, is quickly disappearing. How are we to be and do church now? The missional church movement represents an old/new way for congregations. Joining God on mission in the world is the goal of missional churches. This approach is not simply doing missions or having a missions committee, it is a completely different way of being church. Shift describes this movement, along with examples, followed by opportunities to explore application to one's ministry context or congregation.

Consumer Church To Sacred Partnering
We live in a consumer society, with consumerism permeating every aspect of our lives. Is it any wonder that “church-shopping” is a common activity in North America? Though we value the freedom to engage with whatever faith community to which we are led, a consumer perspective regarding church leads to negative outcomes for individual disciples and for the Church. Now, proactive congregations are recalling our roots, engaging in Sacred Partnering. Living as Christian disciples in the 21st century requires significant social support. Becoming a missional church requires strong relational support. Fortunately, this need is provided for through intentional Christian community (called church). Shift describes this movement toward Sacred Partnering, along with examples, followed by opportunities to explore application to one's ministry context or congregation.

Certified Making The Shift Trainers

Mark Tidsworth, Author And Presenter


Ircel Harrison

Debra Griffis-Woodberry

David Brown

Alan Arnold  

Endorsements For Shift

"Mark has a pilgrim's desire, a pastor's heart and a therapist's insight. Through Shift, the reader gets a rare look at what is learned through engagement with hundreds of leaders over the years. Mark helps all of us make sense of what we are seeing in congregations and culture. Most importantly, he moves quickly from assessment to offering solid clues about how to respond in ways that are deeply faithful to Christian tradition."

-Rev. Dr. Dave Odom, Executive Director, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity

"Anxiety is high in congregations feeling the pressure to change in order to engage post-modern adults. We know we need to change but into what? And how do we do it? Mark Tidsworth's "Shift" shines as a ray of hope and a directional beacon for congregations seeking a path to 21st century ministry. Mark clearly describes the cultural movements that cause the tension between inherited church forms and the need for new expressions within the community of faith. But much more than another description of the "problem with church," he prescribes three "shifts" that will engage renewed faith: from membership to discipleship identity, from attractional to missional church, from consumer church to sacred partnering. Mark moves us from understanding the anxious moments of change to specific practices that facilitate the "shifts" necessary for thriving ministry. Mark Tidsworth's "Shift:Three Big Moves for the 21st Century Church" should be a go-to guide for congregations as they plan their future."

-Rev. Dr. Jay Keive, Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina

"In his book Shift: Three Big Moves For The 21st Century Church, Mark Tidsworth describes the struggle to move away from the status quo of Modernity to a new paradigm of a “disciple developing missional church that practices sacred partnering”. While recognizing the reality that the final image of Post-Modern Christendom is still unfolding, he offers concrete suggestions for exploration and experimentation intended to lead a church into a new way of being church. Furthermore, Tidsworth does not promise increased average Sunday attendance or more generous stewardship. Rather, he suggests that churches who follow his recommendations will experience satisfaction with their corporate walk with Christ, saying, “We are doing something meaningful here.” And in the meantime those involved will experience a deeper relationship with Christ and one another. I recommend this book for pastors and lay leaders who are dissatisfied with church-as-we-have-always-done-it and are seeking ideas for deepening relationships with Christ and one another in community."

Rev. Mike Flanagan, Rector, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Simpsonville, SC

"For over a decade Mark has been a mentor, helping me connect with the changing cultural reality in which we do ministry. "Shift: Three Big Moves For The 21st Century Church" is an invitation to acknowledge these changes and to let the Holy Spirit guide our congregations in imagining and practicing ministry in new ways. As you read you will find yourself responding with a "YES!" over and over again."

- Rev. Wayne Horne, Lead Pastor, Union United Methodist Church, Irmo, SC

"Everyone who loves and leads the church has felt the cultural ground shifting beneath our feet. Mark Tidsworth, out of his illuminating research into our new cultural and religious realities, and his personal insights gained in the daily ministry of helping churches and ministers understand their present and discover their future, offers us a wake-up call, a reality check, a direction to follow and a much-needed message of hope: the church must change, but it need not die. Shifts will inspire you to let go of old the wineskins of outmoded structures and strategies and take hold of skins that can hold the new wine of church as disciples together on mission."

-Dr. Ronald D. Vaughan, Lead Pastor, St. Andrews Baptist Church, Columbia, SC

"Like all churches our church is going through a transition. We are receiving large numbers of young adult members and at the same time we are losing our older adult members to death. These young adults are much different from their grandparents in regards to their commitment to God and the Church. We have been trying to find direction in order to be more effective in ministering to them. Recently our staff spent a day and an a half with Mark Tidsworth in the SHIFT workshop. We now feel we have a sense of direction in dealing with this transition in a much more effective way."

- Rev. Dr. Mike Guffee, Shandon United Methodist Church

"Tidsworth's book should be required reading for anyone in the pew or the pulpit. He is bold enough to name the 'elephant in the room' but he doesn't just name it. He offers practical wisdom on how to tackle it, one bite at a time."

- Rev. Dr. Cathy Jamieson, Columbia District Superintendent, South Carolina Conference, United Methodist Church

"In these days of discontinuous change, Shift gives us some clear and exciting direction for our journey into the future God has for the church. Shift challenges us not to revert to our defaults of the past, but to embrace the truth that it is God’s mission that has a church rather than a church that has a mission."

- Rev. Dr. T. Mark Verdery, General Presbyter/Stated Clerk, Providence Presbytery, Rock Hill, SC

"You will want Mark Tidsworth to come lead your team in the Shift Learning Experience after you read Shift: Three Big Moves for the 21st Century. If you see church-as-we-have-known-it fading away and wonder what you can do to help chart a course for fresh expressions of Christianity going forward, Shift is the book for you. With clarity and understanding, Tidsworth accomplishes the rare feat of bridging the gap between the thirty-thousand-foot metanarrative and the useful here’s-what-you-can-do-about-it. Insightful yet practical, Shift is a valuable resource for ministers and church leadership teams who want to take a proactive approach to thinking and planning for the future.” -Rev. Dr. Rhonda Abbott Blevins Executive Coordinator, Kentucky Baptist Fellowship

"The first time I changed gears in my used-but-new-to-me 1985 Honda Civic five-speed, it was a tragedy of comedic proportions: a jumping car, startled bystanders, and a rattled driver. It was a great life lesson. Learning to 'shift' takes practice, perseverance and tenacity – but the end result is well worth it. As Mark Tidsworth skillfully leads us through what it means for communities of faith to shift their focus from creating 'good members' to molding 'ministers of reconciliation,' you will find yourself at many points feeling jumpy, startled and rattled – but you will also hear a still, small Voice whispering: ‘this is a way that leads to life; walk ye in it.’"

- Rev. Bob Bauman, Harbor District Superintendent, North Carolina Conferernce, United Methodist Church

"Most Christians and congregations will agree that church does not feel like it did years ago. Mark Tidsworth advances disciple movement in Shift: Three Big Moves For The 21st Century Church, leading Jesus followers from the impulse of being consumed by culture in God’s church to how the church can join God’s mission to love and save the world. You will recognize yourself and your congregation in these perceptive and "how to" pages leading you to see your ministry through new and missional lenses."

-Lane D. Bembenek, Lead Pastor, Joy Lutheran Church (ELCA) Spartanburg, SC

"In the book Shift: Three Big Moves For The 21st Century Church, Mark Tidsworth provides new language for pastors and congregations seeking to understand the seismic cultural transitions happening around us and our instinctive responses to them. Rather than fear or apathy these shifts invite us into an invigorating new adventure of faith in Jesus and the church. As a pastor, I am grateful for writers like Mark guiding us into a deeper engagement with the Bible, our faith, and post-modern America."

-Rev. Dr. Eric Spivey, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Cornelia, GA